This last year has been a banner year for Craig Stein and the rest of the team here at Craig Stein Beverage.
We saw the acquisition of Click Distributing and joint venture with Odom Distributing into Northwest Beverages expand the reach of our distribution into the remainder of Washington state.
We had the exciting acquisition of local distributor Big River Distributing, and with it several incredible local brands such as Loowit Brewing, who had established themselves as serious craft contenders in the area and have been unstoppable in their growth this last year after coming aboard.
We saw Hop Valley come over from our competitors and explode back on to the scene last summer, shattering their previous year’s numbers as demand pushed our purchasing team to the max working as hard as they could to keep product in stock.
To say things have been good would be an understatement, and although we brought countless fresh and elder statesman brands into our portfolio this year, we haven’t forgotten where we came from.
As a Miller-Coors distributor we have always had the legendary success and appeal of Miller- Coors products to carry us through. In fact, to this day the majority of the beer we sell is still classics such as Coors Light.
Why is that? Because it’s great. How often do you go to a bar and not see Coors light on tap? It s a staple for a reason, and it’s still requested for a reason.
We have been known in the area for our strong craft beer portfolio for some time now, having seen the trends change early on as well as living smack dab in the middle of beertopia during the huge craft beer boom we continue to watch grow, but it’s our continued commitment to the brands that came before that keeps us grounded and consistent.
Every year Miller Coors opens a yearlong competition among its distribution partners to see who really takes care of their brand the best. Not just an indication of where we stand as a Miller-Coors distributor but as a distributor in general, the competition is fierce and strict.
• There are 4 core brands: Miller Lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon Belgian White, and Leinenkugel’s Shandy, with the addition of Coors Banquet, Miller High Life, and Redd’s Apple Ale that fall under this umbrella.
• A distributor must establish and maintain consistent growth in their market over the course of a year and this growth is reported on twice a month.
• There are quality and distribution requirements you must already be meeting to qualify for the competition.
• There are 11 execution and service metrics that you must be excelling at to bring home the win.
So how do you grow brands that people already know as household names, and purchase anyways?
You don’t flood your market with additional product and hope it sells. You remind people why these brands are great, throughout the year. It’s about consistency and truly supporting your brands as a distributor, not just when it’s convenient. You must be committed to growth, not just revenue.
After a hard-fought battle with many regional distributors along the pacific we found ourselves neck and neck with CSB Boise, who also competes as a separate distributor.
Not only did we bring home the Presidents Award this year for the third time, but we did so with our other Idaho distributing arm CSB Boise, in a close second. Talk about corporate consistency.
It takes the whole team to accomplish something like this, and we are very proud here at Craig Stein Beverage of our accomplishment adding another prestigious award to the wall.
In addition to the Miller Coors Presidents Award, we also brought home another Gallo Leadership Award, (one of our biggest wine suppliers) and the Gold Crown Award from Constellation, who over see many of the other most popular beers in the United States, such as Corona, Modelo and Pacifico, crushing the competition throughout the year with a rock-solid scorecard.
This, all while growing and supporting the rest of our beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverage portfolio.
Integrity-Partnership-Quality, Our Vision. That’s what it takes.