City Beverage expanding

City Beverage of Altoona, a third-generation family owned and run beer wholesaler, will be acquiring a portion of W and L Sales, Harrisburg, and a majority of their beer brands to distribute in Huntingdon, Clearfield and Centre counties.

The transition will take place Monday and has been in the works for the last seven months, said Jake Denis, City Beverage general manager, principle partner.

W and L is also a family-owned wholesaler that has been in business since 1933 and covers nine counties in central Pennsylvania.

Denis said this will be the largest acquisition in City Beverage’s history adding sales volume of more than 25 percent and brands like Coors Light, Blue Moon, Pabst, Seagrams and Lagunitas along with additional territory for existing brands such as Guinness, Smirnoff, Redds Apple Ale, Labatt and Dos Equis.

The acquisition is expected to lead to new jobs.

Denis said the company is already hiring additional employees and hopes to add five full- and part-time workers by the end of August.

“To survive in the beer wholesale business, you need to grow, add brands and territory if you want to be long-term and be a player in the market. That’s the direction our family and employees want to travel,” Denis said in a statement. “We have been in the beer wholesale business for over 68 years and want to bring the fourth generation next.”

Denis also said the dynamics of the beer industry have completely changed in the last 10 years.

“There are too many brands out there today to choose from and with bars and restaurants going out of business, you have grocery stores and convenience stores popping up everywhere,” Denis said. “Today you either adapt or look for a buyer for your business.”

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