Superior Beverage brings top-selling Cigar City Beers to Valley

Craft-y brews

Sunday, February 10, 2019

By Jim Cyphert

Special to The Vindicator

Superior Beverage Group, 31031 Diamond Parkway in Solon, has partnered with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa, Fla., to bring the brewery’s beers into the Mahoning Valley, as well as into the Cleveland and Columbus markets.

Superior Beverage Group, 31031 Diamond Parkway in Solon, has partnered with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa, Fla., to bring the brewery’s beers into the Mahoning Valley, as well as into the Cleveland and Columbus markets.

Cigar City had a record year in 2018, and Ohio is the 24th state in which the brewery’s beers are available.

Kegs and 12-ounce cans of Jai Alai IPA and Guayabera Citra Pale and a mixed 12-pack will be available in Ohio year-round while Maduro Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale will enter the market as draft-exclusive releases.

“We’re proud to represent Cigar City Brewing,” said Superior Beverage Group Senior Vice President of Business Development Jason Edwards. “The quality and portfolio they’re bringing will truly be loved by Ohio residents.”

Ohio has been in Cigar City’s sights for some time.

“We couldn’t be happier to bring our Florida-inspired beers to the Buckeye State,” said Cigar City Brewing El Lector Neil Callaghan. “We’ve found the best wholesalers in the state, and we’re ready to join the Ohio craft-beer community. We’ll be able to get the freshest, highest quality beer possible into Ohioans’ snifters and pint glasses.”

Cigar City beers also will be distributed in Cincinnati by Stagnaro Distributing, in Dayton by Bonbright Distributors and in Toledo by NOW Beverage.

Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA is the best-selling craft beer six-pack of cans in the United States through national IRI research and reporting.

Cigar City was founded in 2009 with the goal of creating world-class beer that reflected the flavors and history of the Tampa Bay region. This approach resonated with local and national markets, and the brewery has quickly grown to produce more than 140,000 barrels of beer annually.

Cigar City has appeared on ratebeer.com’s Top 10 Breweries Worldwide six times. The brewery is a key partner in CANarchy, a craft brewing collective that represents the largest canned craft-beer supplier in the country.

Founded in 2015, CANarchy is a collective of like-minded brewers dedicated to bringing quality and innovative flavors to beer drinkers in the name of independent craft beer. The portfolio of craft breweries, partially funded by Fireman Capital Partners, includes Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colo., which also is distributed by Superior Beverage.

CANarchy is the No. 1 provider of craft beer in cans. Cigar City’s Jai Alai and Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale are the No. 1 and No. 2 best-selling craft beers in cans in the U.S. grocery industry.

The CANarchy platform brewed nearly 350,000 barrels of beer in 2017, reaching all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and more than a dozen international markets.

Superior Beverage is a privately held business with roots dating back to 1922, when Marion N. Antonucci formed the Superior Wholesale Grocery Co. in Youngstown. Shortly after the Great Depression, Marion ventured into the wholesale beer and wine industry, establishing the Superior Beverage Co.

From the late 1940s until 1984, the company prospered under the leadership of Marion’s son, John (Jack) R. Antonucci. Under Jack’s leadership, the company continued successfully in Youngstown.

Since 1984, when the company became Superior Beverage Group, it’s been guided through an aggressive period of growth and consolidation by Chairman John M. Antonucci, who represents the third generation of leadership. During the past 30 years, the company expanded from its Youngstown origin into several new markets including Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus, Lorain, Steubenville and Texas.

“Our team is dedicated to enhancing the businesses of our customers and trading partners with this great addition to our portfolio,” Edwards said.