Aug. 12, 2020
The Breakthru Beverage Group has reached an agreement to sell its beer and cider portfolio in Illinois to Lakeshore Beverage. The deal is expected to close in October.
“We have reached an agreement in Illinois with Lakeshore Beverage to purchase our beer/cider portfolio with an anticipated effective close date of late October 2020,” Breakthru Beverage Group chief commercial officer E. Lloyd Sobel said in a statement. “We remain committed to our broader beer business and will continue to evaluate investments to strengthen and expand our portfolio where it makes sense, such as our recent expansion with Molson Coors in Nevada and Boston Beer in Delaware.”
This marks the second deal announcement in as many weeks for Breakthru, a multi-state wholesaler formerly known as Wirtz Beverage and whose portfolio leans toward wine and spirits. Last week, the company acquired the Miller portfolio from Las Vegas, Nevada-based Bonanza Beverage Co.
Breakthru’s beer portfolio in Illinois includes 18th Street, 4 Hands, Almanac, Deschutes, AleSmith, Odell, Epic and more; its cider offerings include Seattle Cider, Stem Ciders, Finnriver Cider, and Citizen Cider, among others.
Lakeshore is an Anheuser-Busch InBev house, but also sells craft offerings from Alaskan, Ballast Point, Bell’s, BrewDog, Surly and SweetWater.
Breakthru’s footprint in Illinois is statewide, but Lakeshore only services the Chicago area. The impact of the transaction on brands relying on Breakthru to sell their products elsewhere in the state is unknown.
News of the deal was first reported by Good Beer Hunting founder Michael Kiser on Twitter.
Lakeshore is part of the Hand Family Companies, which, in addition to Lakeshore, operates wholesalers in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Clarksville, Cookeville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Breakthru operates 36 facilities and employs 7,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada, with wholesalers in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. The Breakthru Beverage Group formed in 2016 after the merger of two multi-state wholesalers, Wirtz Beverage Group and Chamber Sunbelt Group.