News

  • Monday, March 12, 2018 11:56 AM | Deleted user

    Michigan — As of March 10, 2018, Imperial Beverage acquired beer distribution rights from Highland Park based Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. The purchase of Bayside Beverage in Marquette, Great Lakes’ Upper Peninsula beer division, includes all beer brands in U.P. counties, which will be added to Imperial’s current portfolio of beer, wine and spirits.

    In the Upper Peninsula, Great Lakes distributes products in the MillerCoors family of brands, as does Imperial in the Kalamazoo area. “We are excited to be able to represent MillerCoors in the Upper Peninsula, and see it as a great opportunity to expand our partnership with them,” says Larry Cekola, VP of Sales and Marketing at Imperial. Imperial has been working with MillerCoors since 1985, and prior to this addition of the U.P. territory has distributed Coors, Keystone, Blue Moon, Molson and Killians in Kalamazoo, Branch, St. Joseph, and part of Allegan Counties.

    In addition to the MillerCoors portfolio, Great Lakes serves as a wholesaler for Crown Imports (Corona, Modelo) and Boston Beer (Sam Adams, Angry Orchard) as well as a range of craft beer brands in the Upper Peninsula, including Michigan brands Griffin Claw, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Cheboygan and Petoskey Brewing Co., as well as national brands like Alaskan Brewing Co. and Uinta.

    Under the agreement, Imperial has acquired a warehouse facility in Ishpeming and will be expanding their presence with the addition of new brands. Imperial has recently filled 15 new positions to staff the Marquette County facility including sales, warehouse, drivers and management.

    March 12 marks the first day of operations for Imperial Beverage in their new Ishpeming facility. The 18,000-square-foot warehouse will be the fourth base of operations for the Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage, whose other facilities include a warehouse in Livonia and cross-docking facility in Traverse City.

    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 330 employees and 3 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 2:17 PM | Deleted user

    Chile’s extreme climate and fertile soil has vaulted the prosperous country to one of the world’s top wine producers. Endless vineyards lie among mountain ranges and sapphire waters, contributing to unique offerings from Chile’s new and established wineries.

    Lured by the Chilean experience, Scott Thompson, wine sales manager for Traverse City-based H. Cox & Son, spent a week traveling the country and touring countless wineries. He returned, perhaps begrudgingly, with these four suggestions – all of which are available in Michigan.

    Best known as the grape of Sherry, Pedro Ximenz (PX), when grown in the arid climes of northern Chile, can produce a stylish dry white with appealing floral and fruit aromas, balanced with minerality and crisp acidity. The perfect foil to oysters!

    With family roots firmly placed in France’s Bordeaux region, dating back to the mid 1800’s, J. Bouchon’s “Canto Sur” is a blend of classic Chilean grapes, featuring Chile’s hallmark grape, Carmenere. Classic red fruit and herbs on the nose lead to great acidity and juiciness on the palate. 

    Felipe Garcia is leading the charge in Chile, inspiring young winemakers to buck convention.  This old-vine blend of Syrah, Carignan, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and Grenache is a great example of the bold, “spice & jam” reds that come from ancient dry-farmed vineyards in Chile’s Itata Valley. 

    Boya Pinot Noir Rose comes from the cool coastal climate of Leyda Valley in Chile’s San Antonia Valley. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean mitigate temperatures, allowing for gradual, controlled ripening. Aromas and flavors lean towards ripe red berry fruit and tangerine, with a crisp, persistent finish. 


  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 2:14 PM | Deleted user

    We’re entering an odd stretch for the the seasonal craft beer drinker. Winter warmers are being phased out as we get further and further from Christmas, and flirtations with temperatures above freezing – even if for a day or two – leave us longing for something beyond a porter or a stout.

    Enter this mixed six pack of Michigan-brewed craft beer compliments of Ludington Beverage, a 4th generation 100 percent veteran-owned beer distributor. Based in Ludington, they’ve served West Michigan since 1933, so they know a thing or two.

    There’s a little something for everyone in this lineup, including hazy IPAs, an ale that mirrors a lunchbox staple and two beers that haven’t yet been released (Mountain Town Lazy River & Stormcloud Rainmaker). Enjoy!

