The beer industry is mourning the loss of visionary entrepreneur Barry Andrews, founder of Andrews Distributing Company, one of the largest and most successful beer distribution operations in the United States. Andrews passed away this week at the age of 73, leaving behind an iconic company and timeless lessons on strategic growth, customer focus and leading with integrity.
About Barry Andrews Life Journey
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950, Barry Andrews forever altered the beer distribution landscape when he established Andrews Distributing in 1976 with his wife Lana. The company, based in Dallas since a 1994 headquarters relocation, now boasts over $800 million in annual revenue and has expanded to become one of the country’s biggest beer wholesalers.
Andrews Distributing was built on Barry’s premise of the “multi-brand distributor” – a novel idea at the time of distributing a wide variety of brewers’ beers rather than just a select branded portfolio. This innovation would reshape the industry and serve as the foundation of Andrews’ immense growth over 40+ years.
Under Barry’s leadership, the company grew from fledgling startup to prominent industry force through acquisition of smaller distributors and new territory rights. Andrews amassed an impressive roster of prominent brands, including Miller, Coors, Heineken, Modelo, Corona and Blue Moon.
Barry’s business acumen was only rivaled by his dedication to community and passion for enriching company culture. Andrews Distributing has earned recognition for its robust wellness programs, safety initiatives and promoting responsible consumption.
The company also upholds Barry’s team-focused philosophies, referring to its 1,600 employees as essential team members working together towards a shared mission. Andrews’ family feel and employee satisfaction are widely regarded as pillars of its success.
“Barry was a true pioneer who redefined this industry,” said longtime business partner and friend Ron Smith. “But more importantly, he cultivated a workplace where everyone felt valued. His principles will live on.”
Andrews’ impact even transcended the beer business, as evidenced by the outpouring of tributes from leaders across industries. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called Barry’s life “a testament to the American entrepreneurial spirit.”
While he will be sorely missed, Barry Andrews’ legacy will continue inspiring future generations of disruptive thinkers and people-focused leaders. The imprint he left on beer distribution will be felt by every bottle raised in the brand-rich, competitive landscape he helped shape.
To all those mourning his loss, may the stories of Barry’s wisdom and innovations provide solace and encouragement. And may his life be celebration with a toast – ideally with an ice-cold beer brand distributed by the empire he built. Cheers to you Barry Andrews – a true distribution pioneer.