CEO Vail Miller, Jr. introduces you to the family of companies that comprise Heidelberg Distributing. What began in 1938 has expanded into the operation that exists today. As a distributor of beer, wine, spirits and other beverages, Heidelberg holds its core values close and lives by our vision of “thriving, adapting and leading the way to be our customers’ #1 choice” and our motto of, “life roars through us."
Heidelberg Distributing is a family owned and operated company that markets and delivers beer, wine, spirits and non-alcohol beverages to retailers in Ohio and Kentucky. Products on Heidelberg trucks come from local suppliers and from suppliers all over the U.S. and the world!
Our roots are humble. Albert W. Vontz, a 22-year-old German immigrant, arrived in Cincinnati in 1907. He was a trained brewer and soon invested his money in two local taverns. After Prohibition ended, he helped open Cincinnati’s Vienna Brewery but eventually sold his shares to his brother-in-law.
When breweries started selling beer beyond their own neighborhoods, Albert drove a truck every day from the Heidelberg Brewery in Covington, Kentucky to deliver the popular Student Prince beer to grocery stores and restaurants in Dayton. The brewery closed in 1946, but Vontz kept the Heidelberg name and found new beer and wine products to distribute.
His only child, Albert Vontz Jr., returned from World War II as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and became active in the business. With a degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati, Al looked for opportunities to expand, and the firm has been growing ever since.
In the 1950’s, wine products represented a large part of the operation’s sales. In 1959, Al traveled to St. Louis to meet with the famous August Busch, and he ended up purchasing the Anheuser-Busch branch in Cincinnati for $25,000. In 1961 he purchased the Dayton Budweiser distributorship from another wholesaler. Albert Vontz Jr. passed away in 2002, but not before the company had grown substantially through mergers, acquisitions and industry consolidation. – less