Beer was legalized in 1933 with the repeal of prohibition. In order to gain national distribution as quickly as possible, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. elected to go with proven, successful food distributors who already had warehouses and equipment in place. Budweiser of Columbia, Budweiser of Anderson, and Budweiser of Greenville were at this time part of Pearce-Young-Angel, a wholesale food distributor. Beer was sold and distributed through the food warehouses on trucks delivering groceries and produce.
Beer was a very low volume item before, during, and shortly after World War II. In 1954, the Columbia, Anderson, and Greenville operations were established as separate and distinct companies for the exclusive distribution of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. products. These companies were known as PYA Distributing Companies and proved to be very successful in gaining market share and establishing Budweiser as the number one beer in our markets.
In 1967, we were able to get permission from Anheuser-Busch, Inc. to change the names of our companies to Budweiser of Columbia, Budweiser of Greenville, and Budweiser of Anderson. Each was a separate and distinct company with a defined territory assigned by the brewery.
Recognizing that we have developed partnerships with many different beverage companies, we made the decision to change our name to KW Beverage. The "K" stands for Jim Kirkham, one of our two owners. The "W" stands for Rodney Williams, our other owner. We believe that KW Beverage more accurately represents who we are today. In addition to our Anheuser-Busch family of products, we now service a wide variety of craft brewers, import brewers, and non-alcoholic beverage suppliers.
Budweiser of Columbia and Greenville is our proud heritage, but KW Beverage is our future. We will continue to grow our beverage portfolio with the best products available. And, we will continue to develp our operation to ensure world-class service and support for our customers.
Our Past and Present
Our Dedication to Making Sure That You Continue to Enjoy The Great Times
Anheuser-Busch and KW Beverage are proud supporters of responsible drinking habits! For the past three decades, Anheuser-Busch has been a leader in promoting alcohol responsibility. Since the initial launch of its Know When To Say When® campaign in 1982 through the present, Anheuser-Busch and its local wholesalers, including KW Associates have committed more than $930 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to encourage responsible drinking and prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. Read below to learn more about all the different programs AB has in place to continue its commitment to responsible drinking.
KW Beverage and Anheuser-Busch are opposed to underage drinking. Many of our employees have children, too, and it’s important to remember that as parents, we have the greatest influence on the decisions our teens make about drinking. According to the 2012 GfK Roper Youth Report, 73 percent of youth, ages 13 to 17, cite their parents as the No. 1 influence on their decisions about whether they drink alcohol or not.
That’s why we offer a variety of programs and resources to help prevent underage drinking. To assist parents in talking with their children about drinking, Our Family Talk About Drinking program is available at familytalkaboutdrinking.com.
Nation of Responsible Drinkers
We brew our beers to be enjoyed responsibly by adults and always have. In 1982, we elevated our efforts by launching our first national responsible drinking campaign, Know When to Say When®.Today, Anheuser-Busch and our family of wholesalers continue our leadership in working with retailers, parents, law enforcement and others to promote alcohol responsibility. Together with you, we are making a difference. Underage drinking and drunk-driving fatalities have reached record low levels.*
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