Founded in 1940 by Irving Levine and Jack Kessler, K&L has been known as one of the premier and most diverse organizations in the beverage alcohol industry.
K&L started in the Lowman Building in Seattle with a total staff of three – Irving, Jack, and Rika Herring. The core business at the time was brokering spirits to the State of Washington Liquor Control Board. A few years later, Levine and Kessler parted ways. At that time, Irving’s brother Stanley joined K&L. Stanley established residence in Anchorage and began covering the entire state of Alaska developing that sales region. Shortly afterward, K & L Beverage Company was created to distribute beer in Washington State’s King County, taking on the distribution rights of Anheuser-Busch in 1948.
Following World War II, growth dictated the need for more space and efficiency. Subsequently, offices and warehouse facilities were established in Seattle on East Marginal Way, where it remained for 30 years until a move to Bellevue in 1970. The Bellevue move coincided with Washington State allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores. K&L opened a Seattle wine division focusing on Gallo and Almaden wines.
In later years, the liquor brokerage portion of the company was evolved to sell in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and California.
As rapidly as the alcohol beverage industry has changed over the years, so has the face and landscape of K & L. What remains is a strong belief in customer service, employee loyalty and the need to change with the times; these are core values the Company has embraced from the beginning.
In 1997 the company formed a partnership with Young’s Markets of California to market spirits.
In 2016 K&L was purchased by White Mountain Beverage and is currently operating as K&L Distributors Alaska.