We're here for the Beer!
When you go to the grocery store do you ever wonder how all of those beers arrived safely on the shelf? Ever wonder why there is so much variety for you to choose from? Or have you seen an article about people in other countries getting sick from drinking tainted or unsafe alcohol and wonder why that doesn't happen in the US? Well, you can thank the Three-Tier System for all of that and much more!
The Three-Tier System was created after the 21st amendment was passed. States were given the authority to regulate alcohol as they saw fit. The states thought to develop a structure for checks and balances to provide safe alcohol to you, the consumer, while ensuring a simple method to collect the tax revenue, known as the Three-Tier System. This System is made up of the Brewer, Distributor, and Retailer. Basically, the Brewer brews the beer, the Distributor warehouses it and delivers to the Retailer, and the Retailer sells it to you, the customer!
Since Doll Distributing represents the 2nd tier, let me dive a little deeper into what happens when the beer leaves a brewery.
The Brewer plans on brewing a beer and the Distributor is in charge of forecasting how much of that beer we can sell to the Retailer. The Forecasting team works with our sales teams to project an accurate number of cases that can be sold. Then, they submit that to the Brewer. The Brewer then sends the Distributor the amount of product and the Distributor unloads the beer into their warehouse to store until it is sold to the Retailer. Once the Distributor's Sales Team sells in the product to a store, they submit their order back to the warehouse to be delivered the next day. Our warehouse team works hard to build the submitted orders and load them onto trucks to be delivered the next day. The Delivery team ensures the Beer arrives safely to the account and then they unload it at the account. There, either the Distributor's Merchandising team or Sales Team, if allowed, will merchandise the product by stocking shelves and building fun displays in stores. The Distributors Marketing and Sales teams work together to create exciting promotions/ samplings to engage the consumer so you're able to learn about the new products and taste them! You'll also see our Marketing team out at special events like concerts and festivals getting you hyped up about the products we carry! Now that you know a little more about the second tier, read on to see what some other members of the three tier system think about Distributors!
According to Boston Beer, Founder, Jim Koch, "When I started this thing, no wholesaler would take me." Jim's talking about the Craft Beer movement. "That was a great thing for me, because I learned what a wholesaler does. Honestly, brewers have the easy work! The day I got off that truck was my best day in the beer business. I had to deliver it, get paid for it and make all the sales calls. It gave me an appreciation that wholesalers do a lot of the hard work in this industry. We as craft brewers have to be aware that we have a very good regulatory framework here. We have orderly pricing procedures. We have wholesalers who enforce sensible marketing if brewers try to do a stupid crazy thing. No Three Tier, no craft beer! We are all stronger because of it."
National Beer Wholesale Association President was recently quoted saying, "In 1983-4, we were at an all time low in the U.S. There were less than 50 brewers. Today there are 7,300. When you look at the regulatory framework in existence for 85 years, it started being built as soon as Prohibition was repealed. It has given rise to a wildly successful segment. There is hardly an industry in America that has met with that kind of success."
This system has many benefits, including regulatory, economic, commercial, and public health safe guards. In countries around the world you can find cases of people getting sick or dying from tainted alcohol. That just simply doesn't happen in the US because the Three Tier system is checking product at every step of the way to ensure your safety!
So next time you're enjoying a cold one at home, raise a glass and cheers to the three tiers!