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  • Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    New law makes it illegal to sell marijuana-infused beer, wine or spirits

    LANSING – The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association is applauding Gov. Rick Snyder for signing a bill into law banning marijuana-infused alcohol in Michigan. House Bill 4668 was signed into law Tuesday.

    “Many of our members have expressed concerns with distributing a risky new product that would encourage additional impaired drivers on our roads,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. “We applaud the Legislature and the governor for seeing the potential dangers of marijuana-infused alcohol and taking a proactive approach to banning it in Michigan.”

    The legislation passed the Michigan Senate on Sept. 26 on a near unanimous vote. The Michigan House followed suit on Oct. 2, approving the measure with more than 100 “yes” votes.

    The new law, Public Act 346 of 2018, takes effect immediately and makes it illegal to possess or sell marijuana-infused beer, wine, spirits and mixed spirit or wine drinks. The law does not impact hospitals, state universities, private colleges or universities or pharmaceutical companies from conducting research on marijuana-infused alcohol.

    “As an association, we have always supported the responsible use of alcohol and worked to reduce drunken driving and binge and underage drinking,” Nevins said. “We believe marijuana-infused alcohol has no place on store shelves or on tap in bars or restaurants.”

    The governor’s action comes at a time when beer-makers large and small across the country are partnering with cannabis companies to create marijuana-infused beer.

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  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018 2:15 PM | Anonymous

    State of Michigan lost as much as $25,000 in unpaid taxes due to illegal shipping

    LANSING – More than 150,000 of bottles of wine were illegally shipped into Michigan during the second quarter of 2018, causing the state to lose as much as $25,000 in tax revenue, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association.

    In total, 496,376 bottles of alcohol were shipped to Michigan consumers from April 1 to June 30. Of those, 245,289 were bottles of wine shipped by licensed direct shippers, leaving the remaining 251,087 bottles to cover spirits and illegally shipped wine.

    “It’s estimated that 60 to 70 percent of the alcohol purchased online is wine, which means more than 150,000 bottles of wine were illegally shipped into Michigan over a three-month stretch, forcing the state to lose out on much-needed tax revenue,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. “These illegal wine shipments also take money away from mom-and-pop retailers who are proud to call Michigan home.”

    A federal judge recently struck down a portion of a state law prohibiting out-of-state retailers from illegally shipping wine into the state. That ruling is on hold as the U. S. Supreme Court reviews a similar case. The state law also includes licensing requirements for third-party delivery apps, such as Drizly, and requires common carriers like FedEx and UPS to report to the state who is shipping alcohol into Michigan.

    “This data shows that even with that law in place, out-of-state retailers are skirting state law and illegally shipping wine to Michigan residents,” Nevins said. “The Michigan Liquor Control Commission is now tracking who is sending wine into Michigan and how much, which will allow the state to crack down on these bad actors.”

    The data was compiled using reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state.

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  • Friday, September 28, 2018 12:31 PM | Anonymous
    Henry A. Fox Sales awarded a Golden Bar Award for demonstrating excellence in sales and marketing


    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Diageo Beer Company, the global leader in beverage alcohol behind Guinness and Smirnoff Ice, recently named Henry A. Fox Sales its Distributor of the Year for 2018 at its 15th annual Golden Bar Awards, Sept. 18 in Baltimore, Md.

    “We’re proud to play a role in the continued success of legendary brands like Guinness and Smirnoff Ice, distributing their beers throughout West Michigan,” said Amber Goodell, Vice President of Sales at Henry A. Fox Sales. “From the front office to the warehouse, I’m proud of our entire team for its determination, hustle and commitment to excellence. We’re honored to be named Diageo Beer Company’s Distributor of the Year.”

    Last month, Guinness opened its first U.S. brewery in more than 60 years just outside of Baltimore, Md. The new brewery is the home of Guinness Blonde, along with new Guinness beers created for the U.S. market. These include unique and experimental beer styles beyond its iconic Guinness Draught Stout and Guinness Extra Stout, both of which will continue to be brewed in Dublin.

    The Golden Bar Awards celebrate distributors for their excellence in sales and marketing and the important role they play in their communities.

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a family owned beer and wine distributor located in Grand Rapids, which distributes beer, cider and wine throughout West Michigan and the entire state. This first in class distributor is committed and focused on being the distributor of choice for their customers, suppliers and employees.

