• Wednesday, August 22, 2018 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    President of Rave Associates will serve second term as treasurer

    LANSING – Jim Warbritton was re-elected treasurer of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors during the association’s annual meeting on Aug. 1.

    Warbritton is president of Rave Associates, a family owned beer and wine distributor in Ann Arbor, serving eight counties in southeast Michigan. Rave Associates, the first and largest distributor of Bell’s Brewery beer and the largest distributor of Michigan craft beer in the state, distributes both beer and wine from suppliers across Michigan and around the world.

    “It’s an honor to once again serve as treasurer of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors as we work with our friends in the beer and wine industries to ensure Michigan remains a top producer of beer and wine for years to come,” Warbritton said. “MB&WWA member distributors help promote growth, choices and competition, working with breweries and wineries big and small to help them succeed today and in the future.”

    The MB&WWA represents more than 50 beer and wine distributors throughout Michigan. The association is recognized as one of the strongest business trade associations in the state and one of the most progressive state trade associations in the alcohol beverage industry.


  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    President of Henry A. Fox Sales will serve second term as vice chairman

    LANSING – Brien Fox has been re-elected as vice chairman of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors during the association’s annual meeting on Aug. 1.

    Fox is CEO of Henry A. Fox Sales, a family owned beer and wine distributor located in Kentwood. Henry A. Fox Sales distributes beer, cider and wine throughout West Michigan and the entire state from large and small suppliers from Michigan, across the country and around the world.

    “I’m proud to once again serve as vice chairman of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors and continue to represent an industry that has played a key role in Michigan’s comeback,” Fox said. “Michigan is one of the nation’s top 5 beer and wine producers, and our state is poised to keep growing thanks to a three-tier system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.”

    The MB&WWA represents more than 50 beer and wine distributors throughout Michigan. The association is recognized as one of the strongest business trade associations in the state and also one of the alcohol beverage industry’s most progressive state trade associations.

    # # #

  • Friday, June 29, 2018 9:43 AM | Anonymous

    St. Clair County beer distributor putting in extra hours to stock retailers ahead of Fourth of July holiday

    PORT HURON, Mich. – One of the nation’s most popular holidays for beer and wine sales is right around the corner, which means Earl Smith Distributing is working overtime to ensure everyone’s favorite beverages are stocked at stores, restaurants and bars across the state.

    “The Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays for alcohol sales, and there’s no better time to be a beer or wine lover in Michigan with a dizzying array of options available at retailers across the state,” said Erik Smith, VP of Operations at Earl Smith. “We’re proud to partner with suppliers right here in Michigan, across the country and around the world to ensure our retailers offer an unparalleled selection of beer and wine.”

    Americans are expected to spend more than $1.5 billion on beer and wine for the Fourth of July holiday, making it one of the biggest holidays for alcohol sales each year.

    “With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday, our dedicated team of salespeople and drivers are working hand-in-glove with retailers to ensure their store shelves are stocked and their taps are flowing the weekend leading up to and the weekend after the Fourth of July,” Smith said. “I want to personally thank each and every member of our team for putting in extra hours to ensure a successful holiday for our retailers and our suppliers.”

    Last year, Michigan’s beer and wine industries poured more than $16 billion into the state’s economy. Michigan is a Top Five producer of beer and Top 10 producer of wine in the country, thanks to a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.

    Earl Smith Distributing is a family owned beer distributor servicing four counties in the Thumb area.


  • Friday, June 29, 2018 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    Michigan Craft Beer Month an opportunity to toast success of state’s craft beer industry

    LANSING - July is Craft Beer Month in Michigan and the state’s independent, locally owned and family owned beer distributors are proud to celebrate another successful year of Michigan craft beer.

    “Michigan is at the epicenter of the hazy IPA trend and our craft brewers are pioneers in new and creative beer styles that have propelled Michigan to a Top 10 beer producer in the country,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. “Michigan’s beer distributors are proud to play a role in the continued success of our craft beer industry and look forward to helping craft brewers grow and thrive for years to come.”

    With more than 330 breweries dotted across the state, Michigan’s beer distributors play a vital role in helping craft brewers big and small compete, grow, and thrive on a level playing field. Distributors help breweries access retailers, expand to new markets and grow their brands – all while ensuring the freshest beer possible is on tap at bars and restaurants and on store shelves.

    “Craft beer in Michigan has grown by leaps and bounds, especially over the last several years, and the industry deserves its month in the sun,” Nevins said. “Michigan Craft Beer Month showcases everything from Michigan’s unique hop varieties and locally grown barley to the brewers who conjure up creative recipes and the distributors who ensure the freshest beer possible is on store shelves and tap handles.”

    Michigan’s independent, family owned beer distributors employ nearly 5,000 people and pump hundreds of millions of dollars back into the local economy. Beer is big business in Michigan and has an annual economic impact of $10.5 billion


  • Monday, June 25, 2018 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    Beer distributor received applications from across the country for unique crash course in supply-chain management

    WEST BRANCH, Mich. – Students from three Michigan colleges and one college in New York are embarking on a 12-week, hands-on summer internship program at Griffin Beverage Co.’s flagship warehouse in West Branch, Michigan. The four students were chosen out of more than 50 applicants from across the country.

