Effective Friday, Straub Brewery, Inc. ceased home and tavern delivery of its products to area residents and will expand its partnership with local distributors in order to get its beer to customers' doors.
According to a letter sent to regular home delivery customers explaining the change, the number of these customers declined to the point over the years where, given the cost of fuel and other expenses, it no longer became feasible to offer the service without raising prices.
"There is some regret simply because home deliveries have been such a big part of the brewery's culture, and I think we were always proud to offer the service," said William C. Brock, Straub president and CEO.
Brock explained that the brewery decided to expand on a partnership it has already formed with local distributors St. Marys Beverage Center Inc. and DePrator's Beverage, owned by Ken Bish and Vic DePrator, respectively. The two distributors began selling Straub products about two years ago at their locations and will now be handling the delivery of Straub to residences and business establishments as well.
"The partnership has been great, and we decided that given their operations, they are in a much better position to handle both our home deliveries and service to our taverns. It is a win-win; both live in town, hire local people, and this move will hopefully give them increased business," Brock said in the letter.
Straub North Central Sales Representative Donny "Flip" Bobenreith, who is now the sales representative for Elk County, said the change is practical and will hopefully result in more efficient customer service.
"I think the majority of people will like it because they can get all of the products they want with one call," Bobenrieth said.
He explained that when customers are ready to re-order, all they need to do is call either distributor to arrange for delivery and their favorite Straub product will be delivered just as before.
He noted that the drive-up window at the brewery will remain open during regular business hours for area residents who want to pick up their favorite Straub product by the keg, case or can.