USA: Imperial Beverage buys beer division of Great Lakes Wine & Spirits

Imperial BeverageCo. from Kalamazoo, Michigan purchased Bayside Beverage based in Harbor Springs, Michigan, the beer division of the Highland Park-based Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, as the company reported earlier this week. Part of the deal is an 18,000-square-foot warehouse facility space in Ishpeming, Michigan and the distribution rights for ConstellationBrands’ import portfolio, including Corona Extra, the no. 1 imported beer in America., as well as for the Boston Beer Co. family that includes Samuel Adams, Angry Orchard and Twisted Tea and the rights for Michigan craft beer brands like Griffin Claw Brewing Co. and Latitude 42 Brewing Co.

Bayside Beverage will be Imperial’s fourth distribution point in Michigan as there are now Kalamazoo, Livonia, Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula.

 “We are excited to be able to represent MillerCoors in the Upper Peninsula, and see it as a great opportunity to expand our partnership with them,” said Larry Cekola, vice president of sales and marketing at Imperial. “We are always open for more acquisitions if there’s other people that want to sell their business,” his brother Joe added.

Imperial Beverage is a wholesaler of more than 500 beers, of which about 400 are craft and imported beers. The company is since 1984 owned by brothers Larry and Joe Cekola In 2o1o the Kalamazoo based company was named Craft Beer Distributor of the Year by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Brewers Association.

65 percent of Imperial’s business of 3 million cases (approx.255,000 hl) is in beer distribution, the remainder in wine and spirits. Bayside will add another nine percent to the overall business.

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