The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) provides valuable benefits for beer distributors. Through proactive industry affairs initiatives and effective advocacy before government and the public, NBWA represents beer distributors on issues ranging from taxes to regulation, working to promote the value of the American distribution system. NBWA also helps distributors grow their productivity and the effectiveness of their operations, and provides numerous opportunities to network at some of the beer industry's premier events hosted by NBWA.

Distributor Member Application

Distributor Membership Requirements

Per the NBWA Bylaws: Regular voting membership in the Association shall be limited to independent distributors holding a basic permit under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act to distribute beer (or its equivalent for distributors operating in a U.S. territory or possession) and who subscribe to the mission and goals of the Association. A Regular member, however formed, who owns, controls or otherwise possesses more than one federal basic permit (regardless of location) may register as a Regular member for each licensed location; and each such membership shall have one vote (as set forth in Section 5.2). To be eligible for regular membership, the applicant must represent itself to the trade and public as an independent wholesale distributor of beer (A) who regularly purchases beer as a principal from supplier(s); (B) whose primary business is offering for sale, storing, reselling, and physically transferring beer to non-affiliated firms holding retail licenses; and (C) who adds value to the product by such activities. A beer distributor whose operations are controlled in law or fact by a supplier shall be ineligible for regular membership.

Why NBWA Membership is a Smart Investment:

NBWA Advocates on Behalf of Beer Distributors Before Federal and State Governments

NBWA is the leading national advocate on beer industry issues. NBWA advocates for beer distributors on Capitol Hill and before state governments around the country, educating policymakers about the commercial, economic and regulatory value distributors deliver; promoting the strengths of state-based regulation of alcohol; and highlighting the important role beer distributors play in their home communities.

NBWA Provides Public Affairs Resources for Distributors

NBWA helps distributor members prepare for speaking to the media, legislators, business and civic groups and the public. Through a variety of public relations resources, beer distributors have the resources to talk about NBWA's core messages. NBWA works to promote the commercial, economic and regulatory value that America’s 3,300 independent beer distributors deliver in their communities.

NBWA Advances the Three-Tier System

NBWA advocates for today’s system of beer distribution. The association works to provide information and data that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of beer distributors in their relationships with suppliers, retailers, consumers, regulators and elected officials. NBWA provides information and analysis regarding state and federal regulatory compliance.

Educating industry allies, trading partners and consumers about the services distributors provide is a major priority.

NBWA's leadership in the Beer Industry Electronic Commerce Coalition has been key in assuring that all participants in the three-tier system (brewer/importer; distributor; and retailer) understand how electronic commerce enhances the value of the three-tier system. 

NBWA Helps Build the Productivity and Effectiveness of Distributor Operations

NBWA provides value-added management tools to its membership. The Compensation and Benefits Study allows distributors to compare employee benefit and compensation packages. NBWA's Distributor Productivity Report is designed to help the distributor's business and strengthen the three-tier system.

NBWA Provides Opportunities to Network at Beer Industry's Premier Events

The Annual Convention provides interesting and exciting speakers, innovative discussion topics, timely education seminars and the opportunity to meet with distributors and suppliers. Additionally, the Biennial Trade Show, in Las Vegas, and the Product Demonstration Showcase, held in even-numbered years, gives you an opportunity to view the latest in equipment, products and services offered to beer distributors.

The Legislative Conference, held annually in Washington, D.C., provides a forum for distributors to meet and discuss important issues with members of Congress.

NBWA Offers Programs That Save You Money

Through partnerships with BevCap Management, LLC and Ameritas Group, NBWA offers distributor members affordable options for property and casualty insurance, health insurance, limited benefit medical plans and dental and vision plans. Learn more about NBWA Insurance Program offerings that will reduce your business costs.

To find out if you are eligible for distributor membership, or for more information on membership in NBWA, contact the Meetings and Membership Department at 800-300-6417.