Beverage Distributing in Oregon and Washington
In 2008, Columbia Distributing, Mt. Hood Beverage, and Gold River Distributing united to form Columbia Distributing as we know it today. With this merger and the 2015 acquisition of California’s Mesa Brewing Co., our company is now one of the country’s largest malt beverage distributors. Size is not our only distinction, however. Columbia Distributing boasts an extensive selection of beverages, including specialty craft, domestic, and imported beers.
Here’s how we got to where we are.
Started in 1935 by Chris Maletis, Sr., Columbia Distributing has distributed some of the best-known brands in the beverage business.
In 1993, Ed Maletis, grandson of Chris Maletis, Sr., acquired the rights to the Miller Brewing product lines for the Portland market. Adding Miller to the existing craft beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage portfolio of the family-owned Maletis Beverage enabled expanded beverage distributing throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Mt. Hood Beverage
Mt. Hood Beverage was originally part of Portland food wholesaler Wadham & Company. This company traces its roots back to the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Incorporating the Olympia Brewing Company line, it became one of Oregon’s first wholesale distributors of malt beverage products. Later, as Coast Distributors, its distribution grew to include western Oregon and Washington.
In 1990, Dan Agnew and Dick Lytle merged Coast Distributors with United Beverage to create Mt. Hood Beverage Company. Representing Coors Brewing Company, G. Heileman Brewing Company, Pabst Brewing Company, a host of domestic and import breweries, and many brands of wine, Mt. Hood Beverage led Oregon’s beverage industry.
Gold River Distributing
In 1977, the Lytle and Agnew families bought Gold River Distributing, their first wine and beer distributorship. Based in southern Oregon, the company focused on the Blitz, Lucky, and Gallo brands.
Over the next 10 years, the families made additional acquisitions and negotiated the rights to carry the Miller Brewing and Coors product lines. Merging the distributorships under the Gold River name, this beverage distributor claimed more than 50 percent market share of beer and wine sold in the area.