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.
GRAND RAPIDS — After more than three and a half years in business, Gray Skies Distillery LLC has rebranded as Eastern Kille Distillery, effective immediately, to coincide with the first statewide launch of the company’s bourbon.
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.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for March 20, 2017:
• M&A: Grand Rapids-based fuel distributor Crystal Flash Inc. has expanded its geographic footprint into Southeast Michigan with the acquisition of Adrian-based Lenawee Farm Bureau Oil Cooperative, which has more than 500 customers. Two employees will stay on with Crystal Flash, according to a statement. Terms of the deal, which was finalized this month, were not disclosed. Lenawee County Farm Bureau Oil Cooperative serves agricultural, commercial, construction and home heating oil customers. Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners served as financial adviser to Crystal Flash on the deal. The employee-owned company employs 250 people at 15 locations in Michigan.
Less than two years after launching in Grand Rapids, ELK Brewing LLC now plans to open a second microbrewery and restaurant in Plainfield Charter Township’s Comstock Park district, MiBiz has learned.