The Three-Tier System
HOW CONSUMERS ARE PROVIDED WITH THE BEST CHOICE AND VARIETY
Brewers, distillers and winemakers of all sizes, from all parts of the world, produce a variety of traditional and innovative products.
Working hand-in-hand with suppliers and retailers, distributors are able to deliver an incredible variety of traditional and innovative products and so much more.
Retailers carry a variety of traditional and innovative brands and package sizes to meet the needs of their customers.
WHAT IS THE INDEPENDENT THREE-TIER SYSTEM OF ALCOHOL DISTRIBUTION?
America’s independent beer distributors are a critical link in a three-tier distribution system. Distributors are regulated by the states and provide a tremendous variety of beer brands and styles to licensed retailers at a great value while protecting the public. The three-tier system is made up of brewers and importers, distributors and retailers.
BENEFITS OF THE THREE-TIER SYSTEM AND BEER DISTRIBUTORS
HEALTHY COMPETITION AND A ROBUST MARKETPLACE
Beer distributors source beer from a wide variety of importers and manufacturers. By working with numerous brewers, distributors provide a vehicle to market for the largest multinational beer brands to start-up craft brewers. Because of this system, you can order a California craft beer off a menu in Illinois; enjoy a Vermont brew in a Tennessee restaurant; and see a tap handle from Pennsylvania in a Texas bar.
The three-tier system provides the infrastructure, capital and personnel small brewers need to reach a wide network of retailers. Distributors’ infrastructure includes state-of-the-art warehouses and fleets of temperature-controlled trucks and vehicles that preserve these perishable products. Distributor personnel include not only employees that handle warehousing, transporting and delivering all types of beer to local retailers, but also sales and merchandising professionals who help promote each label of beer they sell. Distributors deliver customized inventory based on the requirements of each individual retailer in their local market.
Beer distributors provide a clear chain of custody in the sale of beer. America’s independent beer distributors are licensed by both the state and federal governments. Distributors source fresh beer only from federally-registered brewers and importers and sell it only to state-licensed retailers including restaurants and convenience stores. This system helps to ensure that retailers hold the appropriate license, do not sell to those under the legal drinking age and comply with local alcohol beverage laws.