Columbia Distributing Expands to California with Acquisition of Mesa Beverage


The prominent Pacific Northwest beverage wholesaler Columbia Distributing will expand into California with the acquisition of Mesa Beverage Co., the company announced Friday.

Columbia, which, although based in Portland, Ore. is owned by San Francisco family office The Meritage Group, said it would purchase all assets of the 4-million case Santa Rosa, Calif. wholesaler.

“This is a significant milestone in our company’s 80-year history,” Gregg Christiansen, the company’s CEO and chairman said in a press release. “Our supplier partners are excited. We have the right scale, right people and right knowledge to master the complexity of our growing business.”

Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed; the deal is expected to close on October 31, the company said.

Columbia said it was “amplifying” its relationship with Mesa owner Ron Fowler who, at one time, owned part of Columbia Distributing. Fowler is also a part-owner of Wisconsin’s Beer Capitol Distributing and the San Diego Padres, where he serves as executive chairman.

“Ron has served as a member of Columbia’s Board of Directors for over 20 years and was a former company owner,” Christiansen said in the release. “He will be re-investing a portion of the sale’s proceeds into Columbia to once again become part of the ownership team.”

Once the deal is finalized, Mesa Beverage will be rebranded as Columbia Distributing of Santa Rosa, a company spokeswoman told Brewbound.

Mesa currently sells products from more than 30 international and domestic alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage suppliers. Columbia and Mesa Beverage have nearly identical product portfolios – both companies distribute brands from MillerCoors, Heineken, Boston Beer Company, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and the red hot Lagunitas Brewing, among others.

Columbia Distributing currently sells about 35 million cases of beer annually to more than 20,000 retail accounts in Oregon and Washington. The company also employs more than 2,600 individuals across both states.

Brewbound Job Board

The leading job board for the beer industry. Featuring hundreds of jobs from leading breweries and associated companies.

Brewbound Marketplace Listing

The Brewbound Marketplace features listings for equipment, services, and more. Post a listing today.

Brewbound's Database of Breweries

Brewbound's database of breweries includes thousands of breweries from around the world.

Beer Events Calendar

A public calendar of events that are happening in the beer industry

View calendar | Post Event
Brew Talks GABF 2019

Denver, CO ● October 4, 2019

Register Now
Brewbound Live Winter 2019

Santa Monica, CA ● Dec. 4 + 5, 2019

Early Registration Open
Cannabis Forum Winter 2019

Santa Monica, CA ● December 6th, 2019

Register Now
Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.