    Mountain Town Lazy River: Brewed with green tea leaves and lime peels make for a distinct and fresh lager. The extra lagering time helps smooth out this easy drinking beer and gives it a clean finish. 5.2% ABV.

    Stormcloud Rainmaker Ale
    : The feeling of Northern Michigan coastal living in a can that’s a well-balanced, medium bodied, easy drinking ale. Smooth, flavorful, and light orange in color, it’s a Michigan experience at its finest. 5.2% ABV

    Rochester Mills Juice Bigalow
    : A hazy IPA with juicy tropical fruit aromas and flavors with a subdued bitterness, achieved from a considerable amount of Citra and Mosaic hops added to this brew. The result is a standout among this popular style. Enjoy the Haze. 6% ABV, 69 IBU.

    ELK Brewing PB&J’ale’y: We know what you’re thinking, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich beer? And the answer is yes! This refreshing and sweet ale combines roasted peanuts and concord grapes to create a unique and enjoyable spin on everyone’s favorite sandwich. 5% ABV.

    Roak Hopgazer: Hopped with Ekuanot, Citra and Amarillo, this N.E. style IPA has a refreshing mouthfeel with aromas of orange, grapefruit and tropical fruits. It finishes with a heightened bitterness and a balanced sweetness. 6.5% ABV, 60 IBU.

    Perrin Light Lager: A crisp, clean, American style lager that’s very refreshing and light in color with no adjunct grains. This 3.8% ABV offering will surely make your day better.


  • Tuesday, February 06, 2018 2:07 PM | Deleted user


    SPRINGFIELD, Mich. – Territorial Brewing Company, a brewery in Springfield that specializes in brewing lagers, announced today it has expanded brewing operations into a new production facility to meet increased demand by beer lovers, bars and restaurants in Battle Creek.

    The first batch of beer was brewed at the new location on Dec. 4, 2017.

    “We have struggled to brew enough beer and keep up with demand since first opening in November of 2014, and this new location will allow us to keep up with demand while staying true to the beers we love to make,” said Tim Davis, co-owner of Territorial Brewing Company.

    Up until December, Territorial was brewing beer in a space shared with its restaurant kitchen.

    “The space was incredibly cramped and we were constantly getting in the way of the kitchen staff, and vice versa,” Davis said. “In fact, it got so bad that we resorted to only brewing beer at night, when the kitchen was closed. This new location will allow us to brew beer on a more consistent schedule and keep up with demand.”

    Territorial produces mostly lager beers, which take considerably longer to ferment than ales. This limits the overall volume of beer Territorial can produce in a given time.

    “Territorial Brewing Company excels at brewing German-inspired beers that require a lengthy fermentation time and keen attention to detail, and this new production facility will allow them to meet the growing demand for these high-quality lagers,” said Bud Dunn, president of Atlas Sales Inc. “We’re proud to work hand-in-hand with small craft brewers like Territorial Brewing Company to help them grow and succeed.”

    The new production brewery is not open to the public. However, the original restaurant and taproom, located at 256 N Helmer Road, will remain open.

    “We’re proud to serve as a gathering place for so many customers who live and work nearby and thank them for their loyalty as we worked through our behind-the-scenes growing pains the last three years,” said Charles Grantier, co-owner of Territorial Brewing Company.

    “As Battle Creek’s only brewery, we want to help make Battle Creek and Springfield a fun, vibrant community and a destination for visitors near and far,” Davis said.

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  • Monday, January 15, 2018 4:15 PM | Deleted user

    Rave Associates becomes first distributor to sell 1 million case equivalents of Bell’s beer in one year

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – As 2017 drew to a close, Rave Associates, the first distributor of Bell’s Brewery, reached a historic milestone with the Michigan craft beer institution: 1 million case equivalents sold in one year. A case equivalent is equal to one case of beer, or 24, 12 oz. cans or bottles. It’s the first time a beer distributor in Michigan, or any other state, has reached that achievement with Bell’s.

    “Batch-after-batch, year-after-year the quality of Bell’s beer is consistent, and that commitment to quality has elevated Bell’s to one of the best-known and most well-respected breweries in the country,” said Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates. “We’re honored and humbled that Larry Bell entrusted us to be his first distributor.”

