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  • Thursday, December 02, 2021 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Vice president of wine sales Jason Howard to be elevated to executive vice president 

    Detroit, MIGreat Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), Michigan’s largest wine and spirits distributor, today announced the retirement of executive vice president Ernie Almeranti. Almeranti spent more than 20 years at GLWAS and nearly 40 years in the wine and spirits industry.

    “Ernie Almeranti has experienced many changes in the Michigan landscape from spirits privatization to numerous acquisitions, but most importantly he was part of the very successful merger of the J. Lewis Cooper Co. and General Wine & Liquor in 2008, which established Great Lakes Wine & Spirits as a leader in alcoholic beverage distribution,” said GLWAS Co-CEO Lew Cooper III. “In his role as executive vice president, Ernie has built an exceptional team that is more than ready to lead the way following his retirement.”

    Ernie was born in southeast Michigan where his friends use to tease him about the J. Lewis Cooper Co. delivery trucks, that at the time, carried the Ernest & Julio Gallo logo. Little did they know the foreshadowing of those jokes that “Ernest your name is on the trucks” carried. After graduating from Colorado State University, Ernie began his wine career in 1983 working for the Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery. Ernie’s first role was as a participant of the Management Development Program at Mountain Wine Distributing in Colorado, learning from the late “General” Dave Lipski.

    After successfully tackling numerous responsibilities for the Gallo Winery, Ernie went to work for the Julius Schepps Company of Dallas, TX in 1988 as an area manager. He was then promoted to Retail Sales Manager before returning to the Gallo Winery in 1992.

    While preparing to work in London for Gallo, a twist of fate with a visa issue sent him back to his hometown to wait for the issue to be resolved. During that time an opportunity at the J. Lewis Cooper Co. presented itself and his career came full circle to keep him and his wife Alonna home in Michigan to raise their family.

    Jason Howard, GLWAS’ vice president of wine sales, will be elevated to executive vice president. Almeranti will help oversee the transition through the end of February.

    Howard began his career in the wine business in 1999 as part of the Gallo Winery’s Management Development Program working as a chain division sales representative. In 2006, Howard moved his family back to his hometown of Detroit and became the retail wine sales manager at what would eventually become GLWAS. He has served as vice president of wine sales since 2015.

    “Jason Howard and Ernie Almeranti are looking forward to working together to ensure a smooth transition and keeping Great Lakes Wine & Spirits a leader in alcohol beverage sales in Michigan,” said Syd Ross, Co-CEO of GLWAS. “I want to thank and congratulate both Ernie and Jason for their leadership and support of the organization.”

    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With more than 1,000 employees and facilities across the state, GLWAS services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Muskegon, MI – The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, will make appearances at two West Michigan parades next month. On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the Clydesdales will march through downtown Fremont, and Thursday, Nov.11, Veteran’s Day, in downtown Muskegon. The parades are part of the Heroes United celebration honoring veterans from Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties and United Way of the Lakeshore.

    “We are thrilled to bring the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales to West Michigan next month and honor the men and women who have bravely defended our freedoms at home and abroad,” said Jim Tyler, president of Tyler Sales Company Inc. “It’s an honor to partner with the United Way of the Lakeshore on this important event and we encourage everyone to come out and support our military veterans while taking in the legendary Clydesdales.”

    This will be the first appearance ever by the Budweiser Clydesdales in the city of Fremont and a return visit to the city of Muskegon where they most recently appeared in 2014. The Fremont parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, and the Muskegon parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11.

    The Clydesdales’ appearances in Fremont and Muskegon are one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.

    Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 handsor six feetat the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. 

    A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.

    A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

    Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.

    The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo., Merrimack, N.H., and Ft. Collins, Colo. They can also be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.

    For more information, contact:

    Tom Schultz, Tyler Sales Company, Inc.

    (231) 722-3557

    # # #

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 12:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Enforcement efforts by MLCC, Attorney General Dana Nessel beginning to pay off

    Lansing, MI — More than one-third of every bottle of alcohol shipped into Michigan during the first quarter of 2020 was shipped illegally, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA).

    Using data compiled from reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan, the MB&WWA found 410,304 bottles of alcohol were shipped into the state from January through March of 2020. Of those bottles, 159,152 were shipped illegally from unlicensed, out-of-state retailers.

