13 May 2008

Six Pack Interview with Mat Gerdenich of Cavalier Distributing

It's been a while since we got our often imitated/never duplicated "Six Pack Interview" on. Today, it is our friend Mat Gerdenich, whose company is the local distributor for such great beers as Mad Anthony, Warbird, Founder's, and Left Hand.

1) Who are you and where do you work?

Mat Gerdenich - Cavalier Distributing

2) What inspired you to get in the beer business? How did you get started?

There was some consolidation with craft beer distribution a while back in Indiana and some of the beer I liked was no longer available in Indiana. I was basically an unhappy consumer. My brother in law was / is a craft beer distributor in Ohio so I asked him what was going on and it became clear that there was opportunity in Indiana. Here we are now in our 6th year in business.

3) What are your personal and professional missions? What are you trying to accomplish in the beer world?

I am working hard to build a successful small business and doing what I can to quench the craft beer thirst of Hoosiers.

4) When selecting beers to distribute, do you have a beer that you benchmark all the others against? How do you know when a beer is good enough for you to distribute?

No Benchmarks. It has to make sense from a pricing and logistical standpoint. We are constantly asked can you get this beer or that beer. Those questions help to gauge if there is a demand in Indiana. I am very open minded as everyone's pallets are different and sometimes quality and personal taste get confused. I look for a well made beer that I feel will sell.

5) What is your favorite beer that you distribute? What beer line brings you the most pride? Why?

I can be kind of of moody, my favorite depends on what day it is or what I am eating or what season it is. I am proud of all our beer. It has been very rewarding to bring many brands to Indiana and watch them grow as well as take over brands that have not been successful in Indiana in the past and build them into viable brands.

6) What beers outside those you distribute do you enjoy, both domestic and imported? What beers do you wish you were distributing?

I really enjoy Alaskan Smoked Porter and Rodenbach Grand Cru. I would be happy to distribute Dogfish Head and or Bells.

Bonus: Is there anything else you would like us to know about you and your business?
I am really proud to be the only truly independent beer distributor that covers the entire state of Indiana. I like to say that I am the little guy with all the cool stuff. I would like to thank all the Indiana consumers of craft beer as they are the ones fueling our growth. I also would like to thank everyone who is working for Cavalier Distributing or has worked for us in the past as they all have been a big part of getting quality beer out to all of our retail partners.


  1. Great stuff there! I really like a lot of the beers Cavalier distributes. Stone, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Celis White to name a few. I hope they continue to do well and bring more good beer to Indiana.

  2. You are my hero if only for the founders.

    I think it is great we are getting more variety here in Central Indiana because we are lacking behind in variety compared to the states that touch us, but things are getting better thanks to Mat's company. Thank you.

  3. I dunno, Matt... every time I'm in Illinois I'm struck by how many brands they don't get over there. I mean, other than like Ska Brewing, I don't see much that we don't have here.

    Maybe I need clued in on what to be looking for?

  4. I might be used to Binny's in Chicago when it comes to how much they get.

    Stoudts, Bear Republic, Victory, Alesmith, Great Lakes, Southern Tier, Moylan, as well at my favorites of FFF's, Founders, soon to be Bell's again...etc....

    Other parts of the state maybe are quite different.