AlaBev (originally Birmingham Beverage Company) is a wholesale beverage distributer founded in Birmingham in April 1907 as a soft drink manufacturer. Harry Kampakis is the CEO. Its offices are located at 211 Citation Court.
After national prohibition was repealed, the company began distributing locally for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. The company was bought by the Cohen family in 1938, and then sold to Sergei Kampakis in 1957. He expanded the sales territory to Anniston and Gadsden. A disastrous reformulation caused sales of Schlitz beer to plummet in the 1970s. Birmingham Beverage added Stroh's in 1979 and began distributing Beck's and other imports in 1980. They introduced Coor's in February 1983 and expanded throughout Northern Alabama in 1990. That same year the company began distributing higher-alcohol beers to military bases.
In 1998, Birmingham Beverage launched a wine division, named "Grand Cru", and also expanded into distribution of Fiji bottled water, Welch's juices, Vitamin Water drinks and other brands. The company also diversified its beer offerings with several craft beers, including Birmingham's Southside Cellar. The company was an active supporter of Free the Hops and funded its early lobbying efforts in the Alabama State Legislature.
In 2008 Birmingham Beverage began distributing Good People Brewing Company, and later began handling Avondale Brewery, Straight to Ale, and Blue Pants Brewing Company. When the Gourmet Beer Bill passed on May 22, 2009 Birmingham Beverage was able to stock retailers from their existing inventory of high-gravity beers. The company added Country Joe's beef jerky and other food items in 2011.
In 2012 the company expanded its territory into South Alabama. Two years later it changed its name to "AlaBev".
In 2021 AlaBev settled a federal lawsuit brought in 2017 alleging racial discrimination in making sales promotions, by agreeing to pay $825,000 in relief to 35 current and former employees.
- Hall, Mary Helene (June 4, 2021) "Alabama beverage distributor to pay $825,000 in race discrimination lawsuit." The Birmingham News