Fort Worth

Big expansion, hundreds of jobs brewing for this longtime Fort Worth beer distributor

Ben E. Keith Foods photographed Friday August 26, 2005.(Special/Richard W. Rodriguez)
Ben E. Keith Foods photographed Friday August 26, 2005.(Special/Richard W. Rodriguez) Star-Telegram archives

Food and beverage distributor Ben E. Keith is looking to expand its south Fort Worth operation.

The 185,000-square-foot expansion would bring more than 280 new jobs to the warehouse in the Carter Industrial Park. Ben E. Keith plans to invest $22 million in construction, of which at least $3 million would go to Fort Worth-based companies, said Michael Hennig with Fort Worth’s economic development department.

The Fort Worth City Council on Feb. 17 will consider a seven-year tax abatement worth 50 percent of the property’s improved value.

That abatement comes with an agreement Ben E. Keith will spend at least $900,000 with Fort Worth supplies and use minority- and women-owned businesses for at least 15 percent of the construction, Hennig said.

The abatement equals an estimated $877,000 over the seven-year term.

Ben E. Keith has been based in Fort Worth since its inception in 1906. Anheuser-Busch InBev products as well as craft beers like Deep Ellum, Founders and Lagunitas are distributed through Ben E. Keith. The company also handles a variety of food service products.

Dallas Cowboys games mean big crowds who spend big money on alcohol, with sales topping the charts statewide.

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Luke Ranker covers the intersection of people and government focused on Fort Worth and Tarrant County. He came to Texas from the plains of Kansas, where he wrote about a lot, including government, crime and courts in Topeka. He survived a single winter in Pennsylvania as a breaking news reporter. He can be reached at 817-390-7747 or lranker@star-telegram.com.


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