Yuengling, America's Oldest Brewery, has turned to the I.H. Caffey Distributing Company to represent and distribute its beers in Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina.
After more than 170 years, Yuengling doesn't rush into anything, let alone distribution relationships. "We choose our partners carefully," says Yuengling EVP Dave Casinelli. "Maybe, it's a little old fashioned, but we we're relationship people. We go out, roll up our sleeves and sell some beer. The folks at I.H. Caffey work the same way."
Caffey President, Chris Caffey agrees: "You can see why Yuengling has been around so long. I grew up in this business and it's real refreshing to work with someone who respects the traditional brewer/distributor relationship. Yuengling's attitude isn't "let's do it fast.' It's 'let's do what's right for the business.' "
Of course, it doesn't hurt business that there is so much demand for Yuengling Lager in North Carolina. "It's the first brand in 25 years, where I've had consumers calling to ask ' where is it?' " says Caffey. "Not just retailers - consumers!" Rick Stell, V.P. of Sales and Marketing at Caffey, goes even further: "I've never seen anything hit the market with the explosiveness of this. Obviously, it's a great product."
For their part, Yuengling credits Caffey with getting things off to a great start: "You wouldn't believe the energy and creativity they've brought to this launch," reports Yuengling's State Manager, Tom Junod. "They had the greatest kick-off meeting I've ever seen. They were ready to take this brand and run through brick walls."
Indeed, Casinelli sees his new partner as one of the "preeminent wholesalers of the future. These are important markets for us. As a small brewer," he added "we're proud to be associated with a company of I.H. Caffeys stature.
More than anything else, though, the bond between the two companies seems to come down to one word: fun. "It's true," says Caffey. "They're making the business fun again. Yuengling folks haven't forgotten it's a business about people first."