    Rave Associates brought Bell’s aboard in 1989, when the brewery was just 4 years old, and founder Larry Bell was delivering beer himself.

    “When we first started distributing Bell’s they were our smallest supplier, but now we have multiple trucks going in and out of our warehouse every day,” Warbritton said.

    “We’re grateful to Rave Associates for taking a chance on our small Michigan craft brewery 29 years ago, and we’re proud to have grown our two businesses together,” said Larry Bell, founder of Bell’s Brewery. “From the front office to the sales team, and all stops in between, Rave Associates is committed to ensuring our beer arrives to retailers as fresh as possible.“

    Not surprisingly, two of Bell’s most popular beers, Oberon and Two Hearted, were among the biggest sellers for Rave Associates in 2017. According to Warbritton, Oberon is one of the most recognizable beers in Michigan, while Two Hearted is consistently a top rated, or the very top rated, American IPA by beer experts. Last year, Zymurgy Magazine named Two Hearted “Best Beer in America.”

    Rave Associates, headquartered in Ann Arbor, employs over 100 people and services retailers in Genesee, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.

    Bell’s Brewery attached an array of balloons to the 1 millionth case headed to Rave Associates to mark the occasion. Photo courtesy Bell’s Brewery.

  • Friday, November 10, 2017 11:11 AM | Deleted user

    Veterans utilize skills honed from years of military service to help suppliers and retailers succeed

    WARREN, Mich. – Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), the nation’s second largest premium wine and spirits distributor, is taking special steps this Veterans Day to honor the 637 associates who have served in our armed forces.

    “Our employees who have bravely defended our country bring a unique skillset to the job, including self-discipline and a commitment to teamwork that make them ready to take on any task from day one,” said Tom Cole, president and CEO of RNDC. “These skills help local retailers and our beer and wine suppliers throughout the state and around the world succeed today and in the future.”

    Michigan is home to more than 670,000 veterans, according to 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. There are more than 21 million veterans across the U.S.

    Added Cole, “We are proud to hire veterans and are committed to ensuring those who have served our country have access to a fulfilling and high-quality career when they return home.”

    RNDC is the second largest distributor of premium wine and spirits in the United States with operations across 22 states and the District of Columbia. RNDC operates out of four locations in Michigan: Warren, Brownstown, Byron Center and Escanaba.

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    About Republic National Distributing Company

    RNDC is the second largest distributor of premium wine and spirits in the United States with operations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. RNDC employs more than 9500 individuals nationwide. For more information about the company, visit www.rndc-usa.com.


  • Friday, November 10, 2017 11:03 AM | Deleted user

    Veterans utilize skills honed from years of military service to help suppliers and retailers succeed

    ORION, MI – As Veterans Day approaches, Powers Distributing is taking special steps to honor 22 employees who have served in our armed forces.

    “Our employees who have bravely defended our country bring a unique skillset to the job, including self-discipline and a commitment to teamwork that make them ready to take on any task from day one,” said Gary Thompson, chief operating officer and general manager of Powers Distributing. “These skills help local retailers and our beer and wine suppliers throughout the state and around the world succeed today and in the future.”

    Michigan is home to more than 670,000 veterans, according to 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. There are more than 21 million veterans across the U.S.

    “We are proud to hire veterans and are committed to ensuring those who have served our country have access to a fulfilling and high-quality career when they return home,” said Thompson.

    Powers Distributing, a locally-owned, independent distributor located in Orion, services Oakland and Macomb counties.

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  • Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:30 AM | Deleted user

    Michigan beer, wine and spirits distributor continues charitable giving at home and afar

    DETROIT – Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), Michigan’s largest distributor of beer, wine and spirits, today announced it is donating $100,000 to California wildfire relief funds. The distributor is donating $50,000 to both the Napa Valley Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the Sonoma County Community Foundation Resilience Fund.

    “Watching the destruction and devastation unfold in California’s wine country has been heartbreaking for me and the team at Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, and we wanted to reach out and do something to help,” said Lew Cooper III, Co-CEO at GLWAS. “We’re hopeful this donation can help some of the thousands of people left homeless or jobless get back on their feet and pick up the pieces from these catastrophic fires.”