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  • Thursday, August 30, 2018 4:55 PM | Anonymous

    There are thousands of interesting wines produced across the world, each with individual flavors and aromas as unique as the locales from which they originate. Wine enthusiasts should make sampling the diverse collection of varietals available to them a priority, but all-too-frequently settle for conventional wines and familiar brands.

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a first-in-class distributor of fine wines with an expert team of trained professionals such as Amber Goodell, vice president of sales at Henry A Fox. Amber is a certified wine specialist who has almost two decades of experience in the industry.

    She believes it is vital for wine fanatics continue expanding their palate and advises every enthusiast to enjoy a diverse and worldly collection of varietals. Together with Henry A. Fox Sales, she has designed a list of recommendations intended to make any Michigan wine lover feel like a world traveler.

    Fleur de Mer Rosé - This French Rosé from Provence evokes aromas and flavors of fresh watermelon, cherry, subtle citrus, lavender and Mediterranean herbs. It is medium-bodied, fresh and elegant with a soft texture and mineral finish.

    Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc – From Marlborough, New Zealand, this medium-bodied wine features finely balanced acidity, and is bursting with fragrant fruit flavors of grapefruit, guava and passionfruit. This wine is a perfect accompaniment to summer salad, poultry and shellfish, such as mussels.

    Guado al Tasso il Bruciato - The Guado al Tasso estate is located near Bolgheri, Italy, is just outside the city of Florence. This wine offers an intense ruby red color. On the nose, the aromas of ripe red berry fruit, sweet spices and a light and fresh minty note are the most prominent. The palate is well-structured, persistent and very pleasurable in its fruity finish and aftertaste.

    Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon - This new world style Cabernet offers dark fruit aromas and flavors. Aged for 20 months in new French and American oak barrels, this wine features a blend of 88 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with 12 percent Syrah. This wine pairs well with stuffed peppers, bleu cheese, duck, beef and dark chocolate.

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a family-owned-and-operated enterprise and a leading distributor of wine in Michigan. Initially established over 60 years ago as a stand-alone alcoholic beverage distributor in Grand Rapids, the Fox enterprise has since evolved into a state-of-the-art wholesale beverage distributor representing over 150 suppliers of wine, beer and spirits.

    You can learn more about Henry A. Fox Sales and its portfolio of wines, cider and craft beer here.

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    Beer lovers know that there is no better summer accessory than a cold beer in the hand, and this holds true whether it’s the dog days of summer or last couple of weeks.

    As you rush to stock the cooler with beers guaranteed to capture the sensation of summer, look no further than Bud Distributing, a family-owned beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverage distributor based out of Dowagiac, Michigan. Bud Distributing has prospered in the community for 60 years, providing an array of quality products while promoting and supporting the continued growth of southwest Michigan.

    Given Bud Distributing’s strong portfolio of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including some locally produced brands, selecting a few new beers to try can be a challenge. Luckily, Jenna Podjan, who leads the sales and marketing team at Bud Distributing, brings 10 years of experience in the industry and insightful recommendations to ease the struggle. Here is her suggestion for a mixed six-pack that is certain to transform your sweltering backyard patio into a sunlit haven:

    Perrin Grapefruit IPA: A very balanced and refreshing IPA with aromas of citrus and tropical fruits, a delicate grapefruit tartness and a sweet malty backbone ending in a clean finish. A great summer beer, with great versatility for ALL craft beer drinks to enjoy!

    Saugatuck Blueberry Lemonade Shandy: A great option for warm Michigan summers. Light and refreshing, this beer showcases as a “radler” with lemonade and a twist of blueberry.

    Round Barn Vacation Ale: People wait all year for the release of this beer; a hybrid of an American Wheat ale and a Belgian style wit. This beer has some tropical notes, with coriander.

    Silver Harbor Hop Sweat and Tears: Hop Sweat and Tears is an extremely well balanced American IPA and a great summer choice for its easy drinking, light body. A great, refreshing choice on a warm summer day, or and day of the year.

    Tapistry Northern Trippin: Join the “Haze Craze” with this New England style IPA. The can features the beautiful four seasons in Michigan, and its contents are incredibly juicy, tropical and very soft.

    Virtue Cider Rose’: Rosé all day! We love Virtue’s beautifully handcrafted Rose’. A great option for outdoor entertaining or solo adventures, Rosé pours with the light pink of spring apple blossoms, with bright floral notes and hints of fresh-picked apple, grapefruit peel, and green strawberry. The finish is clean with just a slight tartness.

  • 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.


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  • 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.


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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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