It all started with a case of Oertel’s ’92. Shortly after the end of World War II, Raymond C. Hand began working for a local distributor selling beer out of a pickup truck in Clarksville, Tenn. On March 22, 1949, the former wholesaler employee took his passion for the beer business to the next level, founding Ideal Distributing. Through hard work and perseverance, in 1956, Raymond C. Hand got the break he was looking for when he was awarded distribution rights for St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch (AB) in an eight-county area surrounding Clarksville.
After Raymond C. Hand passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1961, his 22-year-old son, Charles W. Hand, dropped out of college and took over the family business. Exponential growth followed, and in 1985, nearly 25 years after Charles Hand assumed the mantle of leadership, the company achieved its first major milestone: selling 1 million cases.