    “We were overwhelmed by the number of applicants and believe we chose four students who are eager to learn the ins and outs of supply-chain management as it relates to the beer distribution industry,” said Bob Griffin Jr., general manager of Griffin Beverage Co. “Our hope is these students walk away from our internship program with valuable, real world experience as they see firsthand products moving from forecasting to retail sales.”

    The students include:

    • Joe Garcia, junior at Michigan State University
    • Mitchel Achieng, junior at Hope College
    • Jon Boddy, senior at Central Michigan University
    • Krishna Velayudham, masters student at the University at Buffalo – SUNY

    Achieng and Velayudham are international students, with Achieng hailing from Kenya and Velayudham from India.

    “Our summer interns will do everything from go out on sales calls and deliveries to driving a forklift and loading and unloading trucks, and even try their hand at inventory forecasting,” Griffin said. “We believe the experience they gain this summer will prove to be invaluable in the future.”

    Griffin Beverage Co., a family owned beer distributor, services 43 counties throughout Michigan with warehouses in Alpena, Marquette, Saginaw, St. Ignace and West Branch.


  • Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:25 AM | Anonymous

    Psychedelic Cat Grass will be packaged and delivered to nearly 900 Michigan retailers within 24 hours

    MICHIGAN – Imperial Beverage and Short’s Brewing Company are back at it for the third consecutive year, bringing Michigan the freshest possible craft beer through a one-day beer event like no other. Psychedelic Cat Grass will be packaged and available for purchase at more Michigan locations than ever this year. From tank to tap or shelf within 24 hours, this triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale is guaranteed to be the freshest IPA in the market.

    This year’s beer release, on Friday, May 25th, 2018 will be the result of a devoted effort by all parties. Packaging of the beer will begin at 12:01am in the Short’s Elk Rapids production facility, with trucks loaded and on the road throughout the early morning.

    In addition to the more than 60 Imperial Beverage Delivery Drivers hauling this Without Delay IPA across the state, additional Imperial Beverage and Short’s team members are lending a hand to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. The Imperial Sales team is partnering with Short’s Beer Liberators from all over the state to help deliver the beer to predetermined locations within hours of packaging, making this once again the quickest beer release Michigan has ever seen.

    “We’ve seen a great deal of success with the Psychedelic Cat Grass release events the last two years, and we’re excited to grow this one-of-a-kind event and deliver more beer to more retailers than ever before,” said Tim Braun, Imperial Beverage Brand Manager. “Last year we delivered the freshest packaged beer possible to 500 retail accounts. This year, we have increased that number to 849 of Short’s existing accounts. Needless to say, we are all very excited to bring this #WithoutDelayIPA to beer lovers across Michigan!”

    New this year, an interactive map created by Short’s displaying each location that will have the beer on May 25th to help craft beer fans find the Without Delay IPA as soon as possible so it can be consumed as fresh as possible. The map can be found at

    Psychedelic Cat Grass (7.6% ABV - 72 IBU) is a triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale first brewed for HopCat. Aromas of pineapple, mango and grapefruit accompany the brew’s slightly hazy, pale orange color and lasting white head. A dry finish is preceded by balanced flavors of tropical fruit and bitter hops.


    Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 390 employees and 4 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    As one of the world’s largest wine producers, France has maintained an enviable spot as a worldwide winery for centuries. For Eric Kendig, president of Arbor Beverage Company, the opportunity to tour the myriad of French wineries posed not a challenge, but an opportunity to expose wine lovers in Michigan to unique and affordable wines to add to their collections.

    From Saline, Michigan, Eric has served as president of Arbor Beverage for nine years. The distributor, however, has been providing high-quality wines to six counties in southeast Michigan for over 58 years.

    Here is a carefully crafted wine flight from Eric Kendig and Arbor Beverage, meant to please the palate without breaking the bank:

    La Craie Vouvray – Grown on tuffeau clay soils near the village of Vouvray and exposed to early morning fogs, this white wine is a lovely mix of candied apricots, spice and wildflower honey with a firm acid backbone.

    Les Hexagonales Sauvignon Blanc – “Les Hexagonales” Sauvignon Blanc weighs in at only $14 and rivals Sancerre in its crisp acidity, slate minerality and full-frontal fruit. Your mouth wallows in green apple, stone fruit and citrus, finishing with tangerine dreaminess and a swath of tangy lime that lasts forever. There is an astounding, jaw-dropping value in this wine.

    Domaine de la Bastide Cotes du Rhone Figues – A dry and fruity red wine made up of 60 percent Shiraz, 20 percent Grenache and 20 percent Carignan. It’s deep red purple in color. On the nose, there is an abundance of ripe dark fruits and violets. The palate is smooth. The wine is full bodied with elegant tannins giving a strong backbone. The finish is lengthy and rich.