    “While illegal wine shipping remains a pervasive problem in Michigan, the numbers are beginning to go down thanks to efforts from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and Attorney General Dana Nessel to crack down on the bad actors who are thumbing their nose at Michigan law,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the MB&WWA. “We urge the MLCC and attorney general to not let up and continue to target illegal wine shippers who are flouting state laws and hurting small, mom-and-pop retailers in the process.”

    Over the last two years, Nessel has sued more than a half-dozen out-of-state retailers caught shipping wine illegally into Michigan. Her efforts have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in fines and have sent a clear message that illegal wine shipping will not be tolerated. The MLCC has also made it crystal clear to out-of-state retailers that they are never allowed to ship wine into Michigan and that wineries must be licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before they can legally ship into Michigan.

    “Every bottle of alcohol illegally shipped into our state hurts small, independent retailers that are proud to call Michigan home, pay taxes and give back to their communities,” Nevins said.

    The MB&WWA began compiling data on illegal wine shipments flowing into Michigan in 2018. Data from two quarters of that year showed more than 1 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan in just six months and at least 300,000 of those bottles were shipped illegally by out-of-state retailers.

    In 2019, more than 2.2 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into the state and of those bottles, 734,365 were shipped illegally.

    Data collection for 2020 and 2021 has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    # # #

  • Thursday, September 09, 2021 4:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Back to school gear supplied to more than 100 children receiving domestic violence services

    Mt. Clemens, MI — More than 100 children receiving domestic violence services through Turning Point Macomb have brand new backpacks and fresh school supplies for the new school year thanks to donations from Petitpren Inc., a Macomb County beer distributor, and the Macomb Family YMCA.

    “I can’t thank Petitpren Inc. and the Macomb Family YMCA enough for these generous donations,” said Karan Bates-Gasior, development director at Turning Point Macomb. “The children utilizing  our services have faced intense trauma and seeing the excitement on their faces when they receive something as simple as a new backpack makes me smile and gives the children a small sense of normalcy during an incredibly difficult time.”

    Turning Point Macomb helps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, sexual assault exams, personal protection orders, community education and housing. The organization’s mission is to eliminate violence as a means of oppressing others.

    “We have proudly supported Turning Point Macomb for decades and our team was more than happy to step up and help out these children start the school year off right,” said J.R. Roskopp, HR and government affairs director at Petitpren Inc. “Michigan’s beer distributors are leaders in charitable giving and providing students with new backpacks and school supplies is just one more way we can lend a helping hand in the communities we serve.”

    Petitpren Inc.’s relationship with Turning Point Macomb dates back 40 years. Every year, employees at the wholesaler donate money — which is matched by the owners of Petitpren Inc. — at Christmas to help several families have a happier holiday. The wholesaler and its employees have donated an estimated $200,000 to nearly 300 families over those four decades.

    “Throughout the month of August, the Macomb Family YMCA accepted backpacks and school supply donations from new and existing members and their generosity was overwhelming,” said Steve Krankota, Macomb Family YMCA executive director. “Our mission is to build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all, and this effort by our members shows what happens when a community comes together for the common good.”

    # # #

    About Petitpren Inc.

    Petitpren Inc. is family owned beer distributor located in Clinton Township proudly employing more than 100 people and servicing bars, restaurants and retailers throughout Macomb and Wayne Counties.

    About the Macomb Family YMCA

    The Y is an inclusive organization of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. For over 168 years, the YMCA has served the Metro Detroit region where children and families can grow.

    Photo courtesy Petitpren Inc.

  • Thursday, September 09, 2021 2:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Up north brewery’s beers now available at bars, restaurants and retailers across 15 counties

    Grand Rapids, MIHenry A. Fox Sales, a family owned, statewide beer and wine wholesaler in Grand Rapids, announced a partnership with Grand Traverse Brewing Company to distribute its beers throughout West Michigan and mid-Michigan.

    “We wanted to bring Grand Traverse Brewing Company into the fold over a year ago, but the pandemic put that on hold. It was definitely worth that wait, and I am sure craft beer fans in West Michigan and mid-Michigan will agree, once they try Grand Traverse Brewing’s bright, crisp American ales,” said Steve Smith, craft brand manager for Henry A. Fox Sales. “We’re proud to help promote growth, choices and competition by working closely with high-quality craft brewers like Grand Traverse Brewing Company to help them succeed today and in the future.”

