Stan Tyler Sr. was inspired to enter the wholesale/distribution beer business shortly after prohibition was repealed in 1934. With a steadfast commitment to the community, two trucks, and his wife as the secretary, Stan established Schmidt Beer Sales. The company, located at 888 Third Street in Muskegon, delivered Schmidt, E&A, and Drewry’s beer throughout Muskegon County. Schmidt Beer Sales grew considerably over the next two decades, enduring fast-paced changes in both the market and the products. Drewry’s eventually lost its hold over the local market and was replaced with Schlitz. Schmidt beer (the product that gave Stan’s company its name) faded as well, replaced by a new premium-brand, Hamm’s. Thus, in 1952, when growing pains prompted a move to 1717 Park Street (just a few blocks north of its current location), the company was renamed as Tyler Sales Company.
Stan Tyler Jr. grew up in his father’s beer business. In high school and all through college, Stan swept floors,stacked cases, and loaded trucks. In 1958, fresh out of the University of Notre Dame, Stan joined the company full-time and became a student of the “beer wars.” His passion for the industry grew quickly, as did the company. Just four short years after joining the family business, Stan Jr. found himself in charge. His father had taken ill and Stan Jr. proudly filled his shoes. When Stan Sr. passed away in 1964, he left his young son with a solid foundation of values and opportunity. Stan Jr. purchased the business from the family trust in 1970. As the market continued to evolve, Stan Jr. introduced West Michigan to a particular premium-brand of beer relatively unknown to small-town America. The product, known as Budweiser quickly became the distributor’s flagship. Produced by Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser enjoyed strong and steady growth, which generated another move for Tyler Sales. In 1978, success-driven but out of space, Stan Jr. relocated Tyler Sales to its present location at 2100 Park Street. The new location offers access to the railroad and ample space to accommodate the successful growth of Anheuser-Busch’s family of beers. Stan Tyler Jr. passed away in the fall of 2001 after watching his beloved “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame do battle on the football field of South Bend.
Stan’s son, Jim grew up immersed in the family business, working in the warehouse and on the loading docks. After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, Jim left his hometown and the family business to work in New York City. After gaining banking experience with Chase Manhattan & Citi Corp, Jim returned to Michigan. He earned his MBA from the University of Michigan and the position of Vice President and General Manager. Today, Jim as President runs the business continuing Tyler Sales history of success. Decades later, the small two-truck operation has grown to employ over 12 drivers and 30 staff members, supplying customers with over 1.5 million cases of beer each year. The company currently runs two warehouse shifts a day and continually expands its warehouse capacity.
Stan Tyler Jr. passed away unexpectedly on November 4, 2001 with Jim Tyler ready to execute a succession plan as Chairman and President. In the fall of 2002 Jim took on a partner, Tom Schultz his brother-in-law (husband of Kathi Tyler) to be Vice President and General Manager of Tyler Sales Co., Inc. Tom possesses over 20 years management experience in the beer wholesaling industry. Prior to joining Tyler Sales, Tom held the position of Vice-President, General Manager for Jersey Eagle Sales Company a 3.8 million case Anheuser-Busch wholesaler located in Jersey City, NJ. Tom also held management positions with the following Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in Michigan: West Side Beer Distributing (Grand Rapids); Mervenne Beverage (Holland); Fabiano Brothers, Inc. (Mt. Pleasant). Tom holds an MBA from The University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Western Michigan University.
Three generations of the Tyler Sales family, a great nucleus of Tyler Sales employees, and the residents of greater Muskegon have made this area the tremendous community which it is today. They, along with a fourth generation of Tylers, are proud to greet the new millennium with renewed vigor and optimism.