America’s Beer Distributors Celebrate 21st Amendment Anniversary, Today’s Effective Beer Distribution System | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

Media Contact: LAUREN KANE; (703) 519-3097

Press Releases| Dec 4, 2017

Alexandria, Va. – Tomorrow, Dec. 5, America’s beer distributors will celebrate the 84th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, which repealed Prohibition and established today’s effective system of state-based alcohol regulation.

On Dec. 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (a three-fourths majority of the then 48 states) ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, ending 13 years of Prohibition, and granted each state the primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of their citizens.

A video jointly produced by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Wholesale Beer Association Executives explains the history of America’s state-based regulatory system, the three-tier distribution system and the regulatory, economic and commercial value of independent distributors in promoting public safety and access to market for brewers of all sizes.

NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser issued the following statement:

“NBWA raises a glass in celebration of the 21st Amendment and its role in establishing the effective system that we have in America today. Because of state-based alcohol regulation, the three-tier system and independent beer distributors, the public can count on transparency and accountability while consumers enjoy unparalleled choice and variety.

“Today’s system has generated unprecedented variety, offered by more than 5,000 breweries – compared to less than 50 back in the 1980s. Craft brewers continue to develop and expand, and imports continue to soar, offering consumers tastes and experiences from all over the world.

“America’s 3,000 independent, licensed beer distribution facilities – and the 135,000 men and women working in the industry – are proud to partner with states as part of this time-tested system.”




The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visit For additional updates from NBWA, follow @NBWABeer on Twitter, like NBWA on Facebook, follow NBWA on Instagram and subscribe to NBWA’s YouTube channel.