Arneson Distributing was founded in 1972 when Al & Rae Ann Arneson bought out Barthel Beverage from Norb & Martha Barthel. It was a one truck operation selling Grain Belt and Hauenstein to 40 accounts.
After a few years Al realized he had to expand by acquiring territory, brands, or new products. At that point the best option was to develop something new. After much research he contacted Warren Marti, president of the August Schell Brewery. Even though Al was not a Schell's distributor Warren agreed to produce a draft root beer as a contract for Al & Rae Ann Arneson. There by 1919 Classic American Draft Root Beer was developed. 1919 Continues to grow in popularity and distribution to this day.
Several years after the Arneson's founded 1919 they developed Buddy's original sodas. These bottled sodas are also still distributed and marketed by the Arnesons.
The Arneson Distributing Beer business has acquired more territory and brands and now covers much of south-central Minnesota with a variety of products to satisfy the most discriminating palate. Arneson Distributing actively participates in many community events. Employees are committed and educated on all brands and every employee is a certified beer server in the cicerone program. Arneson has been chosen to represent new breweries because of their positive commitment and long term success at building brands.
The Arneson two oldest children are currently employed by the business. Toby Arneson, sales manager, has worked for the company in many capacities for years. Their daughter Ann Steffl is human resource administrator and controller. Their youngest son, Ted is gainfully employed in California and serves as a consultant for the company. Their operation has grown by trucks, brands which they fully support, and employees whom they respect and value.