Independent distributors provide for the safe distribution of alcohol. 

Alcohol laws regulate a safe, efficient and orderly marketplace for alcoholic beverages in order to promote moderate consumption and responsible trade practices.  

Distributors operate within a time-tested regulatory system.  They are licensed by both state and federal governments, and they are accountable for the local implementation of and compliance with laws that preserve public safety and enhance consumer value and choice.

How Do Independent Beer Distributors Provide Regulatory Value?

1. Distributors help preserve orderly markets.  Distributors provide accountability in beer sales.  They promote responsible competition; uphold effective business practices; and abide by trade practice laws which reflect local customs and community interests.

2. Distributors are key to a transparent regulatory system.  The three-tier system (brewers & importers; distributors; and retailers) ensures a safe and transparent regulatory system for alcoholic beverages.  Distributors are the linchpin of that system through which federal, state and local governments enforce their alcohol laws.  Distributors effectively serve this role because they are local businesses whose actions are easily monitored and controlled.

3. Distributors ensure legal distribution of beer.  Distributors protect against illegal distribution of alcoholic beverages by ensuring that sales and deliveries are made only to licensed retailers.

4. Distributors support alcohol laws and regulations.  Distributors are accountable for compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations designed to ensure safe handling, fair trade practices and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.  

5. Distributors track product and ensure tax collection.  Distributors maintain detailed records that make transparent the chain of custody of alcoholic beverages from supplier to retailer.  In many states, distributors also ensure the timely payment and complete collection of state and local taxes and licensing fees.

6. Distributors are leaders in the business community.  Distributors set the example for compliance with all federal, state and local laws governing commerce, transportation, public health, employment and other business functions.

Download PDF