New distributor sets up shop in Milton

mark portrait photo

Marc Steiman, the face of Bottle & Brew Selections LLC, said he hopes to personalize the experience of purchasing craft beer and fine wine.

January 21, 2017

A new beer and wine distributor is taking over Sussex County from a small warehouse space in Milton.

Family-owned Bottle & Brew Selections LLC – which began operations at the end of 2016 – offers a personalized touch to wine and beer sales, said sales and marketing manager Marc Steiman.

“With the bigger distributors, the smaller guys tend to get lost in the mix because the bigger distributors represent so many craft breweries,” he said. “So far it's been received quite well. We have very enthusiastic customers, and that makes me feel good about the service I provide, that they're happy to support us.”

The company will focus on local craft beers and international wines, which will be distributed to area restaurants, clubs, bars and liquor stores. Choosing a distributor is a very selective process – Delaware law states a particular brand of wine, beer or spirits may work with only one wholesaler, meaning Bottle & Brew is the only company licensed to distribute local brews such as those made by Dewey Beer Co. or Salisbury-based Rubber Soul Brewing Company.

Steiman, along with his parents Richard and Nan, thought a family-owned business could offer a better voice for those local craft breweries. When smaller-batch brews are mingled among mammoth labels such as Miller Lite or Budweiser, it's easy for them to be overlooked, Steiman said.

“We represent the stuff that falls between the cracks,” he said. “Craft beer is still an emerging market, and fine wine is my background. It's something I have a passion for. I enjoy selling it and relating with customers on a personal level.”

bottle and brew owners

Owners of Bottle & Brew Selections LLC (l-r) Richard, Nan and Marc Steiman, have set up shop in Milton as a new distributor for Sussex County bars, clubs, restaurants and liquor stores.

Steiman has worked in the distribution industry, specializing in fine wines, for about 20 years. He left his previous employer, a small Wilmington-based distributor, after realizing it was time to branch out on his own. The company also will distribute a selection of international wines.

A 30-by-40-foot warehouse, located off Route 16 behind the Food Lion in Milton, turned out to be the perfect place to start, Steiman said. The price was right, the building is climate-controlled, and Milton is centrally located so a trip to Smyrna or Delmar is easily manageable.

For now, Bottle & Brew is starting small. The company will focus on Sussex County, with a few clients in Kent and New Castle counties. Bottle & Brew has already started working with Half Full, Kindle, Henlopen City Oyster House, Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth Beach and R&L Liquors in Lewes, among others.

Eventually, said Nan Steiman, they hope to expand statewide – which may mean a future move to a larger space.

“We're still in a very early start-up mode,” she said.

Marc Steiman said the company also will participate in tastings – including Outlet Liquors' annual fall festival – as well as area markets and tastings, staff trainings and wine-pairing events.

local brewery

Dewey Beer Co. is just one local brewery that’s already jumped on board with Bottle & Brew Selections.