Hartman buys Elder Distributing


Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:18 a.m.

Hartman Distributing Co. entered into an agreement to buy Elder Distributing Company Inc., the company announced Thursday.

The deal includes distribution rights across 13 counties for all Coors Brewing, Gambrinus and FEMSA Cerveza brands in the marketplace.

The deal became official Monday, said Cheryl Mutschler, who is vice president of Elder Distributing, along with her brother, Kevin Mutschler. She declined comment on the price of the deal.

More than 30 of Elder's approximately 50 employees accepted positions with Hartman, she said.

Through the purchase agreement, Hartman acquired multiple beer brands, including Coors Banquet, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Keystone Light, Shiner Bock, Shiner Blonde, Dos Equis and Tecate.

David Hartman, Hartman Distributing's vice president of marketing, said the company feels fortunate to add the brands to an already strong portfolio.

"With the addition of many great people into our organization, we believe our company will prove to be a much stronger competitor that is well positioned for continued future growth," he said in a Hartman news release.

Hartman Distributing got its start in 1946 and has been passed down through generations of the family ever since.

Hartman will relocate its office and warehouse to Elder Distributing's former location, 8316 Lone Tree Road. The move will take place within 60 to 90 days, following construction and remodeling to the existing facility, according to the release.

Hartman thanked the Mutschler family, especially Cheryl and Kevin Mutschler, who assisted throughout the acquisition process, said Barry Hartman, the company's president and general manager.

"Rodney Mutschler loved the beer business and brought enjoyment to many people in our industry," Hartman said of Elder's past president, who died in February. "We intend to compete with that same passion he exhibited and will remember, just as he did, to always have some fun along the way."

Elder Distributing got its start in 1955 when Marvin Elder began the business from the garage of his home, said Lynn Mutschler, Elder's daughter. He grew the business himself and, later, Lynn Mutschler's husband, Rodney Mutschler, took over.

"Rodney expanded the business beyond my dad's wildest dreams," she said.

Monday's proceedings were emotional because the business has such deep roots with the family, Lynn Mutschler said, but she's glad that Hartman Distributing will take it over.

"I'm 71. I don't want to worry about a business," she said. "It's time to turn it over to someone else."



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