    Grand Traverse Brewing Company beers — which include Glen Lake IPA, Lakeside Light and Northport IPA — can now be found on tap at select bars, restaurants and on retailers’ shelves across 15 counties, from Mason to Allegan counties on the west side of the state to Livingston County near Metro Detroit. Glen Lake IPA is also available at all eight Trader Joe’s locations across the state.

    Grand Traverse Brewing was founded by owner and brewer Peter Bishop in 2018. Prior to opening GTB, Bishop brewed at several breweries in the state of Oregon.

    "We're excited to be working with Steve Smith and his team at Fox to distribute our beers across West Michigan and mid-Michigan now and into the future," Bishop said.

    # # #

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a family owned and independent beer, wine and spirits distributor serving retailers and restauranteurs throughout the state. Their team of nearly 150 sales, delivery, warehouse and front office staff take pride in being the distributor of choice and valued trade partner to their customers and suppliers.

  • Tuesday, August 17, 2021 10:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beers from Munster, Ind. brewery now available at bars, restaurants, retailers

    Ann Arbor, MIRave Associates, a family owned beer and wine distributor, today announced a partnership with Munster, Ind. based 3 Floyds Brewing for distribution throughout southeast Michigan. 3 Floyds — which has gained national and even international acclaim for its Dark Lord Russian-style Imperial Stout and Zombie Dust pale ale — made its debut into Michigan earlier this month.

    “Beers from 3 Floyds Brewing are legendary throughout craft beer circles and we are thrilled to introduce beer lovers throughout southeast Michigan to their edgy and creative beers,” said Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates. “We’re proud to partner with brewers big and small here in Michigan, just across the border in Indiana, across the country and around the world to help them succeed today and into the future.”

    Three Floyds beers now available in Michigan include:

    • Gumballhead, a 5.6% ABV wheat beer
    • Robert The Bruce, a 6.5% ABV Scottish Ale
    • LazerSnake, a 7% ABV IPA
    • Space Station Middle Finger, a 6% ABV Pale Ale
    • Barbarian Haze, a 6.5% ABV New England-Style IPA
    • Alpha King, a 6.6% ABV Pale Ale
    • Zombie Dust, a 6.2% ABV Pale Ale

    “We know craft beer fans have been patiently waiting for our beers to land in Michigan and we are elated to finally send our brews to the Mitten State. We pride ourselves on crafting full-flavored beers that are true to style and, at the same time, definitely ‘not normal,’” said Taylor Peterson, Director of Events & Communications at 3 Floyds Brewing. “Rave Associates has a strong track record of growing craft brands, and we’re proud to join their portfolio in southeast Michigan.”

    3 Floyds beers are available throughout southeast Michigan on draft at bars and restaurants and in six-pack, 12 oz. cans and bottles at retailers.

    # # #

    About 3 Floyds Brewing

    From our humble beginnings in 1996—armed with only a few hundred dollars, a five-barrel Frankenstein wok-burner-fired brew kettle, repurposed open Swiss cheese fermenters (Hammond Squares) and an old Canfield’s Cola tank — ”It’s Not Normal” ales and lagers were born. With a constant eye toward sound technical brewing practices, we use ingredients from around the world to create the best artisanal, innovative, and fresh beers we can.

    About Rave Associates

    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.

  • Wednesday, August 11, 2021 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Newly elected chair, vice-chair and finance chair hail from distributors in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Flint

    Lansing, MI — The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) today announced the election of new executive officers to guide the association over the next year. The election was held during the association’s recent annual convention.

    Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates in Ann Arbor, was elected chair of the MB&WWA Board of Directors. He succeeds Brien Fox, president of Henry A. Fox Sales, who served two terms as chair. A.J. Mathews, president of West Side Beer in Grand Rapids, was elected vice-chair. Joanie O’Sullivan-Butler, president and CEO of John P. O’Sullivan Distributing in Flint, was elected finance chair. O’Sullivan-Butler becomes the second woman to hold an executive leadership position within the association.

    “I want to thank Brien Fox for his work in steering our association through a global health pandemic and the challenges that came with it, and I look forward to picking up where he has left off in ensuring Michigan continues to have vibrant and successful beer and wine industries,” Warbritton said.

