Long Beverage is a beverage wholesaler that has been servicing the community for 72 years. With a tenured history of growth and acquisitions, we continue to aspire for these goals in the future and endure the times for our Long Beverage Family.
Founder “Junie” Long began his career in 1947 with Durham Distributing, after he was advised by doctors to seek a new career outside of the American Tobacco Company. Junie had contracted Malaria while serving in World War II and the elements of working in a tobacco warehouse would be a serious health threat to him. When he started with Durham Distributing, he was the only driver-sell employee and the territory was only Durham and Orange Counties. After a quick two years, he was able to become co-owner and in 1951 he was able to purchase the remaining half of the company. He hired another driver in 1951 which was the beginning of more than a decade of growth until the mid-70’s.
While attending the University of North Carolina in 1968, current Chairman & CEO Rodney Long joined Durham Distributing full-time, due to the illness of his father Junie and assumed the day-to-day leadership.
In 1974 David “Crockett” Long joined the company full-time after college.
Rodney and Crockett purchased Durham Distributing from their father in 1977.
After growing Schlitz to become the number one beer in the market, a major quality issue resulted in a rapid decline in sales that left the company looking for other products for revenue. In 1978 the local Pepsi bottler dropped Orange Crush and around the same time that the local Coke bottler dropped Sundrop. Recognizing the opportunity, the company began purchasing Crush and Sundrop from Sundrop of Rocky Mount, NC to sell to customers in their beer territory and the Raleigh area, which was a new market for Durham Distributing. The company became a sub-distributor for Choice Beverages (Charlotte-Gastonia, NC) until 1998 when the company was awarded the full bottling contract for both brands. With over forty years of selling non-alcoholic products, the segment is a major contributor to our current sales.
In 1983 Durham Distributing was awarded the franchise rights for Coors Brewing Company, beginning a period of sustained growth for over four decades.
Durham Distributing purchased Cary wholesale of Raleigh, a company twice its size, to become the first beer distributor to consolidate the Raleigh-Durham markets. To recognize its expansion out of Durham, the company changed its corporate name to Long Beverage, which also reflected its growing non-alcoholic business.
In 1989 Long Beverage was awarded the franchise for Corona.
In 1990 Long Beverage purchased Galanides Wholesale of Raleigh, which included the Pabst, Colt, and Rolling Rock brands.
Ready to take another leap forward, Long Beverage acquired Triangle Beverage of Durham. This consolidated the Pabst, Colt & Stroh’s brands for the entire Triangle area.
In 1998, Long purchased the Canada Dry brands for the Triangle. Canada Dry is now our number one selling nonalcoholic brand and # 3 brand overall.
In 2005 a 110,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility was built on twenty-two acres of centrally located land in the heart of our territory. Then an additional 30,000 square feet of warehouse space was added only five years later to keep up with the rapid growth.
Throughout the late 2000’s more brands were added to our growing portfolio which included everything from craft beers, imports, domestic and non-alcoholic. 2018 marked itself as a monumental year when the Heineken brands were purchased. With this acquisition and organic growth of other brands, we expanded our operations by another 50,000 square feet in 2019.
In February 2020, Long Beverage acquired Mims Distribution Company, a legacy Miller wholesaler, increasing total volume by 50%. Not only did this welcome new and exciting brands, this also added many valuable coworkers to the Long Beverage family.
As we continued to grow, another addition of over 70,000 square of warehouse space along with a state-of-the-art robotic storage crane that can store 10,000 pallets.
In May of 2023, Long Beverage purchased Sundrop of Rocky Mount, NC, adding over a half million cases of soft drink-NAs.