J.J. Taylor Minnesota To Acquire Chisago Lakes Distributing

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - J.J. Taylor Minnesota, Minnesota’s largest beer distributor, announced today that it has an Agreement to acquire Chisago Lakes Distributing.  The acquisition expands the Company’s geographic distribution area as well as the portfolio of brands it distributes.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We’re excited to bring Chisago Lakes into the J.J. Taylor family,” said Mike Bamonti, J.J. Taylor Minnesota president and general manager.  “Four generations of Lundquists and Colbergs have built a great family business that fits extremely well with our current operations.  We believe that this sort of win-win-win transaction is good for us, good for the Colberg family that has reached the point where a transition of this sort makes sense and – most importantly – good for our customers.”

“We were very careful in looking for a company to join forces with,” said Dale Colberg, Chisago Lakes Distributing president and general manager.  “Our customers are our friends and neighbors and our employees are an extension of our family.  We wanted a company with the same family business values and the same commitment to great customer service and we found that company in J.J. Taylor.  We’re very pleased to be a party to this agreement.”

Chisago Lakes has a distribution area that includes the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey and Washington as well as portions of Dakota, Goodhue, Kanabec, Pine, Scott, Sherburne and Wright Counties.  Its portfolio of beers under distribution includes Pabst Brewing Company, Summit Brewing Company, Shmaltz Brewing Company, and Avery Brewing Company to name a few.

The acquisition is expected to close in the next few days.

About Chisago Lakes Distributing

Chisago Lakes Distributing, formerly known as Lundquist Distributing, has served the Chisago Lakes area since 1924 under the direction of four generations of the Lundquist family, beginning with Carl Lundquist, a pharmacist, who began buying directly from the Schmidt Brewery instead of picking up orders at the railroad station. Carl’s son, Barton, joined his father in 1931, and the business began to expand. In 1966, the company was sold to Donna (Carl’s grandchild) and Dale Colberg Sr. In 2007 the company was purchased by Dale and Donna’s son Dale Jr, who has been managing the company since 1994.

The 35 employees of the Company currently operate 30,000 square feet of warehouse space and seven route trucks across its distribution area.

About J.J. Taylor Minnesota:

J. J. Taylor Companies, Inc. was founded in 1958 by John J. “Joe” Taylor. The Company started as a Knickerbocker Beer distributor servicing the greater Brockton area of Massachusetts with two trucks and nine employees.  In its 54-year history, the Company has grown to approximately 1,000 employees with beverage distribution operations in Minnesota and Florida that distribute approximately 26 million cases annually.

The Company’s roots in Minnesota can be traced to 1985 when it acquired East Side Beverage. East Side Beverage began in the beer distribution business in 1933 in Northeast Minneapolis and was founded by two brothers who took to the streets selling Grain Belt and other local brands of beer from a model “A” truck.

After 27 years of organic and acquisition-related growth, J.J. Taylor Minnesota is the largest beer distributor in Minnesota.  It also provides distribution for MillerCoors, Summit Brewing Company, August Schell Brewing Company, Heineken USA, Diageo Guinness USA, New Belgium Brewing Company, and several other brewers.

In early 2008, J.J. Taylor Minnesota moved into a new warehouse facility, located in Northeast Minneapolis—the former Dayton’s/Macy’s Furniture Warehouse—following six months of renovations. The new warehouse is 600,000 square feet, double the Company’s previous facility and includes a 27,000 square foot cooler for kegs and non-pasteurized Craft Beers.