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Chicago distribution network acquires Greenville beverage company

Molly Hulsey //July 20, 2021//

Chicago distribution network acquires Greenville beverage company

Molly Hulsey //July 20, 2021//

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In some ways, Reyes Beer Division, the catalyst for the ninth largest privately held company in the country, Reyes Holdings LLC., is returning home.

In 1976, Wofford graduate Jude Reyes and his brother, Chris, began distributing Schlitz beer out of Spartanburg shortly after graduating. In five years, they had added another distributorship in Savannah and moved to Chicago after acquiring a distribution center there.

Sixteen beer distributor acquisitions and three additional portfolio companies later, Reyes Holdings brings in $29 billion in sales annually with more to come through its acquisition of Greenville’s Greenco Beverage Co. on Sept. 24, according to a news release.

Greenco Beverage Co. was founded as the Chero Bottling and Distribution Co. in 1916 by W. W. Woodruff and located at 139 Rhett St. Original products included Chero Cola (the name was changed to Royal Crown Cola in 1934), Royal Crown Ginger Ale, Royal Crown Strawberry and Royal Crown Root Beer, according to the company website. In 1926, Robert Jolley purchased the company and later changed the name to Greenco, for "Greenville County." The portfolio was later diversified to include beer brands ranging from Coors to smaller, craft brands.

“Reyes Beer Division started as a small Schlitz beer distributorship in Spartanburg, S.C., 45 years ago,” Stephen Reyes, president of Reyes Beer Division East, said in the news release. “To have the opportunity to service the market and give back to the surrounding communities in which we first established our roots is truly special. The Farr family has built an incredible business with a great foundation and we respect everything they’ve accomplished over the years.”

The acquisition of substantially all assets of the Upstate company will add about 200 customers and 2.8 million cases to Reyes Holding’s portfolio. Key suppliers include Molson Coors, Constellation, Yuengling, Heineken, Diageo, Boston Beer, Mark Anthony Brands, Langunitas and Sweetwater.

Reyes Beer Division also owns Lee Distributors, which serves Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton and Jasper counties from two warehouses in Summerville and Ridgeland.

“Greenco Beverage Co. runs a great business and has a long-standing history of success in the state of South Carolina,” Tom Day, CEO of Reyes Beer Division, said in the release. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow our business and we look forward to building great relationships with our new customers and our new employees.

Reyes Holdings delivers more than 1.2 billion cases of beverage and food products from 198 locations across the world, the release said. Other subsidiaries include Martin-Brower Co. LLC., a distributor to the McDonalds restaurant system; Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling; and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling.