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California Beer Distributor Travis Markstein to Lead Association’s Efforts on Behalf of America’s 3,300 Licensed, Independent Beer Distributors

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is proud to announce its Board of Directors officers for the 2015-2016 term. Travis Markstein, president of Markstein Beverage Co. in San Marcos, California, takes the helm as chairman of the Board. He assumed the position and its responsibilities during NBWA’s 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show held October 11 – 14 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Other officers of NBWA’s Board of Directors include:

  • Vice Chairman Paul Bertucci, executive vice president of F.E.B. Distributing Company, Inc. in Gulfport and Capital City Beverages, Inc. in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Treasurer Michael Bamonti, president & general manager of J. J. Taylor Distributing Minnesota, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Secretary Jim Matesich, president and CEO of Matesich Distributing Co. in Newark, Ohio
  • Immediate Past Chairman Eric Best, general manager/partner of Bob Hall LLC in Upper Marlboro, Maryland

As chairman, Markstein will help lead the association as it works to advocate for licensed, independent beer distributors and educate elected officials, regulators, media and the public about the importance of effective state-based alcohol regulation and the regulatory, economic and commercial value of independent beer distributors.

“Travis has served on the NBWA Board of Directors since 2008, giving him a full background and working knowledge of the association’s goals and agenda,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser.

“In his years of service as a state director for California and in every elected officer position, Travis has proven to be a dedicated and results-oriented leader,” Purser continued. “In 2012, he became the first chairman of the NBWA Political Action Committee (PAC) to break the $2 million mark – which was a significant achievement to ensure that NBWA continues to maintain a top-tier PAC for years to come.”

“I look forward to working closely with Travis to engage members, work with state associations, invest in the next generation and advance the association’s goals in the year ahead,” Purser said.

NBWA and America’s beer distributors support the state-based system of alcohol controls, which ensures an orderly marketplace and protects the public by providing transparency and accountability in the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcohol. Beer distributors serve as the critical link in the American beer distribution system, sourcing products from brewers and importers and delivering products to state-licensed retailers. This effective system provides access to market for all beer brands – enabling American consumers to choose from the widest selection of products in the world – and works to ensure that only safe, fresh beer reaches American consumers of legal drinking age.

The Markstein family began distributing beer in California just six months before Prohibition. Today their two companies provide quality jobs to nearly 500 highly motivated employees and sell more than 15 million cases of Anheuser-Busch, Constellation, Sierra Nevada and other fine crafts in both Northern and Southern California. Travis Markstein is the president of Markstein Beverage Co. in San Marcos.

Markstein holds an MBA and MFA from UCLA and a B.A. from UCSB. He lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California with his wife and two sons.

Download a high-res photo of Travis Markstein >>

new_nbwaLAS VEGAS, NV – Today, Travis Markstein, president of Markstein Beverage Co. in San Marcos, California, assumed the position of 2015-2016 chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) at the association’s 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. As chairman, Markstein will help guide the association as it advocates for licensed, independent beer distributors and educates elected officials, regulators, media and the public about the value of beer distributors and America’s effective system of state-based alcohol regulation.

Markstein referenced his great-grandfather Albert Markstein, Sr.’s start in the beer distribution business, selling wooden cases of bottled beer for a local brewery from a horse and wagon in 1919, and later his grandfather and father’s role in the business following Prohibition.

He noted that, today, “The business is more complicated in many ways, but it is also very similar to the business in my grandfather’s time. It’s still about building brands. And not just one brand but a portfolio of brands that give us scale and our customers the variety they demand. And it’s still about partnerships. Solid partnerships with brewers and retailers. And it’s still about our uniquely American system. A system that serves consumers, retailers, wholesalers and brewers extremely well.”

Markstein added, “If small brewers think the three-tier system is a roadblock to their success, they’ve been misinformed. Go craft a new potato chip or a new soda product and see how difficult it is to get distribution and access to those unregulated markets. It’s nearly impossible.”

“There is a huge value in local distributors selling brands locally one tap at a time,” he said. “We may be more efficient and more sophisticated but we are still the local experts with the local relationships and we still aggressively invest that expertise into building brands.”

