Colorado Consolidation Continues: Breakthru Beverage to Acquire C.R. Goodman

Breakthru Beverage Group

The Colorado beer distribution landscape is consolidating once again, this time with multi-state beer, wine and spirits wholesaler Breakthru Beverage broadening its reach in the state.

The company today announced the acquisition of craft and import beer wholesaler C.R. Goodman. Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a press release, C.R. Goodman owner Ken Goodman said a “changing landscape” in Colorado prompted the company to consider a sale.

“We felt the timing was right to make this change for our suppliers, customers and employees,” he said.

Goodman, together with partner Chuck Robertson, had already sold C.R. Goodman’s original Texas beer distributor operations to that state’s Ben E. Keith distributorship in 2008. The pair also co-own Texas’ Karbach Brewing.

In June, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper — himself a former brewpub owner — signed into law legislation that transforms how alcohol is sold in the state. Under the new law, large grocers and major chain retailers such as Target are allowed to sell full-strength beer and acquire up to 20 liquor licenses, in phases, over the next 20 years.

Prior to the new legislation, the world’s largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, also executed a number of moves aimed at strengthening its position in one of the country’s most competitive craft beer markets.

Last August, A-B InBev made two significant wholesaler acquisitions in Colorado, purchasing Loveland’s American Eagle Distributing and swapping ownership of its wholly-owned Kentucky distributorships for three Colorado operations that had been owned by Standard Sales Company of Odessa, Texas.

Then, just four months later, it purchased Breckenridge Brewery, one of Colorado’s larger craft producers.

A-B also already owned a Denver-based wholesaler, which means the company is now selling a Colorado craft brand, and hundreds of other products, across half of the state’s geography via wholly owned distributors in five contiguous markets.

Breakthru Beverage Colorado, formerly known as “Beverage Distributors Company,” is itself the result of last October’s tie-up between Wirtz Beverage and the Charmer Sunbelt Group.

In today’s press release, the company said it would look to acquire the distribution rights for marquee craft brands such as Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Boulevard Brewing and others that were previously distributed by C.R. Goodman.

“We have made many changes and added considerable resources to our organization over the years in an effort to be the distributor of choice for craft and imported beer sales in Colorado, and we are thrilled that C.R. Goodman has chosen us to carry on their legacy,” Breakthru president Joe Marotta said via a release.

Breakthru Beverage Colorado already boasted a portfolio of high quality craft offerings such as Odell Brewing, Avery Brewing and Great Divide, among others. The C.R. Goodman purchase will give the company access to a broader array of stalwart craft brands and strengthen its position in an increasingly consolidated Colorado wholesale market.

“Clearly in Colorado and across the country, craft beer remains one of the most dynamic categories in beverage alcohol,” Breakthru vice chairman Danny Wirtz said via the release. “Expanding craft brewer relationships across the Breakthru footprint, while continuing to deliver superior results for our spirit and wine suppliers is vital to our strategy of offering greater value to our on premise and retail partners.”

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