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  • Wednesday, December 05, 2018 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    Dec. 5 marks 85th anniversary of the end of Prohibition

    LANSING – The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association and its more than 40-member distributors are toasting the state’s craft beer and wine industries on the 85th anniversary of the end of Prohibition, also known as Repeal Day.

    “Michigan’s beer and wine distributors are proud to create jobs across Michigan and help our friends at wineries, breweries, craft producers and retailers throughout the state compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “Michigan’s beer and wine industries have undergone a meteoric rise over the last several years and both are poised to keep growing through a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.”

    Currently, Michigan is a Top 5 craft beer producer in the country, boasting more than 300 breweries and brewpubs. Not to be outdone, Michigan’s wine industry is flourishing, with nearly 200 wineries dotted across the state.

    “Thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of craft brewers and winemakers in our state, Michigan is gaining national and international acclaim for its hazy IPAs, bourbon barrel-aged stouts, Rieslings and Reds,” Nevins said. “Michigan’s independent and locally owned beer and wine distributors help promote growth and choices by working hand-in-glove with breweries and wineries big and small to help them succeed today and in the future.”

    Much like brewers and winemakers have adapted to new technologies, Michigan’s beer and wine distributors are embracing emerging technology to deliver a variety of products to consumers while eliminating inefficiencies, conserving energy and protecting our Great Lakes.

    “By embracing advanced logistics and information technology, Michigan’s beer and wine distributors are efficiently connecting consumers to a wide range of beer and wine made right here in Michigan and across the globe,” Nevins said.

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  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    Nationally, nearly $2 billion in wine is purchased between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Employees at Rave Associates are putting in extra hours to ensure retailers are well-stocked ahead of the busiest stretch of the year for wine sales. According to data from Nielson, nearly $2 billion worth of wine was purchased nationwide between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in 2016.

    “From reds to whites to rosé for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, to bubbly on New Year’s Eve, our employees are stepping up to ensure retailers can meet consumer demand during the holidays,” said Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates. “I want to thank our entire team, from the front office and the warehouse, to our sales team and delivery drivers, for working hard to make sure the favorite wines and champagnes of consumers are on store shelves and available at restaurants.”

    According to Nielson, in 2016 consumers spent $830 million on wine for Thanksgiving and over $1 billion on wine for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Sparkling wine sales jumped over 270 percent between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and table wine sales doubled during the same stretch.

    “Consumers in Michigan have a dizzying array of choices, from Michigan’s signature reds and Rieslings to rosé and whites from across the country and around the world,” Warbritton said. “We’re proud to work with suppliers near and far to help them compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field.”

    The Michigan wine industry and its more than 130 wineries generate $5.4 billion for the state’s economy. Michigan currently ranks in the Top 10 for wine production, and is the fourth-largest grape-growing state in the country.

    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.

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  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    Nationally, nearly $2 billion in wine is purchased between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Henry A. Fox Sales employees are putting in extra hours to ensure retailers are well-stocked ahead of the busiest stretch of the year for wine sales. According to data from Nielson, nearly $2 billion worth of wine was purchased nationwide between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in 2016.

    “From reds to whites to rosés for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, to bubbly on New Year’s Eve, our employees are stepping up to ensure retailers can meet consumer demand during the holidays,” said Brien Fox, President of Henry A. Fox Sales. “I want to thank our entire team, from the front office and the warehouse, to our sales team and delivery drivers, for working hard to make sure the favorite wines and champagnes of consumers are on store shelves and available at restaurants.”

    According to Nielson, in 2016 consumers spent $830 million on wine for Thanksgiving and over $1 billion on wine for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Sparkling wine sales jumped over 270 percent between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and table wine sales doubled during the same stretch.

    “Consumers in Michigan have a dizzying array of choices, from California and Washington Red Blends to New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, Italian Proseccos, Michigan Rieslings and many other wines from across the country and around the world,” Fox said. “We’re proud to work with wineries near and far to help them compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field.”

    The Michigan wine industry and its more than 130 wineries generate $5.4 billion for the state’s economy. Michigan currently ranks in the Top 10 for wine production, and is the fourth-largest grape-growing state in the country.

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a family owned wine and beer distributor located in Grand Rapids and distributes, markets and brokers fine wine, craft beer and spirits throughout the state of Michigan. 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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  • Wednesday, November 07, 2018 3:31 PM | Anonymous

    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 is taking special steps to honor all of its employees who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

    “Our veterans, who have bravely defended our country, bring a unique skillset to the job as employees of Earl Smith Distributing, including self-discipline, a commitment to teamwork and a willingness to take on any task from day one,” said Erik Smith Sr., VP of Operations for Earl Smith Distributing. “These skills help our warehouse run smoothly and efficiently while ensuring local retailers and our beer and wine suppliers throughout the state and around the world are poised to 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 rewarding and high-quality career when they return to civilian life,” Smith said. “Veterans possess skills that don’t always show up on a resume, like sense of honor, integrity and service. These skills are invaluable in an environment that thrives on efficiency, being squared away and attention to detail.”

    Earl Smith Distributing is a family owned, independent beer distributor located in Port Huron, serving retailers in Michigan’s Thumb area including St. Clair, Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron counties.

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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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