Reyes Beverage Group to Acquire Virginia’s Dixie Beverage Company; Texas’s Ben E. Keith Acquires Spirits Wholesaler Artisanal Beverage Distributor

The Reyes Beverage Group, the nation’s largest beer wholesaler, has struck its second deal in Virginia in the past 13 months, according to a press release.

Premium Distributors of Virginia, a Reyes subsidiary, announced Friday that it has acquired the distribution rights of Winchester, Virginia-based Dixie Beverage Company. The deal will add 280,000 cases to Premium’s 12 million-case business. The deal closed Friday and included only select beer distribution rights; real estate and equipment were not included in the sale, a spokeswoman for Reyes said.

“We are excited to continue our growth in the state of Virginia,” Reyes Beer Division East president Stephen Reyes said in the release. “Bringing on these brands to our existing portfolio in the area will be a great addition to our business.”

Dixie’s beer portfolio includes craft brewers Yuengling, Brooklyn Brewery, Abita Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, among others; import beers Heineken, Stella Artois, Foster’s, Guinness, Tecate, Sol and more; and national brands Pabst and Rolling Rock. Dixie was incorporated as Shenandoah Valley Distributing in 1948, according to the company’s website. Doug and Lorraine Hottel purchased it in 1978. Dixie employs 100 people and owns 50 delivery trucks.

Requests for comment asking if the deal involved the termination of suppliers or employees were unreturned.

Dixie’s headquarters in Winchester, Virginia, is about 50 miles northwest of Premium’s facility in Chantilly, about 80 miles northwest of its facility in Fredericksburg, and about 140 miles northwest of its facility in Richmond.

Premium acquired Loveland Distributing in Richmond, Virginia in a deal that closed last December. This deal added 4.6 million cases and 2,100 retail accounts to Reyes’ footprint in Virginia. Before the Dixie acquisition, Premium’s customer base included 7,300 retail accounts in Virginia.

Reyes also owns Chesbay Distributing in Chesapeake, Virginia, which sells six million cases annually to 3,600 retailers, according to the business’s website.

Last month, Reyes announced that it had struck a deal to acquire W.A. Thompson, a 7.1 million case distributor in Bakersfield, California, its third acquisition in that state this year.

Reyes operates wholesalers in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It is the country’s ninth-largest privately owned company and boasts annual sales of $33 billion.

In other wholesaler acquisition news, Ben E. Keith Beverages has acquired Dallas, Texas-based Artisanal Beverage Distributors, according to a press release.

Artisanal’s portfolio includes bourbons, whiskeys, scotches, gins, tequilas, rums and vodkas. Ben E. Keith, based in Fort Worth, Texas, focuses largely on beer. The company’s portfolio includes Anheuser-Busch products, as well as craft breweries CANarchy (Oskar Blues, Cigar City), Stone Brewing, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing, Avery Brewing, Odell Brewing; and local breweries Community Beer, Tupps Brewery and Real Ale Brewing, among others.

“This full-scale move into the spirits market solidifies Ben E. Keith’s standing as a top wholesaler of premier beverages and provides a dedicated and focused department to growing our spirits business throughout Texas,” Ben E. Keith president Kevin Bartholomew said in the release. “This strengthens our foothold in the space and complements our largest supplier partner Anheuser-Busch’s growth into spirits.”

With the acquisition of Artisanal’s brands, Ben E. Keith will form a new spirits division that T.J. Samuelson will lead as Texas spirits manager. Jeff Daniels and Mark Monfrey, who founded Artisanal in 2014, will join Ben E. Keith.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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