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  • Friday, May 31, 2019 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    New report shows beer industry has $10.2 billion impact on Michigan’s economy

    HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – Eastown Distributors, a family owned beer and wine distributor headquartered in Highland Park, is proud to play a role in the continued growth and success of Michigan’s beer industry.

    According to a new report released by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute, Michigan’s beer industry has a $10.2 billion impact on the state’s economy. Michigan’s beer distributors alone have an economic impact of more than $830 million, employing over 4,700 people in good-paying jobs with good benefits.

    “This new report helps quantify the enormous impact the state’s beer industry continues to have on the state’s economy and how it contributes to Michigan’s continued economic comeback,” said Paul Quasarano, President of Eastown Distributors. “We’re proud to work with breweries throughout Michigan, across the country and around the world to help them compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field.”

    Michigan’s thriving beer industry, which includes brewers, distributors, retailers and supporting industries such as agriculture, transportation and manufacturing, pumped nearly $10.2 billion into Michigan’s economy, employed over 62,000 people and paid more than $2.6 billion in wages in 2018.

    “From malthouses and hop farms to breweries and local retailers, the beer industry continues to have a positive impact on Michigan’s economy throughout the entire supply chain, and we expect this growth to continue,” Quasarano said. “Michigan is home to some of the most innovative breweries in the country and is now a Top 5 beer producer, making it not just the Great Lakes State but the Great Beer State, too.”

    Eastown Distributors is a fourth-generation family owned business serving northeast Wayne County since 1933. Eastown employs over 100 Michiganders with fair wages and full benefits.

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  • Wednesday, May 29, 2019 12:35 PM | Anonymous

    New report finds Michigan’s beer distributors pump more than $800,000 into state’s economy, employ over 4,700 people

    LANSING – A recently released report by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute makes it abundantly clear: Beer is big business in Michigan. The Beer Serves America study found Michigan’s beer industry had an overall economic impact of nearly $10.2 billion in 2018 and supported more than 62,000 jobs at breweries, distributors, retailers and more.

    “Michigan’s independent, locally owned beer distributors are proud to work hand-in-glove with the state’s craft brewers and local retailers 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 4,724 people in good-paying jobs with good benefits. The state’s distributors have a direct impact of more than $830,000 on Michigan’s economy.

    “Michigan’s beer distributors have deep roots in their communities and are proud to hire locally to fill jobs that pay well with good benefits,” Nevins said. “Thanks to Michigan’s beer distributors, our state is a Top 5 beer producer and home to some of the best-known breweries in the country and 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, pumped nearly $10.2 billion into Michigan’s economy, employed over 62,000 people and paid more than $2.6 billion in wages in 2018.

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  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    #WithoutDelayIPA to be delivered to more than 900 retailers hours after being packaged

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. – On Friday, May 17, Short’s Brewing Co. and statewide beer, wine and spirits distributor Imperial Beverage will again team up for the release of Short’s Psychedelic Cat Grass, triple dry hopped IPA that will be packaged and delivered to retailers throughout Michigan in less than 24 hours.

    “This one-of-a-kind release has grown in popularity over the last three years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest release yet,” said Larry Cekola, Vice President of Sales at Imperial Beverage. “I want to thank the crew at Short’s and the more than 60 members of the Imperial Beverage team for putting in countless hours of prep time to ensure this event goes off without a hitch.”

    This year, the same-day-delivery Psychedelic Cat Grass event has a renewed focus on Michigan with almost all product slated to stay in-state. Short’s will release the beer in other markets in very limited quantities. Also new this year: The beer will be exclusively sold in cans and on draft. In total, more than 1,700 cases of 6-pack, 12 oz. cans and 150 kegs of varying sizes will be delivered to over 900 retailers throughout Michigan.

    Short’s will begin canning and kegging Psychedelic Cat Grass at 12:01 a.m. on May 17. The beer will then be loaded onto Imperial Beverage trucks and distributed throughout the lower and upper peninsulas.

