Beer was legalized in 1933 with the repeal of prohibition. In order to gain national distribution as quickly as possible, Anheuser-Busch elected to network through successful food distributors who already had warehouses and equipment in place. At that time the upstate of South Carolina was the heart of Pearce-Young-Angel Wholesale Food Distributors. That distribution network created a perfect scenario for beer to be distributed on the trucks that were already delivering groceries and produce.
In 1954, the Columbia, Anderson, and Greenville operations were established as separate companies for the distribution of Anheuser-Busch products. They were known as PYA Distributing and proved to be very successful in quickly establishing Budweiser as the number one beer in those cities.
In 1967, PYA was able to change the name of the companies to Budweiser of Columbia, Budweiser of Greenville, and Budweiser of Anderson. It remained that way until 2005 when Greenville and Anderson merged together.
In 2001 a dedicated Budweiser of Columbia Sales Manager by the name of Gene Williams was brought in by the Pierce family as an equity owner. Hard work soon created the same opportunity for Jim Kirkham. While working towards retirement; Gene brought his son Rodney Williams in as his successor. In 2007 Rodney Williams and Jim Kirkham became sole owners of the rapidly growing company.
In 2012 Jim and Rodney chose to change the official company name to KW Beverage. We believe that KW Beverage more accurately represents who we are today. In addition to our Anheuser-Busch family of products, we partner with a wide variety of craft/ import brewers and beverage suppliers from our hometowns to across the globe.
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, while committing to world-class service and support for our customers.
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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