A tradition of excellence for four generations
In 1924, with the country in the midst of Prohibition, Kramer Beverage made its humble beginning as a soft drink bottler and distributor in Southern New Jersey, making and selling Olympic brand soft drinks and mixers in Atlantic and Cape May Counties. The majority of the business took place during the summer months—every wooden case stacked by hand in the warehouse by less than a dozen employees—and in 1927, the hard work and dedication of the company’s owner, Ben Kramer, paid off when he bought the rights to Cliquot Club soda, a national brand with a large following. Two years later, Kramer Beverage moved to 419 N. Tennessee Avenue, thus adding 4,000 square feet of additional space so as to accommodate the continued growth of the company. Moreover, Mr. Kramer hired five new employees, including his brothers, Harry and Paul.
On December 5th, 1933, after the repeal of Prohibition, Kramer Beverage expanded its product line to include beer, becoming the local distributor of Ballantine and Piel’s, both leading beverages at the time. As the addition of beer fueled the continued growth of Kramer Beverage, the company acquired a new, larger location: a warehouse and former parking garage with over 30,000 square feet of space located at 110 N. Virginia Avenue. This new location would serve as the headquarters of Kramer Beverage for the next 46 years.
Eventually, Ben Kramer’s sons, Arnold and Daniel, joined the company. In 1964, when he graduated from Rutgers University, Charles Kramer became the first member of the third generation to join the company, working in both the beer and soft drink sides of the business. His brother Stephen entered the business in the early 1970′s. Meanwhile, Lynn Kramer began her career at Kramer Beverage. Ultimately, Ben Kramer witnessed three generations of the Kramer Family enter the business before he passed away in 1971.
After more than 50 years in the soft drink business, Kramer Beverage made the strategic decision to narrow its focus on beer distribution. In 1981, Kramer Beverage from Atlantic City to Egg Harbor Township. The new location allowed the company to expand its territory and product line with California Cooler. After success with California Cooler, Coors Brewing Company selected Kramer Beverage as the wholesaler for Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties.
During the 1990’s, new product line expansions continued as the company acquired distribution rights for many outstanding brands, including Corona, Yuengling, Guinness, and Samuel Adams. In 1992, Kramer Beverage earned the Coors Founder’s Award, the brewery’s highest honor.
Charles Kramer’s son, Mark, joined the company after earning his MBA at Drexel University and a BA in Business from Rutgers University. Mark worked his way up through sales and marketing at Kramer Beverage, eventually serving as VP of Finance and Operations. Mark Kramer became the fourth generation Kramer to serve as President after Charles assumed the role of Chairman of the Board.
Kramer Beverage’s corporate headquarters have been based out of a 168,000 state of the art facility in Hammonton, NJ since 2002.
In 2017, Kramer Beverage acquired both Hub City Distributing and Warren South’s malt beverage businesses. These acquisitions more than doubled the company’s volume and employee base. Kramer Beverage is now New Jersey’s largest beer wholesaler, representing over 150 domestic, import, craft, cider, FMB, and spiked seltzer brands from top suppliers and breweries such as such as MillerCoors, Yuengling, Constellation Beer Division, Boston Beer, Diageo, New Belgium, Heineken USA, Pabst, NAB, Sierra Nevada and many more.