Lakeshore Beverage is proud to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement to acquire the Alcoholic Brand Rights of Central Beverage in Chicago. We’ve also entered into a joint venture agreement with Central Beverage to manage, sell and deliver their Non Alcoholic portfolio under our joint strategic direction.

We’re incredibly excited for this new chapter in our company and look forward to the opportunity to continue to bring Chicagoans world-class beverages! The full press release is below.


Lakeshore Beverage to acquire Central Beverage’s Alcoholic Beverage Distribution Rights
Lakeshore Also to Partner with Central Beverage to Distribute Non-Alcoholic Portfolios

CLARKSVILLE, TENN and CHICAGO, IL – February 27, 2015 –Lakeshore Beverage and Central Beverage Company of Broadview, IL, have entered into an agreement whereby Lakeshore will acquire Central Beverage’s alcoholic beverage distribution rights. Lakeshore and Central Beverage also will form a joint venture to distribute both companies’ non-alcoholic portfolios.

In addition to servicing the acquired alcoholic beverage brands in Central’s alcoholic beverage distribution territory, Lakeshore will provide all operating functions for the JV in the companies’ combined non-alcoholic distribution territory. The owners of Central Beverage will provide strategic direction and brand management for the jointly owned non-alcoholic brands as well as transitional support for the alcoholic beverage brands transferring to Lakeshore.

“Lakeshore Beverage and Hand Family Companies are very excited to add the wonderful suppliers of Central Beverage to our fold. We hope to build upon the successes of Central and move forward for many years of sustained partnership together, ” said J.R. Hand, President and CEO of Lakeshore Beverage and Hand Family Companies. “Since we have entered the Chicago market, we have focused on continued share growth for our current suppliers and our total business. This transaction is another huge leap for our employees, suppliers and shareholders to solidify our company as the number one distributor in Chicago and the entire state of Illinois.”

“It’s a natural progression for our brands to be represented by Lakeshore Beverage in the Chicagoland area as their market share and importance in Illinois continue to grow. This transaction will help support accelerated growth and strengthening of both the acquired and JV brands and territories serviced. The non-alcoholic JV provides a great opportunity for me and my two partners, Mark Muench and Patrick Savaiano, to transition into strategic supporting roles representing many highly regarded and growing brands,” said Donna Spagnola, President of Central Beverage. “We are pleased and excited to be able to provide our suppliers with a strong new partner to foster their continued growth.”

Both companies distribute a wide array of beer and non-alcoholic beverage products. Lakeshore, with approximately 23.5 million case equivalent annual sales, is the largest distributor in Illinois servicing central and northern Illinois with AB InBev brands, as well as local and regional craft brands Goose Island and Founders. Their non-alcoholic brands include Monster, Nesquik and Icelandic Glacial. Central Beverage’s alcoholic distribution territory includes central and southern Cook County where they represent the Pabst Brewing Company, North American Brewing Company, City Brewing, St. Killian’s Imports and craft brands Bells, Rogue and Schlafly. In their eight county Greater Chicagoland non-alcoholic territory, they sell Arizona teas and juices, Sparkling Ice flavored waters, Lacroix water, Everfresh juices, and other new age beverages. Central Beverage’s total annual sales are approximately 4 million case equivalents.

Pending requisite supplier approvals and legal notice requirements, the transaction is expected to close April 30.