Food Service & Agriculture and Retail

Beverage distributor taps into spirits market

April 13, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Imperial Beverage box of bottles spirits liquor
Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage was established in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition. Photo via

A beverage distributor in the region is now distributing spirits across the state.

Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage said last month it has begun statewide distribution of four spirit brands.

The distributor secured a State of Michigan Authorized Distribution Agent certification earlier this year and plans to roll out a larger spirits portfolio throughout the year.

The first brands included in Imperial Beverage's launch are Kalamazoo's Green Door Distilling, Thompsonville’s Iron Fish Distillery, Comstock Park’s Bier Distillery and a “pink-colored gin," Rendle’s Original Gin.

“We are pleased to be the first beverage distribution company to receive a new ADA certification in Michigan in over ten years,” Imperial Beverage President Joe Cekola said. “Imperial’s focus in this market will be small batch, premium spirit brands that cater to growing customer demand.”

Orders for the spirits are made through the State of Michigan’s online ordering system.

Imperial Beverage

Imperial Beverage was founded in 1933 and bought by the Cekola family in 1984.

The company has offices in Kalamazoo, Livonia and Traverse City. It employs 330 people and serves every Michigan county.

Imperial Beverage also distributes beer brands, such as Short’s Brewing Co., Dogfish Head, Victory Brewing Co., Ballast Point Brewing Co., HopCat and Rockford Brewing Co.

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