Beer in America emerged from Prohibition dramatically different then it entered the Noble Experiment.

Brewery, Sioux Falls SD USA

Brewery, Sioux Falls SD USA

One component of our current beer and alcohol beverage system was that regulatory powers were given to states. Here’s the current line up:

  1. Brewery or Importer (defined here)
  2. Distributor (NBWA definition)
  3. Retailer (Iowa’s definition page)

A few of our colleagues have statements and information on the current system – here are two:

This said, here are the layers we see.

  1. Grower. Who’s making the raw agricultural ingredients for beer? How should they be included in the conversation?
  2. Processor. Who’s preparing any ingredients that need processing before they enter beer, like Malsters and hops pellet plants?
  3. Packaging. Who’s making any packaging involved in packing ingredients, packaging beer, and labeling and display pieces?
  4. Brewery. Is the beer made on premise? is it contract brewed to order?
  5. Legal entities. Federal, State, Local. All have a say in the regulation of beer and alcohol in America. It’s a miasma out there, to say the least, in that there is no universal regulations.
  6. Transportation. Who’s involved in transporting the beer, safely, chilled, and securely to its destination?
  7. Sellers. Whether they be the brewery (where legal) or retailers, who’s the one pouring and selling beer?
  8. Consumers. This is the component that’s the biggest rub to WEB. The consumer is rarely talked about in the pyramid that is the beer community in America.

A hot topic right now are “Franchise Laws” as they are called. They’re under robust debate in the current 3 Tier System. Dig around online to find more info. There are, of course, various stances from the various parties with a stake in the game.

How many tiers do you count?

Categories: Beer, Something To Think About
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