Reyes Beer Division acquiring Indiana-based Monarch Beverage

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The nation's largest beer distributor, Reyes Beer Division, plans to acquire Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co., which has long been Indiana's largest beer distributor.

The Rosemont, Illinois-based company announced Monday that the transaction involving Monarch Beverage is scheduled to close Dec. 11. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Reyes Beer Division is one of the largest private companies in the country and it is the nation’s largest beer distributor, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. Throughout 2020, it has grown significantly through acquisition

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to add a new state to our footprint,” said Tom Day, CEO of Reyes Beer Division.

Monarch Beverage has been family-owned since it was founded in 1947 by Edwin T. French Sr. It has expanded into Indiana’s largest beer distributor under three generations of French family ownership.

In 2009, the company, which has about 600 employees, moved into a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Lawrence, a municipality on Indianapolis’ northeast side. It delivers an average of 50,000 cases of product a day to retail customers across Indiana.

“Reyes Beer Division is a proven industry leader, and we are confident that they will be a great distributor for the state of Indiana and lead the business to further success,” Monarch Beverage CEO Phil Terry said in a statement.

For years, Monarch Beverage had challenged Indiana’s so-called prohibited interest law, which prohibits a beer wholesaler from acquiring an interest in a liquor-wholesaling permit, and vice versa.

A change to the law would have allowed the company to enter the liquor wholesaling business, but it lost that fight in the administrative, legislative and judicial arenas.