Mar 01 2011


Montana-based Summit Beverage has committed $500,000 over the next five years in support of The University of Montana Department of Athletics. The gift will support a variety of initiatives within the department, including scholarships, Grizzly Scholarship Association (GSA) events and facility improvements. The contribution will be paid over five years.

Summit Beverage will continue to sponsor the popular Western Montana Wine Festival, an annual fall event which benefits the GSA. The 2010 festival marked the fifth year of the sponsorship, which has raised more than $140,000 for student-athlete scholarships.

"Private support is critical to our success," said Jim O'Day, Director of Athletics at TheUniversity of Montana. "Summit Beverage and the Markovich family will have an immediate impact on the welfare of UM's outstanding student-athletes.

"We are very appreciative of their commitment. It is imperative we continue to make improvements to facilities and fully fund scholarships."

"The economic impact the University has on the community of Missoula is unbelievable," said Dale Markovich, President of Summit Beverage. "We are honored to give back to the institution that has given our state so much."

Family-owned by the Markovichs since 1968, Summit Beverage began as Roach & Smith, a small candy and tobacco wholesaler based in Anaconda, Mont. In 1977, the company entered the beer distribution business, followed nine years later with a license to distribute wine.

With the acquisition of  Miller, Corona and Gallo in Butte in 2000 and Earl's Distributing in Missoula in 2004, Roach & Smith grew to be the largest distributor of wine and beer in the state of Montana.

The name of the company was changed to Summit Beverage in January 2005. It has offices in Butte and Missoula.

Jim O'Day, Director of Athletics, 406-243-5348
Dale Markovich, President, Summit Beverage, 406-490-1476