Reyes to Acquire Elyxir Distributing; 11th California Transaction in Last 2 Years

The nation’s largest beer wholesaler is making its 11th acquisition in the state of California in the span of two years.

Reyes Beer Division subsidiary Harbor Distributing has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Elyxir Distributing LLC in the Monterey Bay Area (Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito) of California, the company announced today in a press release.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, the deal is expected to close on August 21, and Elyxir’s business will be folded into Reyes’ Golden Brands operations (formerly known as DBI Beverage).

“This acquisition is particularly exciting for our team because it will allow us to connect our current Golden Brands and Allied Beverages – Central Coast territories for the first time,” Reyes Beer Division West president Tom Reyes said in the release. “We look forward to servicing the Monterey Bay Area, leveraging our scale and strengths, and sharing the best practices we’ve learned along the way across our national footprint.”

The acquisition of Elyxir will add 2.5 million cases of product and nearly 1,200 new customer accounts to the existing 217 million cases Reyes sells and distributes annually to more than 84,000 retail accounts across the United States. Reyes will also pick up about 100 employees.

Elyxir’s portfolio of brands includes products from Molson Coors, Heineken USA and Mark Anthony Brands (Mike’s Hard and White Claw), as well as craft beer brands from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams, Dogfish Head, Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard, Twisted Tea), Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Lagunitas, Deschutes, Founders, Stone Brewing, Karl Strauss, Oskar Blues, Cigar City and Russian River, among others.

“We are building for the future and have continued to invest in our people, processes and technology to better enable us to be that trusted distributor of choice for both our supplier and retail partners,” Reyes Beer Division CEO Tom Day said in the release.

Skip and Glenn Ely, who founded Elyxir in 1989 after acquiring then-Adolph Coors house Filice Distributing in Santa Cruz, added in the release that “the Reyes family knows this business inside and out, and our employees, customers and suppliers will have a good partner in them.”

Elyxir is Reyes’ latest California conquest, where the wholesaler has gobbled up 10 other wholesalers over the course of the last 24 months, starting with Constellation Brands’ Mexican import business from Markstein Beverage Co. in Northern San Diego County in June 2018.

Elyxir also makes an already sizable Golden Brands business even bigger.

Golden Brands, formerly known as DBI Beverage, was acquired by Reyes last July. Golden Brands operates warehouses in Chico, Fairfield, Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose, Truckee, San Francisco, Ukiah and Ceres, and sells and distributes more than 27 million cases annually to about 11,800 customers in 20 Northern California counties, according to the subsidiary’s website.

In 2020 alone, Reyes has made three other deals. This past April, Golden Brands struck a deal to acquire Bay Area Beverage of Richmond, California. That transaction, which added about 8 million cases to Reyes’ business, closed last week.

In March, Golden Brands made a deal to acquire Sacramento-based Saccani Distributing Company’s brand rights, a deal that closed in mid-May and added another 1.5 million cases to its business.

In January, Reyes subsidiary Crest Beverage acquired Imperial-based Claypool Distributing and closed on the deal about a month later, adding 650,000 cases.

Reyes’ other California deals over the last two years include Bakersfield-based W.A. Thompson (7.1 million cases) and Santa Maria-based Central Coast (2.6 million cases) and the acquisition of the brand rights to Constellation Brands products combined from Ace Beverage, Triangle and Beauchamp (about 11 million cases combined annually).

The Elys had built Elyxir itself through the acquisitions of seven other wholesalers, according to the company’s website.

Although its appetite for acquisitions has not waned, Reyes laid off a portion of its workforce earlier this year, citing the COVID-19 pandemic’s shutdown of the on-premise leading to fewer routes being driven. The company called those jobs cuts temporary.

In addition to its growing network of beer wholesalers across the country, Reyes Holdings contains three other business units: Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling and Martin Brower, a restaurant supplier that serves thousands of McDonald’s locations, among other restaurant chains.

Reyes Holdings employs more than 30,000 workers and is the ninth-largest privately held company in the U.S. with annual sales of $29 billion.

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