Independent Distribution: Essential to Balance in the Alcohol Industry

Americans enjoy safe access to the world’s greatest variety of alcohol beverage products because of the state-based alcohol regulatory structure created by the 21st Amendment. This structure carefully balances control and access through a licensed and secure alcohol sales system — licensed suppliers selling to licensed distributors selling to licensed retailers.

More than 3,000 independent beer and beverage distributors across the country play an essential role in this system that provides Americans with a safe, well-regulated and competitive marketplace that promotes a wide and constantly growing variety of product choices.

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Watch a short video about how our nation’s successful alcohol regulations work.


The Congressional 21st Amendment Caucus

The Issue: The newly formed 21st Amendment Caucus recognizes the importance of state and federal alcohol regulations as well as the role of licensed alcohol businesses in collecting taxes, supporting public health priorities and creating and maintaining a competitive, safe and efficient market. The caucus is supported by members of the supplier, distributor and retail tiers.

Why It Matters: It is important for Congress to share the value of maintaining effective, state-based alcohol regulation for American consumers and the marketplace.

We Encourage House Members To: Join the 21st Amendment Caucus and support effective, state-based alcohol regulation.

Consumer Protection, Economic Impact and Regulatory Accountability

The Issue: Legislators and regulators make decisions that can bolster or undermine our nation’s state-based alcohol regulatory system.

Why It Matters: American consumers enjoy safe and efficient access to the world’s most dynamic and competitive alcohol market because suppliers/importers, distributors and retailers all play important and separate roles within the alcohol regulatory system. This system delivers…


  • The chain of custody ensures product integrity and helps keep alcohol away from minors.


  • Independent distributors make it possible for suppliers of all sizes and locations to have access to the U.S. alcohol market, resulting in unparalleled consumer choice.

Economic Impact

  • This system drives efficient collection of nearly $40 billion in annual tax revenue while creating over 137,000 distribution jobs across the country. It also provides manufacturers of all sizes with access to scaled distribution.


  • The separation of functions provides regulatory safeguards against anti-competitive behavior that can undermine consumer objectives.

We Encourage Congress To: Support policies that protect the American public and reinforce the state-based system of effective alcohol regulation.