Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Tour Of Mockler Beverage!

I know, when you think Mockler Beverage, you think Anheuser-Busch.  I certainly do, and it's true that AB products make up the vast majority of their line.  However, they have also started to move more and more towards distributing local beers, imports, craft beers from the rest of the USA, and even non-beer products like energy drinks, wine, and liquor.  They distribute beer for the only brewery in Baton Rouge, Tin Roof, and recently brought Saint Arnold into the Baton Rouge market.  What really impressed me, though, is how large of an operation it all is.

Jay and I were able to meet with Jacob Ruiz, John Schiller, and Joya from Mockler a couple of weeks ago for a tour of the facility and some talks about the beer industry as a whole. After some introductions and a brief chat we headed to the distribution center.  All I can say is, what an operation!  The logistics of moving so much beer to so many places are pretty incredible, and apparently it's all a pretty quick turnaround, with nothing hanging out in the warehouse for more than a few days.

Pallets of sorted beers awaiting distribution to specific stores.
Pallets of beers awaiting sorting into individual orders for stores.
After the tour of the distribution side of things it was time for a quick run through the rest of the office, including the impressive marketing department, then up to the break room to enjoy some beers and talk beer with the Mockler reps!  The first thing that struck me about the break room, other than how nice it was, was that of their 4 beers on tap, none were AB products.  They had the Tin Roof Perfect Tin Amber, the Tin Roof Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale, the Saint Arnold Spring Bock, and Stella Artois all available. 

Mockler Beverage break room.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Mockler staff  really does seem to be interested in promoting the craft beer in Baton Rouge, and adding to their portfolio of craft brands.  Obviously the AB products are still going to be their bread & butter, but it's nice to see them working with breweries like Tin Roof and Saint Arnold to get more craft products into our market.  It's a nice departure from a few years back when Mockler and other AB distributors were contractually obligated to distribute AB products only.