Kohler Distributing Company, headquartered in Hawthorne, New Jersey, is the largest beer distributor in its northeast New Jersey territory – Bergen, Passaic, Sussex, and Morris counties with recent expansion into Union, Essex and Hudson counties – selling more beer than all its competitors combined.
Kohler Distributing Company is a second generation family business that started from humble roots when Andy and Irene Graham purchased the Kohler Distributing Company in 1947. From that small business – selling 50,000 cases annually – Kohler has steadily grown in a 6.1 million case, $120-million, 200-employee, 60-truck operation that ranks in the top 50 beer wholesalers in the entire U.S.
Kohler’s growth through the years has been a result of hard work, attentive service, great brands, foresight, and a little bit of luck. Furthermore, the company’s advancement was continued without skipping a beat when the second generation – Gary and Scott Graham – took control of the company when their father retired in 1983.
In the ensuing consolidation of brewing companies, brands and wholesalers, Gary and Scott have made proactive steps to not merely survive, but to grow and prosper. As recently as 1990, Kohler was just a 3-million case distributor, with over a dozen competing wholesalers in its market area.
In 2004, Kohler invested in the future by opening its 190,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art warehouse and offices in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Today – after 20 consecutive years of growth – Kohler has surpassed 6-million cases in annual sales.
Kohler Distributing Company is one of only a handful of servicing wholesalers, and – by far – the biggest in their market area with a 55 share. Kohler looks confidently to the future, with the operational capacity, people resources and management team to keep a step ahead of the ever-changing beer and beverage market.
Kohler works in partnership with over 40 suppliers to sell merchandise and deliver more than 100 brands and over 700 SKUs. Kohler’s primary suppliers are Miller-Coors, Crown Imports, Heineken USA, Boston Beer Company, Yuengling Brewing Company, Mike’s, Sierra Nevada, and Beverage Alliance.
Kohler’s 4-county market area is home to almost 2 million people, and it includes Bergen County, New Jersey’s most populated county. Furthermore, because there is significant activity in retail, business, corporate, entertainment and sports in northeast New Jersey, beer consumption levels are boosted far beyond what the resident population figures would support. Kohler has recently expanded its distribution on many brands into Hudson, Essex, & Union county.
Kohler’s operations are based in a 190,000 sq. foot, five-year old, state-of-the-art warehouse that features 27,000 sq. ft. of refrigeration; 17 truck bays; a 32,000 sq. ft. staging area that accommodates a dozen delivery trucks simultaneously; 15,000 sq. ft. of office space including a 2100 sq. ft. meeting room.
The Kohler rolling fleet consists of 60 heavy-duty delivery trucks and 10 merchandising vans. There are 50 daily routes, and the company uses state-of-the-art dynamic routing software that optimized loads and routes daily.
The showpiece of Kohler’s front office facilities is its ultra modern meeting room, which can accommodate 80 for sit-down formal presentations and up to 150 for receptions. Designed primarily for high impact multi-media presentations, the Kohler meeting room is equipped with over $100,000 of digital audio-visual equipment – enough for a large auditorium three times its size. Many brand presentations have benefited from the larger-than-life impact that Kohler’s meeting room delivers.