    “Typically, beer lovers have to travel to Bellaire for beer this fresh, but thanks to the creativity of Short’s team and the ingenuity of our team at Imperial Beverage we’ve found a way to get brewpub-fresh beer to bars, restaurants and retailers all over the state,” Cekola said. “At Imperial Beverage, we’re proud to work hand-in-glove with brewers big and small to help them succeed today and in the future.”

    Psychedelic Cat Grass (7.6% ABV and 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.

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  • Monday, April 22, 2019 4:38 PM | Anonymous

    Beer, wine and spirits distributor renewing its commitment to protecting Michigan’s air, land and Great Lakes

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Imperial Beverage, a Kalamazoo-based beer, wine and spirits distributor, is celebrating Earth Day by streamlining its operations and using innovative, cutting-edge technology to reduce its carbon footprint. The distributor recently switched to a voice pick system, dramatically reducing its reliance on paper by as much as eight cases per week.

    “By implementing a voice pick system, which guides our warehouse workers by voice as they build pallets for the next day’s delivery, we have made our operation more efficient and reduced our paper usage by as much as eight cases every week,” said Larry Cekola, VP of Sales at Imperial Beverage. “At Imperial Beverage, we pride ourselves on being pioneers in energy efficiency and using cutting-edge conservation and environmental practices to reduce energy waste, pollution and protect our air and Great Lakes.”

    Instead of handing warehouse workers clipboards filled with sheets of paper to gather the next day’s orders, Imperial Beverage employees now have tablets, ear buds and scanners so they can scan each order they pick up as a voice guides them to the next 6-pack, 12-pack or case of beer or wine. Imperial Beverage estimates it was using eight cases of paper, or 40,000 sheets of paper, every week under its previous system.

    “By embracing advanced logistics and information technology, our employees are able to connect Michigan’s beer and wine lovers with their favorite products more efficiently, whether it’s made right here in Michigan, across the country or around the globe,” Cekola said.

    Based in Kalamazoo, with additional locations in Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming, Imperial Beverage is a statewide distributor of beer, wine and spirits employing nearly 400 people throughout the state.

    # # #

    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, March 20, 2019 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    In total, more than 500,000 bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan between October and December of 2018

    LANSING – One in four bottles of alcohol shipped into Michigan during the 4th quarter of 2018 was shipped illegally according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA). During the 4th quarter of 2018, which covers October through December, 528,310 bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan. Of those bottles, 185,408 of them were spirits or illegally shipped wine.

    It’s estimated that 60 percent to 70 percent of the alcohol purchased online is wine, which means nearly 130,000 bottles of wine were illegally shipped into Michigan over the three-month stretch.

    “Wine illegally shipped into Michigan by out-of-state retailers robs our state of much-needed tax revenue at a time when Michigan needs every penny it can get,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “Illegal wine shipments also take money away from mom-and-pop retailers who invest in their communities and are proud to call Michigan home.”

    In the 2nd quarter of 2018, spanning April through June, 496,376 bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan. Of those, 245,289 were bottles of wine shipped by licensed direct shippers, with the remaining 251,087 bottles consisting of spirits and illegally shipped wine. It’s estimated that more than 150,000 bottles of wine were illegally shipped into the state during this time period. Third-quarter data is unavailable due to insufficient reporting.

    “I find it deeply troubling that out-of-state retailers continue to skirt state law by shipping at least 300,000 bottles of wine illegally into the state during 2018. More troubling is the fact that number is likely much higher because it excludes data from the 1st and 3rd quarters of 2018,” Nevins said. “We urge the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to continue tracking these bad actors and for the state to crack down on out-of-state retailers who illegally ship wine into our state.”

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

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  • Monday, March 04, 2019 2:33 PM | Anonymous

    New England-Style beers from the fast-growing Massachusetts brewery coming to store shelves, tap handles this week

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. – New England-Style beers from a New England brewery will soon be coming to store shelves and tap handles throughout Michigan. Lord Hobo Brewing Co., recently named one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the country, is partnering with Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage for a statewide launch.

