Fort Worth-based distributor’s growing spirits business, consumer demand prompts expansion
Fort Worth, Texas, October 28, 2019 – In a move that pushes Fort Worth-based Ben E. Keith Beverages fully into the spirits market, the company has acquired Dallas-based Artisanal Beverage Distributor’s assets, adding 20 suppliers to its growing line-up of spirits and expanding its spirits distribution footprint statewide. Ben E. Keith Beverages is one of the largest alcoholic beverage wholesalers in the country.
Founded by Jeff Daniels and Mark Monfrey in 2014, Artisanal Beverage Distributor’s portfolio includes bourbons, whiskeys, scotch, gin, tequila, mezcal, rum and vodka, as well as other specialty liqueurs and mixers. Ben E. Keith Beverages recently announced an agreement with Fort Worth’s Blackland Distillery to distribute its gin, vodka, bourbon and whiskey throughout Texas. Prior to that, Ben E. Keith Beverages’ first spirits deal was in 2017 with Deep Ellum Vodka, followed by Deep Bay Spirits, and Austin’s Frankly Organic Vodka in 2019.
With this expansion, T.J. Samuelson will lead a new spirits-focused department as its Texas Spirits Manager. Both Daniels and Monfrey will be joining the company.
“This full-scale move into the spirits market solidifies Ben E. Keith’s standing as a top wholesaler of premier beverages and provides a dedicated and focused department to growing our spirits business throughout Texas,” said Kevin Bartholomew, President of Ben E. Keith Beverages. “This strengthens our foothold in the space and complements our largest supplier partner Anheuser-Busch’s growth into spirits.”
In February 2019, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, made its first foray into the spirits category with the purchase of San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits.
“Teaming up with Ben E. Keith Beverages allows us to build on the popularity we’ve seen over the past decade in the spirits industry, particularly among Millennials, and gives our brands more exposure and availability than ever,” said Daniels.
According to reports from The Distilled Spirits Council, spirits sales and volumes grew for a record ninth straight year in 2018, reflecting continued market share gains for the segment. Supplier sales were up more than five percent, rising $1.3 billion to a total of $27.5 billion, while volumes rose 2.2 percent to 231 million cases, up 5 million cases from the prior year.
Terms of the sale are undisclosed.
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About Ben E. Keith Beverages
Ben E. Keith Company, established in 1906, began selling Anheuser-Busch products in 1933. Today, Ben E. Keith Company’s Beverage division is the third largest independent beer wholesaler in the country. With fourteen Sales & Distribution Centers the company operates throughout the state of Texas and distributes import beers, craft beers, spirits, wine products and nonalcoholic beverages. For more information, please visit www.benekeith.com. Follow us on Facebook.com/benekeith.