North Las Vegas houses the nation's distribution mothership for Castello Premium Lagers.
The Italian brews have been cropping up in the valley since mid-July from the Las Vegas Beer & Beverage Company's 13,500-square-foot warehouse at 4606 Andrews St., Suite 2.
Father-son duo Adam and Amesh Patel are the exclusive importers and distributors for the beer nationwide.
They're targeting pizzerias, restaurant chains, hotels and sports bars and are distributed in 25 states.
At 23, Amesh Patel is the young president of the distribution side, but it isn't the first time he's taken the reins of a business. At 19, he owned a hookah lounge in Las Vegas. The Faith Lutheran Jr/Sr High School graduate went to college in Reno for a year but decided he wanted to get down to business.
"I really wanted to jump right in," Patel said. "I started my own hookah lounge. I had all my friends come in; it was an awesome time. Then, this deal came around for my dad to import this Italian beer."
As he surveys the warehouse, walking among the pallets of beverages, Patel shakes his head.
"We're going to need a bigger warehouse," he said.
Adam Patel serves as a national sales consultant for his son's company but runs the import through Italian Beer & Beverage Company. The elder Patel imported 30,000 cases last year but is projecting about 75,000 cases in 2011.
The beverage company also distributes Calypso lemonade and teamonade (a tea/lemonade hybrid) -- 16 flavors in all. The Castello lagers come in three flavors. The beer is brewed in two different breweries less than two hours north of Venice, Italy. One brewery is 110 years old. It's about a 30-day brewing process.
While most brews have a lengthy story about how they came to be, Castello takes pride in being the "beer without a history since 1997."
"The ultimate goal would be for Anheuser-Busch or someone to come along and buy out the brand," Amesh Patel said. "Anheuser-Busch doesn't have an Italian brand in their portfolio."
The family-owned business was established in 2010. The distribution company is new to the valley, although the company has been managing the importation of the lagers to the United States since 2008. The company began at a small warehouse on Valley View Boulevard and Desert Inn Road but outgrew that space within a month, Amesh Patel said.
"Our selling point is that we're the only authentic brewed and bottled beer out of Italy right now," he said. "Peroni is owned by Miller, and (Birra) Moretti is owned by Heineken. As far as price point, I can be one of the cheapest imports in town."
The lager has successfully made its way into a few convenience stores, and the company is attempting to work its product into Walmarts throughout the valley.
"This is not only a distribution house," Adam Patel said. "It's also a testing grounds to release all kinds of Castello products."
He travels, tours facilities, works on brands and graphics for the products.
"He's right next to me all the way," Adam Patel said, pointing to his son.
Over the next year and a half, the company plans to hire more people to get to about 20 to 23 staff members in the financially strapped city. Right now there are only a few employees.
"What we're looking for is anyone who can handle a computer -- an iPod, an iPad or iSomething -- if they can't, we can't handle it," Adam Patel said.
The sales team uses these technologies for invoicing and communicating about the company daily.
Contact Downtown and North Las Vegas View reporter Kristi Jourdan at email@example.com or 383-0492.