    “We are very proud to bring Lord Hobo to the discerning craft beer fans of Michigan,” said Jon Sutton, beer category manager at Imperial Beverage. “In an era when innovation is key to survival and relevancy in the beer industry, Lord Hobo is delivering nothing but exciting styles, packaging and branding.”

    New England-Style beers, typically IPAs or Double IPAs, are one of the fastest-growing beer trends in the United States. They are best known for their hazy appearance, low bitterness and exotic flavors and aromas of tropical fruits.

    “Imperial Beverage has a proven track-record of innovation and we’re excited to team up with them to bring our beer to bars and retailers throughout Michigan,” said Bill Dillon, vice president of sales at Lord Hobo Brewing Co. “There’s no question Michigan is home to some of the biggest craft beer lovers in the country, and we’re eager to show them what fresh New England-Style beer – straight from New England – is all about.

    Lord Hobo beers now available in Michigan include:

    • Boom Sauce! – Lord Hobo’s flagship – New England-Style IPA
    • Hobo Life, a session IPA
    • Pils, a hoppy pilsner
    • Angelica, a New England-Style wheat ale
    • Glorious, a New England-Style pale ale
    • Meat & Potatoes, a stout
    • Consolation Prize, a Double IPA
    • Virtuoso, a New England-Style Double IPA

    Virtuoso typically isn’t released until later in the spring, however Lord Hobo Brewing Co. brewed a special batch to mark its Michigan launch.

    “It has been a pleasure to work with Bill Dillon, Rob Day and the rest of the Lord Hobo team as we are set to launch their red-hot brand to the great beer state of Michigan,” said Joe Cekola, president of Imperial Beverage. “At Imperial Beverage, we’re proud to help breweries big and small grow and thrive through a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.”

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  • Thursday, January 31, 2019 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Calhoun County beer distributor ensures retailers are well-stocked for Super Bowl LIII

    BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – A snowstorm and frigid temperatures responsible for shutting down state government, the U.S. Postal Service and universities across the state didn’t stop Atlas Sales Inc. from ensuring retailers were well-stocked ahead of one of their busiest times of the year: Super Bowl Sunday.

    “I want to thank our entire team, from warehouse workers and drivers to mechanics and front office staff, for working together to ensure there was as little disruption as possible in our delivery schedule, despite what Mother Nature threw at us,” said Bud Dunn, vice president of Atlas Sales Inc. “Our suppliers and retailers, as well as beer lovers across Calhoun County, are counting on us to make sure shelves are well-stocked and tap handles are flowing, and we’re glad we could step up to the challenge.”

    Earlier in the week, Calhoun County was hit with more than 6 inches of snow followed by back-to-back days of temperatures at or below zero. The weather forced the closure of schools, universities and state government.

    Atlas Sales paused deliveries on Wednesday due to the bitter cold but will have all deliveries to retailers wrapped up well before Super Bowl Sunday. Every year, beer and wine sales spike at retailers across the state in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, and this year should be no exception.

    “Michigan is a top producer of beer and home to some of the most popular breweries in the country. Consumers have an array of high-quality options to choose from when stocking up for their Super Bowl parties,” Dunn said. “We’re proud to work hand-in-glove with our suppliers here in Michigan and beyond, to help them grow and succeed, through a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.”

    Based in Battle Creek, Atlas Sales Inc. is a family owned beer distributor servicing retailers throughout Calhoun County.

    The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will take the field on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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  • Thursday, January 31, 2019 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    Upper Peninsula beer and wine distributor ensures retailers are well-stocked for Super Bowl LIII

    NEGAUNEE, Mich. – A snowstorm and frigid temperatures responsible for shutting down state government, the U.S. Postal Service and universities across the state didn’t stop Pike Distributors from ensuring retailers were well-stocked ahead of one of their busiest times of the year: Super Bowl Sunday.

