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How does the Three-Tier System work in the USA?

The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution created a unique federal and state regulatory structure that involves a closed system of product sale. That system is called the three-tier system.  It represents the manufacturers/producer, the distributors/wholesalers and the retailers.
The producer will sell to retailers, and the retailers only can sell to consumers.  
Florida is ruled by this structure and prevents any deal in alcoholic beverages without obtaining a license from the State. Section 562.12, Fla. Stat.
That being said, it means that each tier is usually required to be independent of the other (and each of them must be licensed). This separation means that the economic interests of producers, distributors and retailers are completely different.


Who are the producers?

Producers are brewers, vinters and distillers. An important fact to know is that each of these alcoholic beverages contains the same amount of alcohol, however society considers the three categories pretty differently.

Who are the distributors?

As the middle tier of the alcohol beverage industry, the licensed distributor has a unique and indispensable role in being sure that the Alcohol industry in the US runs safely and successfully. They maintain the security of the inventories and assure the timely payment of exercise taxes.

Who are the Retailers?

They include restaurants, taverns, grocery stores, liquor stores and wine shops.

Why did the USA develop that system?

The reason is mainly because of Prohibition. The United States encountered a poor regulated market before Prohibition and a fully illegal one during Prohibition.

Glory Vodka, as an ultra premium spirit made in USA, takes part of this Three-tier system.

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