    California winemakers and distributors have worked hard to keep their business online amid the devastating fires. There were only temporary shutdowns of some distribution centers and warehouses during the wildfires, and GLWAS did not have any orders reduced, cancelled or retracted because of the fires.

    “The determination to maintain business as usual in the midst of this widespread disaster is a testament to the resilience of our California wine industry partners,” Cooper said.

    “Many of our suppliers and their vineyards in California came away unscathed, but we know not everyone was so fortunate,” said Syd Ross, Co-CEO of GLWAS. “Our hearts go out to all of those who suffered the loss of loved ones or their homes or businesses.”

    This is not the first charitable effort this year by GLWAS and its employees to help those impacted by a natural disaster. In September, the distributor donated a tractor-trailer to be filled with supplies to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. GLWAS also recently donated $5,000 to Jack Daniels’ Operation Ride Home – which helps members of our military get home for the holidays – and sponsored an event that raised $58,000 for North Central Michigan College.

    “Beer and wine distributors and their employees have long been leaders in charitable giving at home and beyond, and we’re proud to reach out and help those in need, whether they’re in our own backyard or thousands of miles away,” Ross said.

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    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is a wine, spirits and beer distributor that services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit www.GLWAS.com.


  • Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:29 AM | Deleted user

    Veterans utilize skills honed from years of military service to help suppliers and retailers succeed

    PORT HURON, Mich. – As Veterans Day approaches, Earl Smith Distributing Co. is taking special steps to honor three employees who have served in our armed forces.

    “Our employees who have bravely defended our country bring a unique skillset to the job, including self-discipline and a commitment to teamwork that make them ready to take on any task from day one,” said Erik Smith, vice president of operations at Earl Smith Distributing Co.. “These skills help local retailers and our beer and wine suppliers throughout the state and around the world succeed today and in the future.”

    Michigan is home to more than 670,000 veterans, according to 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. There are more than 21 million veterans across the U.S.

    “We are proud to hire veterans and are committed to ensuring those who have served our country have access to a fulfilling and high-quality career when they return home,” said Smith.

    Earl Smith Distributing Co., a family-owned, independent beer distributor located in Port Huron, services four counties in Michigan’s Thumb area.

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  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 10:36 AM | Deleted user

    O&W Inc. hopes to raise $5,000 in October through sales of a limited release beer from Green Flash Brewing

    Ypsilanti, Mich. – O&W Inc., a family owned, independent beer distributor based in Ypsilanti, is setting an ambitious goal to raise $5,000 for breast cancer research through sales of Green Flash Brewing Company’s Treasure Chest, an IPA brewed with passion fruit.

    Throughout the month of October, for every pint of Treasure Chest sold during special events, O&W Inc. will donate $1, the retailer hosting the event will donate $1 and Green Flash will donate $1.

    “We’re proud to work together with Green Flash Brewing and retailers throughout southeast Michigan to raise money for such an important cause,” said Kit Wanty-Lambert, vice president of Marketing for O&W Inc. “We applaud Green Flash for taking a creative and innovative approach to raising awareness of breast cancer and funding for breast cancer research.”

    Green Flash Co-Founder Lisa Hinkley, a breast cancer survivor, is passionate about giving back to those whose lives have been affected by this disease. Through the Treasure Chest program, now in its seventh year, the brewery has raised over $300,000.

    “As a breast cancer survivor, I am encouraged to see the Treasure Chest program grow every year,” Hinkley said. “Through the unwavering support of our customers, distributors and retailers, we are making strides in our efforts to raise money towards awareness and prevention, and I am hopeful the program will only continue to make a difference in the lives of individuals affected by breast cancer. I applaud O&W Inc. for their commitment to finding a cure for this disease.”

    Green Flash first brewed Treasure Chest in 2011 and has rotated through different styles every year. This year’s iteration is a bright and tropical IPA featuring Green Bullet, Warrior, Citra, Cascade and Simcoe hops. The beer is finished with an infusion of passion fruit tea.

    You can find a full list of Treasure Chest events in southeast Michigan here.


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Lansing, Michigan 48933
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