New Beer Group to Buy Buck Distributing

Dear Client:

Buck Distributing of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, a 3 million case MillerCoors (Miller only), Yuengling, Boston Beer, and many crafts, has a deal to be purchased by The Hammond Beverage Group, a new industry group created to purchase beer distributorships. Recall that Buck Distributing is owned by former NBWA chair Betty Buck and her family. Her daughter Erin Murcia is going to stay on after the deal closes.  

Who is The Hammond Beverage Group?  We had heard vague rumblings of this group, but it turns out the idea started eight years ago when Gabriel Hammond, a financier who made his fortune investing in the energy business, invested in Ace Distributing in Wrightsville, PA, with owner Jeff Reeder. In 2017 they bought W&L Sales in Harrisburg, doubling their size.

Last year Gabriel and Jeff partnered with Gabriel’s CFO Dave Saxena and industry vet Randy Golden (formerly of MillerCoors and Andrews Distributing in Dallas, and mostly recently a consultant) to form Hammond Beverage Group to seek out distributor deals.  Buck will be their first deal outside of Ace.

BULLISH ON BEER.  Hammond could put his money anywhere, but has chosen beer as one of his key investments.  They are “bullish on the beer industry and committed to making acquisitions in quality distributorships across the United States,” says Randy. 

“We could not be prouder than to work with Betty and her family in this transition, as she represents the values, passion and hard work epitomized by those in the wholesale beer business.  Jeff and I will be working diligently with the Buck team over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition and look forward to Erin Murcia, Betty’s daughter, helping to lead this effort,” continues Randy. 

We will be sorry to see Betty — a lifelong MGD drinker — leave the industry, as she has been a pioneering leader and friend for many years.  But she will be working hard on her charity, the HM2 Buck for Hope Foundation, and we wish her well.


We’ve been hearing rumors about a product called Bud Light Crisp since last fall. From everything we could glean, the product was supposed to be an Ultra-light like Bud Light with a calorie count below both of its premium light competitors: Miller Lite (96 calories) and Coors Light (102 calories).

We figured A-B would give wholesalers the grand reveal of Bud Light Crisp during SAMCOM earlier this year, but there was no mention of it, and lead us to believe that maybe the plans for the product had been scrapped.

Well, a new label obtained by MyBeerBuzz over the weekend makes it look like Bud Light Crisp is still very much alive. Peep the label here.

The label touts Bud Light Crisp as a “light lager with bright aroma and refreshing taste,” that clocks in at 4.1% ABV, holds 95 calories, and 2.9 carbs.

More info as it rolls in.


Last Thursday, Canopy Growth announced some major global operational changes, layoffs and closures. It’s the latest bad news for the company, in which Constellation owns just under 40%. 

The company said it would lay off about 85 employees. It’s also halting operations at its Colombia cultivation facility, and ceasing farming in Springfield, New York “due to a surplus of hemp produced last year.”

The news ain’t great, but it’s also what Constellation veteran (and its previous CFO) David Klein went to Canopy to do. 

“When I arrived at Canopy Growth in January, I committed to conducting a strategic review in order to lower our cost structure and reduce our cash burn,” Canopy’s new CEO, David, said in a statement.

 “I believe the changes outlined today are an important step in our continuing efforts to focus the company’s priorities, and will result in a healthier, stronger organization that will continue to be an innovator and leader in this industry. I want to sincerely thank the members of the teams affected by these decisions for their contributions in helping build Canopy Growth.”


We all know that ethanol, the alcohol in beer, is created when yeast eats a starch and poops out ethanol and CO2.  But many brewers need more CO2 to fully carbonate packaged beer, and there is a shortage. 

Brewers typically buy their CO2 from industrial plants that make ethanol to mix with gasoline to fuel cars and trucks.  But fading demand for gas/ethanol has many plants sitting idle, and so much less CO2. 

CO2 suppliers to brewers have increased prices by about 25% due to reduced supply, according to reports. In an April 7 letter to VP Mike Pence, the Compressed Gas Association said production of CO2 had fallen about 20% and could be down by 50% by mid-April without relief. 

BEST PRACTICES VID III:  TOUCHLESS TRANSACTIONS.  In the latest in our video series, we speak with Fintech’s Eric Kiser about getting retail accounts on board with touchless EFT transactions, especially during this pandemic here>>

Until tomorrow,

Harry, Jenn and Jordan

“The more passions and desires one has, the more ways one has of being happy.” – Charlotte-Catherine

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