South Florida’s Cavalier Distributing has acquired the distribution rights to Bell’s Brewery from Reyes-owned Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, the brewery announced today.
The Michigan brewery said it expects some “short term disruptions” in shipping, but the transition is complete, Cavalier take over delivery responsibilities in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties.
“With Cavalier’s focus on craft beer, we are very confident our new partner will take great care of not only the Bell’s brand but also our customers and fans,” Bell’s founder and president, Larry Bell, said in a press statement.
In a follow up email to Brewbound, Bell wrote that signing with Cavalier will provide the brewery with a “healthy partnership that we can build on,” something that might have been a challenge if the
brewery had elected to stay with Gold Coast through an acquisition by Reyes Beverage.
“Bell’s has had a difficult relationship with Reyes since the debacle of 2006 that saw us forced from the Illinois market,” Bell told Brewbound.
As reported in 2006 by the Chicago Reader, the brewery withdrew its presence from Illinois after National Wine and Spirits, its wholesaler at the time, sold against Bell’s wishes the rights to distribute the company’s brands to Chicago Beverage Systems, a Reyes outpost.
“The question is, why do I have to have somebody else own my brands and decide what’s best for my beer in the state?” Bell told the Reader at the time. “I’m the owner–shouldn’t I get to decide what’s best for my beer?”
Calls placed to Reyes were not returned as of press time. It’s also worth noting that Brown Distributing, which has statewide wholesale operations throughout Florida, distributes Bell’s products in some parts of the state.
Bell’s currently sells beer in 20 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.