Corwin acquires Seattle specialty beer distributor Browar Polska

Corwin beverage

Beer and wine enthusiasts in Western Washington will have more craft and specialty import choices at retailers and restaurants this fall.

Corwin Beverage Company, the iconic Southwest Washington food and beverage distribution company serving retail clients since 1941, has acquired the assets of Seattle-based Browar Polska Inc., a regional beverage distributor for 20 years and an exclusive licensee for many specialty craft and import beers.

The deal provides more distribution opportunities for the craft beer and wine brands currently distributed by Corwin Beverage through its Kendall’s Craft Beverages business, while providing broader distribution for the nearly 100 brands for which Browar Polska has exclusive statewide distribution rights.

“This acquisition further positions Corwin/Kendall’s as a specialty distributor of eclectic beverages at a time when craft and import beer and wine is the fastest growing portion of the industry,” said Keith Richards, CEO of Corwin Beverage. “This is another step in our long-term strategic plan to grow, diversify and invest for the future.”

Craft or import beers now fill about three-in-ten pint glasses in America, according to the national Brewers Association. Those segments grew nearly 4% last year while overall beer sales declined slightly.

“We appreciate becoming part of the Corwin family of companies where we can provide greater distribution of high-quality imported beverages through a distributor that sets the regional standard for personal service in niche markets,” said Witold Szczepaniak, founder and CEO of Browar Polska.

As part of Corwin’s emphasis on growth and innovation, Browar Polska will continue operations from their Seattle facility as an independent business unit of the Corwin family of companies with minimal change in sales and operations. Some administrative and technical functions will be consolidated at Corwin’s headquarters in Ridgefield, on the northern edge of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. Szczepaniak will partner with Corwin and specialize in sourcing emerging import products that appeal to regional beer and wine enthusiasts. The deal recently closed in September.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.