Bruce and Ardelle Watkins purchased Gusto Distributing in 1965. At that time, we had Schlitz and Pabst with one fork lift and four employees. We obtained Miller in 1972. We purchased a Coors/micro/wine house in Great Falls in 2000, and purchased the Coors house in Havre (2004), and the Miller house in Helena (2005).
Our family history in the beer business started during prohibition. Bruce’s father, Harry Watkins, was bootlegging in the Sweetgrass area. After prohibition ended, Harry started a beer distribution business in Havre and Shelby. The first loads of Budweiser and Schlitz in Montana arrived at Harry’s warehouse, and a family business was born. Bruce’s brothers took over the distributorships. Other Watkins family members have beer distributorships not only in Havre and Shelby, but Great Falls, Missoula, and most of Idaho.