Wholesaler Shakeups: Windy City Adds Three Floyds, Off Color, Perennial and Others

In Beer News by Ryan

It has been a busy fourth quarter for Windy City Distribution. The Reyes Beverage Group owned wholesaler has quietly been adding a number of high-profile brewers to its portfolio including Off Color Brewing, St. Louis artisan brewer Perennial and Three Floyds.threefloyds

Three Floyds’ move from Louis Glunz Beer Inc. to Windy City had been rumored on message boards since this summer but didn’t become official until late November and was kept relatively quiet until today. The Perennial and Off Color acquisitions were kept even quieter.

In a statement emailed to Guys Drinking Beer, Reyes Beverage confirms that the aforementioned breweries are now part of the Windy City family and adds a few others acquired in 2013. “Windy City is very selective with additions to its portfolio and they are very proud to say that Three Floyds is a recent addition. Other additions to WCD’s portfolio in the last year are: Maine Beer Company, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, ABM, North Coast, Three Floyds, Off Color, Perennial Artisan Ales, Penrose Brewing Company and as of Tuesday night Lexington Brewing Company (makers of Kentucky Bourbon Ale).

Three Floyds is arguably the biggest “get” for Windy City since they were purchased by Reyes Beverage Group in December of 2012. Reyes didn’t absorb Windy City, instead the wholesaler remained intact and is in direct competition with fellow Reyes owned distributor Chicago Beverage Systems for accounts, tap handles and shelf space.

By our tally, four “large” brewers have left Louis Glunz Beer since December of 2012. Near the tail end of 2012 Dogfish Head and Michigan-based New Holland departed Glunz for the aforementioned Chicago Beverage Systems. Then, in 2013, Three Floyds and North Coast left for Windy City.

Glunz has filled the gap over the last year by adding a few well-known Wisconsin-based breweries to its portfolio including: O’so Brewing, Furthermore Beer and Pecatonica Beer Company as well as Gigantic Brewing out of Portland, Oregon.

Three Floyds’ change in wholesalers, while kept surprisingly quiet over the last month-and-a-half, is now being noticed by consumers — and not in a good way.

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Off Color, Perennial and Lexington Brewing Company were formerly distributed by River North Sales and Service. We’re told those three left the wholesaler in the last few months. It’s not clear if the announced sale and planned consolidation of River North with City Beverage played a role in their departure.

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Ryan

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.