    Rave Associates is a family-owned beer and wine distributor in Ann Arbor. The distributor services retailers throughout 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.

    “Our association and its members, nearly 50 distributors strong, are proud to play a role in the continued growth of our state’s beer and wine industries and look forward to continuing that growth for years to come,” Mathews said.

    West Side Beer serves more than 3,300 retailers in 15 counties out of its warehouses in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Romulus.

    “It’s an honor to be elected by my peers to serve as finance chair of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors, and I am proud to be the second woman to hold an executive leadership position within the association,” O’Sullivan-Butler said.

    O’Sullivan-Butler also serves on the association’s Women’s Advocacy Committee, which was created last year to highlight and amplify the important work women do for Michigan’s beer and wine distributors and to advocate for distributor interests in Lansing.

    In 2018, O’Sullivan-Butler penned an op-ed for the Detroit News on the critical roles women play at beer distributors throughout the state and across the country.

    Michigan’s beer industry had an overall economic impact of $9.9 billion in 2020 and supported more than 66,000 jobs at breweries, distributors, retailers and more, as detailed in a report released earlier this summer by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute.

    The MB&WWA represents nearly 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 alcohol beverage industry’s most progressive state trade associations.

    # # #

  • Thursday, August 05, 2021 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wholesalers nearly one-third of way to goal following 108-hole effort from Ludington Beverage Co-Owner Tad Reed that raised $45,000

    Muskegon, MI — The second of several golf marathons involving Anheuser-Busch wholesalers on the west side of the state will tee off next week. The fundraiser is part of an effort to raise $150,000 for Folds of Honor scholarship recipients within Michigan. Folds of Honor exists solely to provide scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.

    The Folds of Honor Golf Marathon 100 Hole challenge is simply to golf 100 holes between sunup and sundown. It can be an individual or team effort. Donors sponsor the golfer or team per hole or for completion.

    On Monday, Aug. 9, Tom Schultz, general manager of Tyler Sales Company, Inc., and Mike Soboleski, customer service and sales manager at Schupan & Sons Inc., will answer the challenge and play a combined 100 holes of golf to raise money for the charity.

    “As Anheuser-Busch wholesalers, we are proud to serve those who served. This fundraiser is just one more way we can give back to the men and women who have bravely protected our freedoms at home and abroad, some of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Schultz said. “The $150,000 we hope to raise will provide $5,000 scholarships to 30 spouses or children of fallen or disabled services members right here in Michigan whose applications went unfulfilled this year.”

    According to Folds of Honor, Michigan has 72 scholarship recipients this academic year equaling more than $356,000. Unfortunately, 28 fully qualified Michigan applicants went without awards in 2021 due to lack of funding. Although Folds of Honor provides scholarships across the nation, every dollar raised by the Michigan wholesalers will go to Michigan recipients.

    “I am eager to take up a club on Aug. 9 and join Tom Schultz in raising money for such a worthwhile cause,” Soboleski said.

    Last month, Tad Reed, co-owner of Ludington Beverage, and his partner Michael Rey, the general manager of both Lincoln Hills Country Club and Hemlock Golf Club in Ludington, golfed 108 holes over 12 hours and raised over $45,000.

    “After 18 years of Army service, I know firsthand the sacrifices made by service members and the heavy burden that service places on military families and I am proud to be the first independently owned Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in the United States to tackle the Folds of Honor Golf Marathon 100 hole challenge,” Reed said. “I would encourage anyone who supports our military and cares about the education of the spouses and children of fallen or disabled soldiers to make a donation and ensure these family members receive a quality education.”

    Individuals and businesses can support Tyler Sales and Schupan & Sons golf marathon at this website.

    Bud Distributing in Dowagiac, Mervenne Beverage in Holland and H. Cox & Sons Inc. in Traverse City are also participating but have yet to set their tee times for the golf marathon.

    “I want to thank the Anheuser-Busch distributors in Michigan for stepping up and being the first wholesalers to take on this challenge,” said Kasey Davis, regional development Officer of Folds of Honor. “I have no doubt their commitment will inspire other wholesalers across the country to hit the links and raise money to help support spouses and children of fallen or disabled servicemen and women who have made enormous sacrifices for our country.”

