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 to 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.