Beam Inc has followed Pernod Ricard in signing a distribution tie-up with Southern Wine & Spirits of America in the US state of Washington. 

Beam has signed a long-term, exclusive distribution deal with Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) in Washington, it said today (31 January). It means that SWS is now the Jim Beam Bourbon distiller's sole distributor in 29 US states, making it the firm's biggest distribution partner.

The deal comes 24 hours after Pernod Ricard announced that it, too, will see its brands distributed by SWS in Washington. Pernod's agreement will take effect from 1 March. Beam's agreement will take effect from the same date for the on-premise and from 1 June for the off-premise.

Both drinks firms' moves coincide with the privatisation of Washington’s alcoholic drinks market. They already use SWS as a broker there.

SWS' COO and president, Wayne Chaplin, said: “We have made a tremendous investment in the state in terms of new warehousing, technology and people resources."

Beam's president for North America, Bill Newlands, added: “Working together, year over year we’ve achieved significant growth."