    “I want to thank our entire team, from warehouse workers and drivers to mechanics and front office staff, for working together to ensure there was as little disruption as possible in our delivery schedule, despite what Mother Nature threw at us,” said Jack Ketvirtis, vice president of Pike Distributors. “Our suppliers and retailers, as well as beer and wine lovers across the country, are counting on us to make sure shelves are well-stocked and tap handles are flowing, and we’re glad we could step up to the challenge.”

    Earlier in the week, the Upper Peninsula was hit with anywhere between 3e inches to 1 foot of snow followed by back-to-back days of temperatures at or below zero. The weather forced the closure of schools, universities and state government. However, Pike Distributors’ employees still made their deliveries as scheduled.

    Every year, beer and wine sales spike at retailers across the state in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, and this year should be no exception.

    “Michigan is a top producer of beer and wine and home to some of the most popular breweries and wineries in the country. Consumers have an array of high-quality options to choose from when stocking up for their Super Bowl parties,” Ketvirtis said. “We’re proud to work hand-in-glove with our suppliers here in Michigan and beyond, to help them grow and succeed, through a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.”

    Pike Distributors, a family owned beer and wine distributor, operates out of warehouses in Marquette, Newberry and Gladstone servicing retailers throughout the central U.P.

    The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will take the field on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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  • Thursday, January 31, 2019 12:45 PM | Anonymous

    Ypsilanti beer and wine distributor ensures retailers are well-stocked for Super Bowl LIII

    YPSILANTI, Mich. – A snowstorm and the frigid temperatures responsible for shutting down state government, the U.S. Postal Service and universities across the state didn’t stop O&W Inc. from ensuring retailers were well-stocked ahead of one of their busiest times of the year: Super Bowl Sunday.

    “I want to thank our entire team, from warehouse workers and drivers to mechanics and front office staff, for working together to ensure there was as little disruption as possible in our delivery schedule, despite what Mother Nature threw at us,” said Douglas Wanty, president of O&W Inc. “Our suppliers and retailers, as well as beer and wine lovers, are counting on us to make sure shelves are well-stocked and tap handles are flowing, and we’re glad we could step up to the challenge.”

    Earlier in the week, the Ann Arbor area and southeast Michigan was hit with between 3 and 6 inches of snow followed by back-to-back days of temperatures at or below zero. The weather forced the closure of schools, universities and state government. However, employees at O&W Inc. still ran their regular routes.

    Every year, beer and wine sales spike at retailers across the state in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, and this year should be no exception.

    “Michigan is a top producer of beer and wine and home to some of the most popular breweries and wineries in the country. Consumers have an array of high-quality options to choose from when stocking up for their Super Bowl parties,” Wanty said. “We’re proud to work hand-in-glove with our suppliers here in Michigan and beyond, to help them grow and succeed, through a system that promotes fairness and a level-playing field.”

    Based in Ypsilanti, O&W Inc. is a family owned beer and wine distributor servicing retailers throughout southeast Michigan.

    The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will take the field on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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  • Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:36 PM | Anonymous

    Wine and spirits distributor donates hundreds of turkeys to Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen

    DETROIT – Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), Michigan's leading distributor of alcoholic beverages, is stepping up to help families across Metro Detroit enjoy a hot meal this holiday season by donating 280 turkeys to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.

    “Great Lakes Wine & Spirits has deep roots in Metro Detroit, and our employees strongly believe in giving back and supporting our neighbors, especially during the holidays,” said Syd Ross, Co-CEO of Great Lakes Wines & Spirits. “The turkeys we’re donating to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen were originally gifted to our employees, who in turn generously donated them to families in need.”

    Capuchin Soup Kitchen originated in the 1920’s and currently operates two dining rooms in Detroit, serving hundreds of meals to individuals and families every day.

    “We pride ourselves in setting a high bar for charitable giving each year, and this year is no different,” said Lew Cooper III, Co-CEO of GLWAS. “It’s humbling to see the generosity of our employees on display this holiday season and throughout the year. We’re hopeful these turkeys help provide a warm meal for men, women and families across Metro Detroit.”

    ###

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With 900 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 www.GLWAS.com.

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