View Full Version : Self-Distribution to Consumer

02-12-2007, 12:45 PM
I have read several of the recent posts on this site regarding self distribution in NY, IL, and CA. Each of these posts seems to deal with local self-distribution of kegs.

However, I was wondering more specifically about why you rarely, if ever, see the availability of direct distribution of beer to consumers. Is it cost-prohibitive, legally prohibited, simply against the grain of the traditional 3-tier system, or other reasons?

I recognize recent wine laws have opened up interstate commerce, yet even before that the wine industry has enjoyed a tradition of direct orders from the winery or participation in wine clubs. If anyone has any insight they can share or any resources they can point to, I would greatly appreciate it.


Larry Horwitz
02-23-2007, 09:10 AM
lots of reasons, but the biggest is that it just isn't cost effective for the brewery. A case of beer retails for usually no more than $30 (give or take) and the shipping on that case would be about the same. Wine can be $30 per bottle for even moderately priced product....makes a lot more sense to ship direct. We do big bottles at $20 each...and it still doesn't make much sense to ship them.

other reasons include the same kinds of things the wine guys have been fighting: 3-tier bias, state to state issues, under 21 problems (percieved or otherwise) etc.

02-23-2007, 12:20 PM
Well, there is another obstacle to self-distribution. You are getting into a totally different business. You are the running two businesses at the same time. Production and distribution. A lot of people do not have the skills or the passion to perform/manage both.

Me? I got mad skillz, but I don't have the passion to perform either. I prefer the brewpub model where customers come to you!