Order delays and technology glitches for one of the authorized liquor distributors in Michigan have craft distilleries calling for changes to the state’s Prohibition-era distribution system.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for March 19, 2018.
• M&A: Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage Co. will enter the Upper Peninsula market after acquiring the beer distribution business of Bayside Beverage from Highland Park-based Great Lakes Wine & Spirits LLC. The move also consolidates distribution for the MillerCoors family of brands as well as opens a new territory for Imperial, which now has four locations in Michigan, according to President Joe Cekola. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal included an 18,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Ishpeming, Mich. as well as distribution rights for Constellation Brands’ import portfolio, the Boston Beer Co. family of brands and a handful of craft beer brands, including Michigan-based Griffin Claw Brewing Co. and Latitude 42 Brewing Co. Imperial plans to hire roughly 20 employees as a result of the acquisition, including four employees from Bayside. A year ago, Imperial also expanded into spirits as an authorized distributor agent for the state. For Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, the deal follows an August sale of beer distribution rights in Traverse City and Petoskey to Grand Rapids-based Alliance Beverage Distributing LLC.