Aug. 7, 2020
The Reyes Beverage Group announced plans today to merge operations of its Chicagoland wholesalers – Windy City Distributing and Chicago Beverage Systems – into one company by mid-October.
“For the past eight years, CBS and Windy City have operated independent businesses servicing an overlapping territory with common customer accounts,” Stephen Reyes, president of Reyes Beer Division East, said in a press release. “In order to realize the full operational efficiencies and overall business benefits for our RBD team, as well as our suppliers and customers, we are pleased to share that Windy City will formally become a part of CBS and we will operate as a single company in the Chicagoland area. This will provide more career opportunities for our employees and increased efficiencies for our supplier and retail partners.”
“Reyes Beer Division has a long-standing history of operations in the Chicagoland area,” Tom Day, Reyes Beer Division CEO, added. “Chicago Beverage Systems is RBD’s oldest operating company and Windy City Distributing expanded our knowledge, operations and opportunities in the Craft space. Both have been very successful businesses for our company and I am excited to see the new opportunities this integration will bring for our employees, customers, brewers and community.”
Chicago Beverage Systems has been in the Reyes Beer Division since 1979. The branch operates a 292,000 sq. ft. warehouse on Chicago’s West Side. The wholesaler’s website touts that it sells and distributes “the largest portfolio of import, craft and domestic brands in Chicago, delivering 8 million cases of beer each year to more than 4,000 retailers across the Chicago metro area.”
Chicago Beverage Systems’ portfolio of brands includes Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, Heineken and Guinness, as well as craft brands from Revolution Brewing, Half Acre, Boston Beer Company, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, among others.
The Reyes Beer Division acquired Windy City Distributing in 2012. Windy City operates a 175,000 sq. ft. facility in Aurora. According to the Windy City website, the wholesaler delivered 2.6 million cases of beer annually to 6,400 retailers.
Windy City is a craft house, with a portfolio that includes Lagunitas, Three Floyds, Half Acre, Allagash, and Stone Brewing.
Asked for additional details on the integration of the two wholesalers – including if there will be job cuts and the future plans for Windy City’s facility – a spokesperson for Reyes said there are no “additional details to share at this time.”
The news comes as New Belgium Brewing notified eight Molson Coors wholesalers in the Chicago area of plans to terminate their distribution contracts without cause with plans to ask Reyes to represent them in the Chicago market. The moves in the Chicago area also follow a shakeup caused by Reyes in another state – California – where it has made 11 transactions since 2018.