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Brevard’s Carroll Distributing Marks 60 Years, Stresses Corporate Social Responsibility

The Carroll Distributing Company remains a family-run enterprise dedicated to community

Marking Carroll Distibuting’s first one million case year on December 31, 1968, are Carroll Distributing Owner Chad Carroll, Burt Nidy of Nidy’s Grocery, Carroll Distributing General Manager Larry Kellick, and Carroll Driver and  Salesman Jerry Chabot. (Carroll Distributing Company image)

60TH ANNIVERSARY: Carroll Distributing upholds a company-wide mission of Corporate Social Responsibility, dedicated to benefitting a distributor’s community. Its employees are on-the-ground with the needs of the area, always giving to small-town bars who may be running a benefit for employees or community members, as well as regional and national charities.

150 employees that make up the Carroll team are intent on keeping customers happy and their community thriving

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Beer drinkers in Brevard should be extremely grateful to Carroll Distributing Company because were the Melbourne-based beer distributor not to exist, there would be precious few of their favorite brews in the county.

Thanks to Carroll, four million cases of beer make their way around to pubs, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores in Brevard, and to Indian River County, too.

“We sell to just about everyone who has a beer license,” said Ron Chabot, on-premise sales manager at Carroll.

This is a big year for the company since it is Carroll’s 60th in Brevard, and Chabot, a man whose phone message reminds callers to “always remember to drink a nice, cold Budweiser,” has been part of 41 of those, even more, if you count that his father preceded him working at Carroll.

Chabot has seen the business that Chad Carroll commenced in 1960 expand into a powerhouse of all things beer, and now the liquor side of the industry.

Every day, ten trailers replete with beer arrive at the company’s 165,000-square-foot headquarters off Viera Boulevard, where the golden liquid is unloaded for quick delivery in the 30 Carroll trucks that hit the road every day. 

The distributorship takes extreme pride in making certain Brevard customers enjoy the freshest, highest quality beer everywhere. 

Behind the truck lies a complete support system that features the most extensive, effective and comprehensive computer-based beer distribution system in the country, because the folks at Carroll do not want their customers to get anything but the best in beer. 

In 1985, Carroll Distributing Company was named Anheuser-Busch’s wholesaler of the year. In 1986, Carroll outgrew its 35,000-square-foot facility and built a brand new warehouse in Rockledge which included 78,000 square-feet. (Carroll Distributing Company image)

From the early days, the company has been deeply connected with the Anheuser Busch family of products. While Budweiser and its relatives remain an important part of the picture, the picture has evolved to meet consumer interest in craft beers. 

“It’s not like it was in the old days when we just carried Bud, Busch and Michelob,” said Chabot.

“We now stock 30 different breweries and more than 2,000 SKUs. Busch now has tons of craft breweries.”

Because Busch has so energetically embraced the craft beer movement, Carroll stocks brands such as Hawaii’s Kona, Washington State’s Elysian and California’s Golden Road, the woman-owned brewery that wows drinkers with its Mango Cart brew 

As for Sunshine State beers, Carroll is the Number One distributor in the country for Landshark, made by Margaritaville Brewery in Jacksonville.

The local breweries are part of the Carroll scene, too, and beer from hometown breweries such as Intracoastal are extremely popular among Carroll’s customers. 

Space Coast area breweries are part of the Carroll Distributing scene and beer from hometown breweries such as Intracoastal are extremely popular among Carroll’s customers. (Carroll Distributing Company image)

Of course, the top-selling beer for Carroll is, drum roll, please, Bud Lite, with Ultra nipping at its heels. No surprise here.

In December, Carroll for the first time ventured into the liquor side of the industry with the addition of the portfolio of Cutwater, a San Diego craft distillery specializing in vodka, bourbon and tequila. 

Despite the decades that have passed, Carroll Distributing remains a family-run enterprise. Joanne Eubanks took over the helm after her stepdad Chad passed away.

In the 1980s, Joanne’s son Mike joined the business. The next generation, Mike’s daughter, Hayden, is already learning the ropes from her father.

“They are all very humble people, who care deeply about the business,” said Chabot. 

The family also remains deeply connected with the community it serves. From Carroll Distributing’s early days, the company has been famous for its generosity to local nonprofits.

“We try to do as much as possible,” said Chabot. 

Chad Carroll started Carroll Distributing Company in Cocoa in 1960 in a small warehouse off U.S. 1 and moved into a new 35,000 square-foot warehouse, shown above, in 1963. (Carroll Distributing Company image)

Finding a fundraiser that has not benefitted from Carroll’s largesse can be tough, for the company is always glad to help with sponsorships, prizes and beer.

Take, for example, the annual, 100 percent-volunteer-run Grant Seafood Festival. Carroll has proudly sponsored the massive event for decades.

Come Festival time in February, the company ships five truckloads of beer for the two-day event and none of it comes back. Charities that range from the National Kidney Foundation to the Humane Society of Brevard count on Carroll for help when it comes to raising money through special events.

As part of the Budweiser family of distributors, Carroll gives back on a national level through programs such as Military Family Support, which provides scholarships to children and spouses of soldiers killed or disabled while serving their country.

Budweiser’s Family Talk About Drinking delivers a community resource for parents to prevent underage drinking, and its Better World initiative has donated $515 million to charities for disaster relief, economic development, education, environmental projects and assistance to the military. 

Like the family that started it and continue to operate it, Carroll Distributing Company is not keen on fanfare about themselves.

Instead, the 150 employees that make up the Carroll team are intent in keeping customers happy and their community thriving, a work philosophy that is certainly worth a toast of as Chabot so well says, “a nice, cold Budweiser.”   

This graphic illustration from the 1960s is a reminder that Carroll Distributing’s rise corresponds with the development of the nation’s space program in Brevard County. It would be safe to say both entities have thrived on the Space Coast.
In 1968, Carroll Distributing hit 1,000,000 cases sold, in 1981 the company sold 2,000,000 cases 3,000,000 cases in 1996 and 4,000,000 cases sold in 2004. Now in its 60th year, the 150 employees that make up the Carroll team are intent in keeping customers happy and their community thriving. (Image courtesy of Carroll Distributing)

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