Our History

history-thmbMcCraith Beverages began operations as a beer distributor in Utica, NY in 1971 led by Daniel J. McCraith with his son Tom at his side, and a few years later his daughter Susan joined the company.  We started with 8 employees and 2 were family members. ™Through the years, McCraith Beverages has grown to approximately 115 employees,  We currently distribute beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages in a seven-county area that encompasses over 8,000 square miles.  In addition, with our subsidiary, High Peaks Distributing, we service a total of 12,000 square miles in a ten-county area. We operate out of two warehouses, totalling 135,000-square-feet warehouse and office space with 40 delivery trucks and seven event trailers.

™At first, our two major suppliers were Ballantine and Schlitz.  Old Milwaukee became our first major player in the 70’s.  We grew Old Milwaukee market share over time from nothing to 33% of the beer market in our distribution territory.  We sold more than 1 million cases a year of Old Milwaukee for 15 years straight.  With only a handful of brands we focused on Old Milwaukee and created an identity and name for ourselves.
™In the late eighties we began to take on new brands and set a new course for our company.  Coors was impressed with our go-to-market strategy and awarded us the distribution rights in our territory in 1987.  In 1989, we acquired the distribution rights of local powerhouse brewer FX Matt, and five years later was assigned Labatt USA brands, which we grew 11 fold in eight years.  We purchased a neighboring distributor in 1991 and another in 1994 where we picked up three additional counties.  Then in 1995 we partnered with Polar Beverage to distribute Polar and Cadbury brands in all seven of our counties.  We have continued to acquire new brands throughout the years such as Mikes Hard Lemonade, Yuengling, and Arizona Tea, 
™In 2011, we completed our most recent distributor purchase of Don Scammell Inc. in Saranac Lake, NY.  The new distribution branch is called High Peaks Distributing, LLC and is a wholly owned subsidiary of McCraith Beverages.  High Peaks Distributing will remain the local distributor  for Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties. ™In 2011, McCraith Beverages entered our 40th year in the beer distribution industry.  Tom’s sons Chad & Dan McCraith who have held positions at McCraith since 1993 have recently been appointed VP Sales & Marketing and VP Sales & Operations respectively.
In 2012, McCraith Beverages has formed a partnership with the Upstate New York Beverage Alliance. Also in 2012, McCraith Beverages has added Wine and Spirits to their World Class Beverage Portfolio. 
We will continue with our dedication and commitment to maintain and build our World Class Portfolio offerings as well as our World Class Service to our suppliers and customers.
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