Columbia Distributing Company, Mt. Hood Beverage Company and Gold River Distributing announced today that they plan to merge their beer and non-alcoholic beverage distribution businesses in Oregon and Washington, following approval from their respective suppliers....
The new organization, which will be named CoHo Distributing, will have annual sales of more than 35 million cases of beer and non-alcoholic beverages and is planning to operate out of consolidated facilities located in Seattle, Everett, Portland, Eugene, Medford and Bend. In addition, the Mt. Hood Beverage operations in Yakima and Kennewick Washington will be included in the merged company effective January, 2009.
Columbia has a distribution network in Portland and Seattle. Mt. Hood is a competing distributor in Portland, areas of Western Oregon, Bend, the Tri-cities in Washington, and Yakima. Gold River is a Southern Oregon company.
Although this isn't particularly sexy news, it could have a profound effect on the beers that make it to market. Columbia and Mt. Hood both had extensive craft-beer clients, and this consolidation is quite likely to hurt the little guys--but that's my first blush reaction. I'll be going to an event hosted by the brewers guild in a couple hours, so I'll ask around and see what the mood is. Stay tuned--this is a big one.