The people of North Carolina benefit from a system of state-based alcohol regulation that balances robust competition with community desires.  Today, consumers of legal drinking age have access to thousands of different brands and styles of beer and wine—from locally-produced products to large multinational labels and imports from around the world—all delivered through a safe, transparent and accountable system.

In North Carolina, we have independent beer and wine distributors who operate as an essential cog in a highly-successful three-tier system of alcohol regulation. Suppliers (brewers or wineries) create the product that distributors deliver to the 20,000-plus retail permittees across the state.  Those permittees include grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and bars.  This system works to protect the public and provide consumers with unparalleled choice and value.

Beer and wine distributors in North Carolina are family-owned companies.  These companies directly employ more than 5,600 men and women who earn annual wages and benefits averaging $71,385.  N.C. beer and wine distributors are responsible for the collection and payment of more than $160 million each year in excise taxes for the state.

Beer and wine distributors provide transportation, storage and maintenance for perishable products from the time it leaves the brewery/winery until it arrives at the retailer. Distributors ensure beer and wine are handled safely and sold only to licensed retailers.

Distributors secure beer and wine from a wide variety of brewers, wineries, and importers and preserve the perishable products in a temperature-controlled warehouse. They then deliver customized inventory based on the requirements of each individual retailer including restaurants, bars and neighborhood stores. After delivery, the distributor continues to monitor retailer shelves to ensure product freshness and integrity. This system gives consumers and retailers unparalleled access to a wide variety of choice and selection.
The three tier distribution system also makes the most economic sense. It provides the best method for smaller breweries and wineries to get their products into a diverse marketplace and provides small retailers and consumers the best variety of choice and value. This system provides a level playing field for all brewers, wineries and retailers.


America’s beer and wine distributors work hard to promote the responsible and legal consumption of alcoholic beverages by sponsoring and participating in many community-based efforts; such as, alcohol education programs in local schools, safe ride home programs, the creation and placement of public service announcements (PSAs) promoting responsibility, education materials, alcohol-free prom and graduation after-parties, safety training courses for alcohol beverage servers, safe boating campaigns and designated driver programs.

Beer & wine wholesalers operate within a strict state-based regulatory system that provides a transparent and accountable chain of custody in the sale of beer and wine, making it easier to enforce state laws and local ordinances. Working with their supplier and retailer partners, the American men and women of the beer and wine distribution industry play a critical role in the effort to eliminate drunk driving, alcohol abuse and the underage purchase and consumption of alcohol.

The U.S. beer industry has a long history of demonstrating a Commitment to Responsibility in promoting the moderate consumption of beer.

Because alcohol beverages are available at many social events, beer & wine distributors actively promote responsible consumption and the use of designated drivers. They also sponsor alternative transportation programs to help ensure that no one who has had too much to drink gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.

North Carolina beer distributors believe the best approach to combat drunk driving is to support effective, state-based solutions. NCBWWA supports the mandatory use of ignition interlocks for offenders with multiple DWI convictions and for drivers convicted of drunk driving with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, even for a first time offense.