Magnolia Buys Miss. Beverage

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

Magnolia Beverage Company, distributor of Miller Beer, has purchased Mississippi Beverage and with it, the Coors Beer and Old Milwaukee franchises as well as certain imports. Magnolia owner, Michael Davis, explained his decision to buy and Mississippi's decision to sell.

"Economics to both questions," said Davis. "In today's economy, it's all around us. Companies are merging and just the law of economics, the price of fuel, the delivery costs, makes you have to combine businesses."

The combined companies will now have 40 percent of the local beer market. But Davis did not buy the Mississippi warehouse. He's planning instead to expand his own.

"This is a temperature-controlled warehouse that we maintain a cool condition for our beers and they're generally a requirement of the major breweries now," said Davis.

Currently Davis stocks thousands of cases and 350 different packages. He also distributes soft drinks, which are kept in a different warehouse. Part of the current building is a nostalgia room for bottles and cans, symbolic of the history of the now almost 70-year-old company.

"Every case of Falstaff then came with a handle back in those days," said Davis. "You could cut the top off and have a mug."

Davis said he is both nervous and excited.

"The suppliers have put us through the ringer in getting all the contracts approved and have spent some long hours getting ready for it, but it's coming up on us now and we're ready to move," said Davis.

The closing date is Sept. 30.


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