State Policy Issues | NBWA: America's Beer and Beverage Distributors

The United States today benefits from a state-based regulatory system for alcohol, which was created more than 80 years ago as Prohibition ended. In 1933, the 21st Amendment granted individual states the primary authority to regulate alcohol within their borders.

This time-tested system of state-based alcohol regulation gives each state the ability to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of its citizens. Alcohol is not like potato chips or toothpaste and is not regulated the same way as other products. State-based regulation of alcohol allows each state the flexibility to deal with local needs, concerns and circumstances. 

In support of this effective state alcohol regulation, NBWA monitors legal challenges and remains committed to legal advocacy that works to protect core state regulatory powers that are guaranteed by the 21st Amendment. To learn more about developments in alcohol law, visit NBWA’s legal blog at

State Beer Franchise Laws

NBWA advocates for laws that support a fair system that ensures all brewers and importers have access to a competitive market through an independent distribution system. Such laws are important to act independently from suppliers and retailers, allowing them the ability to take on new brands, get them to new markets and help these new businesses grow. Laws like these, including beer franchise laws, are good for the consumer, the public and businesses such as new, small brewers. They support consumer choice, brewer access and responsible sales. Learn more about beer franchise laws.

State Beer Distributor Associations

Specific state alcohol legislation is created by state legislative bodies. State beer distributor associations work with local legislators to educate them on proposed legislation that impacts the industry and the public. To learn about specific policy issues impacting beer distributors in a certain state, contact your local state beer distributor association. NBWA members can access contact information in the NBWA Online Handbook

State Alcohol Regulators

View a directory of all state alcohol beverage authorities.

For more resources on state policy issues, please contact