Columbia Distributing acquires Eastern Oregon’s Graybeal Distributing

Columbia Distributing has announced they are acquiring Graybeal Distributing of Eastern Oregon, Columbia is already Oregon’s largest beer distributor and one of the largest of it’s kind in the country. Let’s not forget that in 2018 Columbia Distributing purchased fast growing rival General Distributors (GDI) in the Portland-area and Washington’s Marine View Distributors.  This is pushing more brands under larger portfolios and stronger competition, with few mid-range sized distributors to choose from. Columbia has lots of great brands, great people and good things going for it but the lack of competition in mid to large beer distributors is just plain bad for breweries and bad for the consumer in my opinion.

More from a Columbia Distributing press release:

Pendleton, OR based Graybeal represents a portfolio of more than 190 international, national and local beer, energy and water suppliers that account for over 500 brands. With very little change to its day-to-day operation, the company’s warehouses and employees will begin functioning as Columbia Distributing when the transaction closes on or about February 28, 2019.

Founded in 1955 by the father and son team of Finley and Jay Graybeal, the Graybeal family has grown the business to over 2,400 beverage sku’s distributed to the eastern counties of Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Baker and Wallowa.

This acquisition builds onto the eastward territory Columbia gained through last year’s acquisition of General Distributors, Inc. (GDI). Columbia’s President and CEO Chris Steffanci says the Graybeal deal mirrors the strategy of others in recent years. “This will allow us to expand numerous brands where we see strong potential for growth while delivering on our brand promise. And that’s to provide ongoing, sustainable opportunities for all of our key stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the communities where we operate. We are excited to start a great partnership with our new Eastern Oregon family.”

“Graybeal Distributing has been incredibly fortunate to build a distributorship that’s made such a significant impact on so many lives,” said CEO Maryl Featherstone. “A very sincere thank-you to everyone who’s touched the company over the last 64 years. This includes our tremendous employees, incredible customers and suppliers, and of course our Eastern Oregon community. I have no doubt the business we’ve built is in good hands; it will continue to grow, and most importantly, give back to our community.”

About Columbia Distributing 

Since 1935, Columbia Distributing has helped build some of the best known brands in the beverage business. Today Columbia Distributing and its 3,000+ employees service over 22,000 retail customers covering more than 171,000 square miles in Oregon, Washington and California. Columbia’s success is based on the deep-rooted tradition of delivering quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for customers’ needs. This is achieved by providing ongoing, sustainable opportunities and growth for its employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and communities. For more information on Columbia Distributing, please visit

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: