American Beer Distribution – More Relevant Today Than Ever

The Three-Tier System in Iowa

Beer distributors operate in a unique regulatory environment that was established by the 21st Amendment to the Constitution and state and federal governments in the wake of the repeal of Prohibition. Since the end of Prohibition over 80 years ago, malt beverages, wine and spirits in the United States have been distributed according to a three-tier system composed of licensed suppliers (brewers,vinters and distillers), distributors and retailers.

Beer distributors occupy the middle tier of the three-tier system for the distribution and sale of beer that was established to insulate retailers from control by suppliers; to encourage moderation in consumption; to guarantee full collection of state and federal taxes; and to permit states to superimpose their own rules and regulations over licensed beverages that reflect their states practices and beliefs.

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The Beer Guy: A day in the life of a beer distributor

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