Klepper's of Tiffin and Lima will cease operation today due to the loss of its Coors franchise, the company has announced. The closing ends 62 years as a beer distributor.
"Our last day will be one filled with sadness, pride and reminiscing all wrapped up together," Kris Klepper, company president, stated in a release. "We have terrific people here and we wish them all well."
SABMiller and Molson Coors formed a joint venture, MillerCoors, in July 2008, and in the process began a consolidation of its U.S. wholesaler network - 12 in Ohio alone.
"The termination was definitely not a reflection or our performance; in fact, our operations were recently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 among all Ohio Miller and Coors wholesalers," said Mike Klepper, vice president. "MillerCoors is on an aggressive plan to reduce their distribution system costs across the U.S., and we were caught in the middle."
Coors Light, Coors, Killians, Blue Moon and Molson now are to be delivered by N.W.O. Beverage, a Michigan-based company headquartered in Northwood. All other brands delivered by Klepper's of Tiffin, including Old Milwaukee Light, Pabst, Corona, Labatt and Genesee, are to be distributed by Beerco, a Klepper-owned and operated company since 1969 in Fostoria.
Beerco, a distributor for Anheuser-Busch InBev, has hired three former Klepper's of Tiffin employees to help sell the new brand offerings.
"Beerco is now the only remaining local beer distributor and is committed to supporting the community's well being," said Tim Sauer, general manager of Beerco. "We are excited to serve our valued customers with the expanded brand portfolio for many years to come."
Klepper's of Tiffin and Lima was founded in 1948 by Robert A. Klepper. He grew the business over the years through the acquisition of local competitors and various brands. The Adolph Coors Brewing products were added to the portfolio in 1984 until their recent removal from the Tiffin and Lima distributorship. Robert Klepper retired in 1991 and the business has continued under the direction of his four children.