    Every year, $1 per case of special Budweiser packages goes directly to Folds of Honor, funding hundreds of scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Find the patriotic cans in your market today.

    # # #

  • Friday, July 16, 2021 8:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wyoming, Michigan, brewery’s beers now available at select bars, restaurants and retailers across the state

    Grand Rapids, MIHenry A. Fox Sales, a statewide beer and wine distributor, and TwoGuys Brewing today announced a partnership to distribute TwoGuys beers throughout Michigan. Beers available include:

    • BC Blonde, a 5.3% ABV blonde ale
    • Mosaic Quest, a 6.2% ABV American IPA made exclusively with Mosaic hops
    • Trench Warfare, an English brown ale

    All three beers are available in 4-pack, 16 oz cans and on draft. Henry A. Fox Sales will also be rolling out TwoGuys Brian Seltzer, an unflavored hard seltzer, and the brewery’s wine spritzers.

    “When we decided it was time to take the next step for TwoGuys Brewing and begin distributing our beers outside of our Wyoming brewery, we didn’t have to look far,” said Thomas Payne, owner of TwoGuys Brewing. “Henry A. Fox Sales checks all of the boxes for us: They have a strong commitment to their suppliers, know the market like the back of their hand, and can help tell our story beyond our taproom walls.”

    Tom and his wife Amy started TwoGuys Brewing in 2018 after Tom spent more than a decade running TwoGuys homebrew club. Tom grew up near the brewery’s current location, and both he and Amy still live in the area.

    “I grew up in Wyoming and it’s still home to me and my wife today, which is why it just made sense to go with a hometown distributor like Henry A. Fox Sales,” Payne said.

    “TwoGuys Brewing has a fun, eclectic mix of beer, hard seltzer and cider and we’re thrilled to introduce Michigan craft beer lovers to what’s brewing in Wyoming,” said Steve Smith, craft brand manager for Henry A. Fox Sales. “We pride ourselves in working hand-in-glove with breweries like TwoGuys to help them succeed today and into the future.”

    Both TwoGuys Brewing and Henry A. Fox Sales stepped up to help their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. TwoGuys Brewing pivoted to selling take-and-bake meals to keep the brewery going and help feed their community. Meanwhile, Henry A. Fox Sales donated $100,000 to organizations and nonprofits across the state on the front lines of the pandemic.

    # # #

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a family owned and independent beer, wine and spirits distributor serving retailers and restauranteurs throughout the state. Their team of nearly 150 sales, delivery, warehouse and front office staff take pride in being the distributor of choice and valued trade partner to their customers and suppliers.

  • Monday, June 28, 2021 2:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New report finds Michigan’s beer industry supports more than 66,000 jobs including nearly 4,900 at distributors across the state

    Lansing, MI – A recent report by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute makes it crystal clear: Beer is big business in Michigan. The Beer Serves America study found Michigan’s beer industry had an overall economic impact of $9.9 billion in 2020 and supported more than 66,000 jobs at breweries, distributors, retailers and more.

    “Michigan’s independent, locally owned beer distributors are proud to work hand-in-glove with brewers big and small right here in Michigan, across the country and around the world to help them grow and thrive on a level playing field,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. “This new data makes clear that Michigan is not just the Great Lakes State but also the Great Beer State, and Michigan’s beer distributors are proud to play a role in the beer industry’s continued success.”

    According to the report, Michigan beer distributors employ 4,866 people in good-paying jobs with good benefits.

    “Michigan’s beer distributors have deep roots in the communities they serve,” Nevins said. “That was on display throughout 2020 as our members partnered with local distilleries to produce and deliver hand sanitizer to frontline medical workers and nursing homes when there was a worldwide shortage because of the COVID-19 pandemic and supported local restaurants and their employees.”

    Thanks to Michigan’s beer distributors, our state is a Top 10 beer producer and home to some of the best-known breweries in the country. Michigan’s beer industry is poised to keep growing through a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.

    The state’s entire beer industry consisting of brewers, distributors, retailers and supporting industries like agriculture, transportation and manufacturing had a $9.9 billion economic impact on Michigan’s economy, employed over 66,000 people and paid more than $2.6 billion in wages in 2020.

    # # #


332 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: (517) 482-5555
Fax: (517) 482-1532



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