Allegheny Beverage Company's Local Focus
Serving Pennsylvania's employee, customer, and beer culture
Brewers make the beer – whether they're large national brands or small independent local brewers. Retail stores and distributors then sell the beer to customers. But how does the beer get from the brewer to the store's shelves? That's where Allegheny Beverage comes in. Allegheny Beverage is a beer wholesaler responsible for delivering beer to every bar, restaurant, gas station, grocery store, and beer store within 13 counties throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania. Their mission is, quite simply, to bring the people of Pennsylvania the best beer in the most efficient way possible. Serving communities from the shores of Lake Erie to the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, their goal is to provide customers with great beers and outstanding service.
That's no easy feat, and Allegheny Beverage Company President John DiMario (who recently became one of Erie's 40 Under 40 in 2023) credits his hard-working team for making the day-to-day operations of such a large organization run smoothly. He comments, "Our sales team spends their days working with all of the local retailers to help their businesses and provide them with the best possible service. Our delivery team will then deliver beer to these stores at least once a week – they are always out there working hard in all the elements."
The beer wholesaler Glenwood Beer had been a staple in Erie since 1961 and in 2018, the long-standing business was acquired by the company, who then spent a great deal of time and effort rebranding to reflect new goals and a new atmosphere while at the same time expanding the scope of their service. The name was changed to Allegheny Beverage to better reflect the breadth of the area of Pennsylvania that they serve, and along with the name change came some much, much bigger changes.
Most significantly, a brand new, 110,000-square-foot facility that was designed around helping their 80+ employees' daily tasks run more smoothly, to make the building more comfortable, and, simply, more fun. The building, completed in April 2022, is a brand new facility located in the Fairview Business Park at 7265 Klier Drive and was built exclusively by local architects and contractors. The new, state-of-the-art space was designed with employees' well-being in mind and includes areas like a company gym, multiple up-to-date kitchen and break spaces, and an outdoor beer garden with a grill and ping pong table.
Allegheny Beverage takes great pride and care in making sure that the work culture they have created at their facility is healthy, comfortable, and in line with what the employees need and want. DiMario comments, "Upper management can try to direct their culture statements to their team members, but it only takes shape when they really choose to embody those standards and values." Those standards and values have been understood, adopted, and taken seriously – and the result is visibly reflected within the employees themselves. The average tenure of an employee at Allegheny Beverage is 12 years. DiMario credits the work culture and environment that have been fostered by the employees and management; while the company also offers many competitive benefits and upward opportunities for their team members, which keep morale and overall work ethic high.
"We are a local business and everyone lives here, locally. All of the employees know each others' families. In fact, most of our employees have been hired based on recommendations and referrals from other employees. We have multiple team members who are family members or spouses. The beer business is supposed to be a fun business and we always try to emphasize that to our team through trips, company events, and Friday happy hours in our new tasting room," DiMario reflects. This focus on staying local is clearly important to Allegheny Beverage, not just in their building and employee choices, but in the beer business as well.
Some of Allegheny Beverage's beer distribution clients represent the well-known, ubiquitous national beer brands that everyone is used to seeing available, but they also spend a significant effort seeking out smaller, independent breweries and helping them to expand their reach beyond their brewpubs. DiMario comments, "Our largest brands are Miller, Coors, Mark Anthony, Yuengling, Boston Beer, Constellation, Pabst, Pittsburgh Brewing, and many others, including a diverse portfolio of local and national craft beers. We have the ability to sell the largest beers in the country, while also partnering with small, local breweries to give them the ability to compete with national brands." In Erie County alone, the number of beer brands distributed is over 60 with larger brands like Miller and Corona alongside local and regional favorites like Voodoo Brewery and the Brewerie.
In another recent acquisition, Allegheny Beverage took over Edinboro Beer in June of 2023, which is yet another step forward in extending their regional reach while also buoying the local economy. This addition has created even more jobs at the local level, as they have added multiple new employees to their already robust roster, while also being able to provide the area with more beer brands like Sierra Nevada and Yuengling.
Local people, local beer, local builders – Allegheny Beverage Company is committed to making sure that the focus stays on supporting and sustaining local businesses, local families, and local breweries, and they have been wildly successful at achieving those goals in the five short years since they've come together under their new name. With all of the investment that Allegheny Beverage has put into our local economy, we're sure to feel their impact through further job creation, stellar customer service, and their ability to help small brewing businesses grow for generations to come.