President of Gretz Beer Company and NBWA Political Action Committee Chairman Mike Gretz led a panel discussion with leaders from five brewers and importers that partner with independent beer distributors across the country. Participants included Ronald den Elzen, president and CEO of Heineken USA; Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Bill Hackett, president of Constellation Brands Beer Division; Gavin Hattersley, CEO of MillerCoors LLC; and João Castro Neves, zone president North America for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The brewery industry leaders discussed the many changes taking place in the beer industry, including global consolidation’s impact on the American beer business; domestic acquisitions and private equity trends; the expansion of breweries owning distribution and its impact on the independent three-tier system; and future trends that will shape the industry.

The panel emphasized the value of the three-tier, independent beer distribution system in the United States, along with the importance of industry partnerships.

Ken Grossman discussed the expansion of brewery ownership of distribution and described the needs of small brewers and access to market, saying, “A viable, independent three-tier system is crucial to our success and, I think, many of our peers’ success. There are concerns as we see branches being purchased in areas that don’t have a lot of options for brewers to get to market.”

Ronald den Elzen also voiced support for independent distribution, saying that Heineken USA wouldn’t be as successful without the three-tier system. He contrasted America’s open market with Europe, where he said there is hardly any space for small, new brands and no space for independent distributors.

Attendees also heard from “white hat hacker” Jayson Street, a professional hacker who works to protect people and businesses by identifying vulnerabilities and exposing risk. As news stories involving data breaches, identify theft and hacking of sensitive information have become commonplace, Street shared strategies for how to better protect personal information, computers and businesses.

The general session concluded with a presentation by award-winning journalist Candy Crowley. The former chief political correspondent for CNN shared her insights on the current political landscape and the issues that will be at the forefront of the upcoming elections.

Photos and NBWA-TV reports from NBWA’s 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show are available through theconvention mobile app and online at www.nbwa.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #NBWAVegas.

Press Release: No-Li Brewhouse Named Brewer Partner of the Year at NBWA Convention and Trade Show

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Straub Brewery, Inc. and Dust Bowl Brewing Company Also Recognized by National Beer Wholesalers Association LAS VEGAS, NV – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is pleased to announce that No-Li Brewhouse of Spokane, Washington, is the recipient of the inaugural NBWA Brewer Partner of the Year Award. The award was presented today during the […]

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Press Release: NBWA News: NBWA 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show Celebrates Value of Open and Independent Beer Distribution System

October 12, 2015

LAS VEGAS, NV – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) kicked off the first full day of its 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show today at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. NBWA’s outgoing Chairman of the Board Eric Best described the opportunity that America’s independent beer distribution system offers, saying, “The three-tier system offers opportunity […]

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Winning Homebrewers Announced at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver BOSTON, September 29, 2015—The brewers at Sam Adams today announced the three winning homebrewers from the 2015 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. The winning brews were unveiled at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, one of the most celebrated craft beer events […]

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Press Release: Samuel Adams Announces 2016 Brewing the American Dream Craft Brewer Experienceship Winner

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New Jersey Brewery Selected for Extended Mentoring Program from Samuel Adams BOSTON ― September 28, 2015 ― Samuel Adams today announced that New Jersey-based craft brewery Flounder Brewing Company has been selected as the winner of the 2016 “Brewing and Business Experienceship,” a unique mentoring opportunity awarded to one craft brewer annually as part of […]

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Press Release: Samuel Adams Brewer And Founder Jim Koch Is Writing Quench Your Own Thirst

September 28, 2015

Flatiron Books to Publish in April 2016 Boston, September 28, 2015 — Jim Koch, the founder of The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams beers, and a key catalyst in the American craft beer revolution, is writing a book titled QUENCH YOUR OWN THIRST: BUSINESS LESSONS LEARNED OVER A BEER OR TWO. Based on […]

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Press Release: 242 Breweries Take Home Medals at 2015 Great American Beer Festival®

September 26, 2015

275 Professional Medals Awarded, 423 First-Time Participants Compete Boulder, CO • September 26, 2015—The 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 275 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur brewers paired with professional brewers. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF […]

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Press Release: 242 Breweries Take Home Medals at 2015 Great American Beer Festival®

September 26, 2015

275 Professional Medals Awarded, 423 First-Time Participants Compete Boulder, CO • September 26, 2015—The 2015Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 275 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur brewers paired with professional brewers. View the 2015 winners or download a […]

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Press Releases: NBWA’s 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show to Offer 23 Education Seminars

September 23, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) will offer 23 education seminars at its 78th Annual Convention and Trade Show October 11 – 14, 2015, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. “In addition to an outstanding lineup of speakers during the general session and more than 275 exhibitors participating in this year’s […]

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