Gasko & Meyer Inc.
Gasko & Meyer pairs its craft portfolio with consistent and reliable service.
By Staci Davidson
Gasko & Meyer Inc. is known in New York for its quality portfolio of handcrafted beers and premium wines, primarily offering “products with a story that our sales team can passionately convey” according to Sales Manager Bruce Nober. The company, however, is more than just a lineup of quality beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Gasko & Meyer backs its portfolio with 80 years of experience in beverage distribution and strong relationships.
“We always try to offer consistent and reliable service,” Nober explains. “Many of our customers have worked with us for many years – if not decades – and one of our biggest assets is our sales team, who act as consultants. We bring products that will help our customers elevate their businesses.”
This focus on service has been part of Gasko & Meyer since its origins in 1939. That year, Carl Meyer started distributing George Ehrets beer in Sullivan County, N.Y. Soon after this, Meyer began to distribute soft drinks such as Pepsi, 7-Up and Hires Root Beer, all of which were bottled in Binghamton, N.Y. and sold for about 80 cents a case.
The business grew further in 1940 when Adam Gasko helped Meyer acquire the rights to distribute Schaefer Beer, which was brewed in Brooklyn, N.Y. This was the No. 1 beer in the 1940s, and with a successful partnership, Gasko & Meyer was formed in 1941. In 1942, the partners bought Bethel Beer Distributor from Lotte Ehmer, and began selling Genesee Beer from Rochester, N.Y.; Utica Club from Utica, N.Y.; and Schlitz from Milwaukee.
In 1950, Gasko sold his share of the business to Meyer, and Carl Meyer and his wife, Loie, ran the business with their sons, Cameron and Bruce. After their parents passed away, Cameron sold his share of the business to Bruce, and Bruce and his wife, Dorothy, kept the company in the family. In 1982, Bruce and Dorothy’s son-in-law, Jeff Nober, joined Gasko & Meyer’s management. Mary Jane Nober joined her parents and husband in 1991, working with them to grow the distributorship. In 1999, the company bought Black Forest Distribution of Cairo, N.Y., allowing it to offer a specialty beer list from worldwide suppliers. In 2013 Gasko & Meyer purchased County Fountain Supplies adding fountain soda and beverage gases to its lineup.
Bruce and Dorothy Meyer passed away in the winter of 2005, leaving Mary Jane and Jeff to continue the family business. Their son, Bruce Nober, joined in the operation in May 2005 and their other son, John, came on board in May 2009, representing the family’s fourth generation of leadership. Last year, the company grew further with the acquisition of Encore Wine Imports, which provided it with statewide distribution and elevated its wine program.
“We are definitely a family business,” Bruce Nober says. “My father, Jeff, is the president and my mother, Mary Jane runs the financial side of the business. I run the sales and marketing, and my brother John runs the operations.”
Now, 80 years after its inception, Gasko & Meyer still distributes Schaefer beer, as well as many other imported, domestic and craft beers. This is the result of the service the company provides, giving special attention to each of its suppliers and treating customers well.
“We look for premium brands, with a focus on local, especially when it comes to craft beer,” Nober explains. “We also look for wines that over deliver for their price point and focus on sustainable agriculture. Our market looks for local, handcrafted, natural, organic and unique brands, so we try to deliver that to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market.”
Gasko & Meyer works with its customers by offering events such as beer and wine pairing dinners, tastings and samplings. To celebrate its 80th anniversary in business, the company recently had a large portfolio tasting to showcase its entire offering and feature local restaurants. Events like these help customers better understand its products and how to feature them in their establishments. The events also support Gasko & Meyer’s vision to be the go-to for premium products in its market.
“We are very family oriented, have a diverse portfolio and remain passionate about handcrafted beverages,” Nober says. “We are a fourth-generation family business, and we’ve really been able to accelerate our growth in the last decade. It helps that we have very passionate employees.”