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Breakthru Beverage Group Launched

Posted by on in February 2016 Editions
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Charmer Sunbelt and Wirtz Beverage Begin New Venture

Breakthru Beverage Group, an innovative beverage wholesaler formed by Charmer Sunbelt and Wirtz Beverage, was established on January 1 and has launched in 19 markets including Maryland and The District of Columbia. 

“Breakthru Beverage is built upon the best of our legacy operations while setting a new path and approach forward,” explained Greg Baird, Breakthru Beverage President and CEO.  “Our vision for the future is focused on excellence and how we can be a stronger and more innovative partner for our suppliers and customers in all of our markets.”

W. Rockwell Wirtz and Charles Merinoff will lead Breakthru Beverage Group as Co-Chairmen of the Board.  Daniel Wirtz will serve as Vice-Chairman and on the Operating Committee with Charlie Merinoff. Together, they will oversee the integration of the businesses, manage and direct strategic planning and play a key role in leading supplier relations.  Greg Baird, as President and CEO, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations, and will have organizational oversight and direct management of the senior leadership team. 

“The name Breakthru was chosen very deliberately,” noted Danny Wirtz. “We truly believe we can challenge the boundaries of the traditional distributor and bring a focused and insightful approach to how we do business.”

In Maryland, Reliable Churchill will now operate as Breakthru Beverage Maryland.  The leadership, expertise and brand portfolios customers are accustomed to remain unchanged.  The company will also maintain existing facilities, including corporate offices, and continue to employ more than 500 people statewide.

In Washington DC, Washington Wholesale will now operate as Breakthru Beverage Washington DC.  As in Maryland, the leadership, expertise and brand portfolios customers are accustomed to remain unchanged.  The company will also maintain existing facilities and continue to employ more than 150 people District-wide.

“The pace at which we are moving should indicate the level of commitment and excitement we have about Breakthru,” said Baird.  “Not only is our integration work well underway, but early indications are that our local markets teams delivered excellent results during the critically important holiday selling period”

“We have put together a significantly expanded, unified footprint that will bring execution, operational and brand building excellence to life in a way that all of our supplier partners are looking for,” concluded Baird. 

Breakthru Beverage Group will employ more than 7,000 associates and with its affiliates have operations in 19 markets across the country and Canada.  For more information, visit


Steve is the Publisher of the Maryland & Washington, DC Beverage Journals (trade publications serving the licensed beverage industries of said markets).