Defending the ‘three Tier’ Alcohol Distribution System

Michael Giberson

A newspaper report said, “Internet and direct-mail sales have become essential to the growth of smaller winemakers and microbrewers in the last decade.”  No doubt the reason that “distributors of alcoholic beverages are pressing for a federal law that would allow states to block interstate sales of wine and beer to their residents….”

The documentary Beer Wars tells the story of the growth of small- and medium-sized craft brewers and their battle against the “big guys” (mostly Anheuser-Busch), but an amusing highlight comes with a trip to Washington, D.C., for the annual beer wholesalers lobbying trip.  Distributor after distributor, when asked what they where lobbying for, answered “to defend the three tier system.”

Do you have to a$k why?  I$n’t it obviou$?