ANN ARBOR, Mich. – As 2017 drew to a close, Rave Associates, the first distributor of Bell’s Brewery, reached a historic milestone with the Michigan craft beer institution: 1 million case equivalents sold in one year. A case equivalent is equal to one case of beer, or 24, 12 oz. cans or bottles. It’s the first time a beer distributor in Michigan, or any other state, has reached that achievement with Bell’s.
“Batch-after-batch, year-after-year the quality of Bell’s beer is consistent, and that commitment to quality has elevated Bell’s to one of the best-known and most well-respected breweries in the country,” said Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates. “We’re honored and humbled that Larry Bell entrusted us to be his first distributor.”
Rave Associates brought Bell’s aboard in 1989, when the brewery was just 4 years old, and founder Larry Bell was delivering beer himself.
“When we first started distributing Bell’s they were our smallest supplier, but now we have multiple trucks going in and out of our warehouse every day,” Warbritton said.
“We’re grateful to Rave Associates for taking a chance on our small Michigan craft brewery 29 years ago, and we’re proud to have grown our two businesses together,” said Larry Bell, founder of Bell’s Brewery. “From the front office to the sales team, and all stops in between, Rave Associates is committed to ensuring our beer arrives to retailers as fresh as possible.“
Not surprisingly, two of Bell’s most popular beers, Oberon and Two Hearted, were among the biggest sellers for Rave Associates in 2017. According to Warbritton, Oberon is one of the most recognizable beers in Michigan, while Two Hearted is consistently a top rated, or the very top rated, American IPA by beer experts. Last year, Zymurgy Magazine named Two Hearted “Best Beer in America.”
Rave Associates, headquartered in Ann Arbor, employs over 100 people and services retailers in Genesee, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.