Why Craft?

Here at Craftroads, craft means more than just the level of quality to us, it means a dedication to hard work, great people, great service and locally focused. Craftroads is founded on more than 60 years of industry experience and a shared passion for exceptional craft beer. Inspired by each amazingly unique backstory, style and flavor of diverse craft brewers, Craftoads hopes to not only provide the best beer, but also the best stories to consumers.

“We don’t want to provide the most beer, just the best beer.”

At Craftroads Beverage, we pride ourselves on babying our beer; we work with Indiana retailers to promote Draught Excellence (cleaning the draught lines, high keg turnover, and proper storage & serving temperatures), we store it in the dark, and we’re a unique Indiana craft beer distributor that keeps all of our beer (both packaged & draught) in cold storage. This ensures our beer is drank the way brewers intended—no oxidation, off-flavors or shortened shelf-life.
Craftroad’s has a strong commitment to education—we are always working to educate our retailers, the consumers and continuing education for our own team. We provide bi-monthly training and certification for all salespeople and related functions with support from our partners. Our training and certifications ensure we provide the best service for each of our brewers.
Craftroads is acutely aware it can only be successful if its brewers are successful. It is for this reason we will do all that we can for our brewers. We are more than just an Indiana beer distributor— we view ourselves as partners, consultants and strategists for the brands we represent. We believe in the importance of face-to-face meetings between supplier & distributor to plan growth together.
The Mission
Creating value to our partners through collaboration and commitment, while providing a unique service experience dedicated to profitable segment growth.
The Craftroads Team
Jim Schembre
Jim comes from a beer wholesale family which started right after prohibition, all here in Indiana. So it was his first and only job. In 1995, he sold his distribution rights to Monarch Beverage here in Indianapolis and stayed there for 20 years. During his tenure at Monarch, he developed a specialty beer division called World Class Beverage that not only worked here in Indiana, but spread across other wholesalers in the U.S. World Class Beverage quickly received recognition by winning the first Craft Distributor of the year award in 2006. He has been very active in the craft beer world both in the state of Indiana and on the national scene. He worked with the BA in regards to the CBC and in the specialty wholesaler conference which helped give direction to wholesalers on the pros and cons of craft distribution. He Has done several presentations over the years for the NBWA and BA. Some of those lively debates included Steve Hindy from Brooklyn Brewery and Dale Katechis from Oscar Blues Brewery about selling beer by styles to Larry Bell about the three tier system. His passion for the Category and Segment has fueled this desire to help develop another distribution option here in Indiana to focus on Craft Beverage access to market and continued share growth. His other interest are all things outdoors and watching his grandchildren grow.
Chad Lewton
Chad comes from a diverse background on both the Distributor and Supplier side over the past 20 years, all in Beer. He spent 6 years with Monarch Beverage as a Salesperson and DM before moving to his 1st Supplier role managing the Scottish & Newcastle brands for Indiana & Kentucky where he and his distributor partners were successful in growing share for Newcastle Brown Ale specifically and among the highest growth rates across the U.S. In 2004, he was offered an opportunity to work for Heineken USA where he spent 11 years in a variety of positions ranging from Market Management, Business Development, and National Account sales. During his tenure at Heineken, he had the opportunity to be part of the launch and market execution of the highly successful “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign that started in Austin, Texas. In an effort to gain a better work/life balance by cutting travel to focus on more time with his family and growing boys, he decided to pursue an opportunity with the Pabst Brewing Co in Regional Account Sales. Craftroads Beverage represents the perfect opportunity to focus on Quality, Education, and partnerships built around passion and stories shared between both Suppliers and Consumers.
Mike Schembre
Mike has surrounded himself in the craft industry for as long as he can remember with his first professional experience gained as a Managing Partner of a unique Craft Taphouse in Kokomo from 2001-2008. He later moved out to Pacific North West and worked for Click Distributing as a sales rep. Click was a Specialty Craft distributer that took the award of the 2nd Craft beer Distributor of the year. During this time, he got his passion in cellar aged beers and Sours ales. He then moved into the Retail side of business with Total Wine & More where he worked the retail side and managed there wine and beer team. He worked with local Winery’s and Brewery’s on events and taught Beer/Wine classes on a weekly bases for his staff and local patrons. Mike’s passion and experience within the various channels of the business has helped him appreciate the various layers of wholesale and retail.
Adam Thompson
Adam began his logistics carrier with FitzMark in 2008 and has been an integral part to their growth. Adam has worked in all facets of the industry from sales to operations and currently as a liaison between Craftroads and Fitzmark. His knowledge and experience gives way to a streamlined and efficient shipping process that embodies customer service. His passion for craft beer extends beyond the great taste and complex nature but into the great conversation that it creates.

Craftroad’s partnership with FitzMark gives it a strong cost & logistics advantage over other distributors. FitzMark is a third-party logistics company based in Indianapolis that can be leveraged for warehousing, freight needs, and supply chain consulting. Because of this partnership, Craftroads can offer local breweries warehousing for cans, kegs, & raw materials; secure better buying price for commodities shipments; and assist with inbound & outbound freight services. With our access to FitzMark’s nationwide warehouses, we can offer our regional breweries competitive and convenient crossdocking, freight consolidation, hub & spoke distribution, return of kegs and one point of contact for all logistics needs.

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