Traverse City beer distributor proud to celebrate 90 years in business, fifth-generation ownership

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – Employees at Traverse City-based H. Cox & Son celebrate 90 years in business this year – a true testament to the Michigan beer distributor’s deep roots in the communities it serves.

“My brother Mark and I are proud to be fifth-generation owners after growing up in the business from our early teenage years,” said Ryan Ribel, vice president of H. Cox & Son. “Our great-great-grandfather, Herman Cox, launched this company on Eighth Street in Traverse City after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, distributing beer to seven counties in Northern Michigan out of a small garage. We take great pride in our modest beginnings and time-honored values of having a superior company culture and investing back into our community.”

As a local, family-owned business, H. Cox & Son is uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of its community with both owners living and working in Traverse City. They actively prioritize partnering with local non-profits and events and helping other small businesses, like craft brewers and retailers, compete, grow, and thrive on a level playing field.

“We are more than just a beer distributorship,” said Mark Ribel, president of H. Cox & Son. “It’s rewarding to be a part of helping to promote growth, choices, and competition by working with small craft brewers to help them succeed today and in the future. It makes us better, too, as we work with and serve the people of Traverse City. Their authenticity fosters a drive within our business to stay connected and make our community a better place.”

H. Cox & Son has worked hard over the years to diversify their inventory in a dynamic tourist area market, with 35% of business done in the summer months. If you buy an Anheuser-Busch product within a 60-mile radius of Traverse City, it comes through H. Cox & Son’s warehouse, along with several non-alcoholic beverages. H. Cox & Son employs 65 people and services seven counties in northwest Michigan.


From left to right, top row: Joe Koss, George Valleau, Jim Harvey, George Kleinbeck, Frank Morman. From left to right, bottom row: George Harvey, Jack Merchant.


From left to right: Ryan Ribel (vice president), Mark Ribel (president)

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