    Chateau Roulerie Rosé D’Anjou – A semi-dry Rosé wine: Sweet and fruity; 30 percent Gamay, 70 percent Grolleau. A salmon pink hue with a bouquet reminiscent of red berries (raspberries and strawberries). Clear, fresh and tasty finish is balanced by fine acidity.

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    With Memorial Day, and the unofficial start to summer quickly approaching, the beer lover’s palate begins to shift away from porters and stouts (for the most part) and drift to hoppier beers or crisp, clean, almost-summer-sippers.

    If you’re looking to change up what sits in your fridge or cooler this spring, you’re in luck because Matt Cebula, Craft Brands Manager for Dan Henry Distributing, is here to help.

    Matt carries a ton of craft beer street cred at Dan Henry Distributing. Here are his recommendations for a mix-a-six pack that’s perfect for spring:

    Griffin Claw Norm’s Gateway IPA – A session IPA that is a combination of full hop flavor and lower alcohol content, giving it wonderful drinkability. It’s crisp, clean, fruity and refreshing.

    Lansing Brewing Co. Amber Cream – This beer has a light bready and caramel malt backbone with just a touch of sweetness to balance. It is the perfect marriage between cream ale and amber ale.

    North Peak Gale – Double dry hopped, this oat IPA is packed with four to five pounds of hops per barrel of beer and is gusting with aromas of grapefruit and candied pineapple from the addition of Falconer’s Flight and Mosaic hops.

    Atwater Whango Mango Wheat – It’s tropical paradise in a bottle. Get your mouth ready for the perfect balance of mango sweetness and refreshing wheat flavor. It is brewed to overwhelm but never overpower.

    Cheboygan Blood Orange Honey – A unique twist on a great American-style wheat beer, with the addition of fresh local wildflower honey mixed with blood orange zest and blood orange puree. The result is a medium bodied beer that is very smooth with a residual sweetness and creaminess from the honey and an exhilarating nose of citrus from the orange.

    Ellison American Lager – American Lager brewed with barley, corn and rice. Flavorful hops brighten up this beer, which finishes crisp and clean.

  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    Atlas Sales Inc. recycles 250 tons of cardboard, aluminum cans and glass every year

    BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Atlas Sales Inc., a beer distributor serving Calhoun County, is renewing its commitment to protecting Michigan’s air, land and Great Lakes this Earth Day. In the past, the distributor installed energy efficient lighting and moved to a nearly 100 percent paperless system to reduce its carbon footprint and currently recycles 250 tons of cardboard, cans and glass every year.

    “Nearly everything that goes out on our trucks every day, from cardboard cases of beer to aluminum cans and glass bottles, eventually find their way back to our warehouse where they are recycled,” said Bud Dunn, Atlas Sales Vice President. “We’re proud to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint while serving customers throughout Calhoun County.”

    Along with the near-constant recycling of cardboard, aluminum and glass, Atlas Sales Inc. has also transitioned to energy efficient lighting and operates electric forklifts in its warehouse and works almost exclusively with plastic, reusable pallets, which are better for the environment.

    “We pride ourselves on using innovative cutting-edge, technology like electric-powered forklifts that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a healthier workplace for our employees,” Dunn said. “We are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy use and increase energy efficiencies so we can help protect our state’s most precious resources.”

    Atlas Sales Inc. recycles 224 tons of glass, 30 tons of cardboard and 350,000 pounds of aluminum cans and bottles each year through its in-house recycling facility. Since converting to energy efficient lighting in 2014, the distributor has saved 50,000 kilowatts of power annually.


  • Friday, March 23, 2018 6:11 PM | Anonymous

    Bell’s iconic summer beer hits store shelves and tap handles on March 26

    Ann Arbor, Mich. – Rave Associates, Bell’s first beer distributor, has been pulling double-duty this week to deliver cases and kegs to retailers across southeast Michigan in preparation for Oberon Day on Monday, March 26.

    “Oberon Day is one of the biggest beer holidays of the year in Michigan and we’re proud to work hand-in-glove with the team at Bell’s to ensure stores, bars and restaurants have plenty of Oberon to meet the demand of beer lovers looking for that first taste of Bell’s iconic summer beer,” said Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates. “Our employees have been working diligently with our retail partners to coordinate special event tappings and floor displays in advance of the big day.”

    Oberon, an American Wheat Ale, is one of the most recognizable craft beers in Michigan. It was originally released under the name Solsun, which was eventually changed to Oberon in 1998.

    “This daylong celebration of Oberon signals the unofficial start to spring, baseball season and all the joys that come with warmer weather in the Great Lakes state,” Warbritton said. “We’re honored to work with Bell’s to help make Oberon Day such a success, year-in and year-out.”

    Oberon is available in 6-pack and 12-pack bottles, 12-pack cans, 4-pack cans, mini-keg and on draft. A number of bars are tapping Oberon at midnight on March 26. You can find a full list of special events here.



332 Townsend Street
Lansing, Michigan 48933
Phone: 517.482.5555
Fax: 517.482.1532



All contents and materials © copyright 2018 Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association · Privacy Policy
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software