Many people may think beer wholesalers simply deliver beer from the brewers and importers to local retailers; however, their role within the three-tier system is much more involved then merely delivery. Wholesalers purchase beer from their brewers, reducing the brewers’ capital requirements and transferring the risk of retailer non-payment to the wholesalers. The wholesalers then store the beer at their facilities until retailers order it. Because warehousing and delivery are done locally, retailer inventory is kept to a minimum and costs associated with beer storage are significantly lowered. Additionally, same day or next day delivery helps maintain the freshness of the product consumers have come to expect.
The independent beer wholesalers also sell the beer to the retailers. Retailers include such outlets as your local beer distributor, local restaurants, pubs and taverns, sports venues and clubs. With the wholesalers responsible for selling the beer to retailers, smaller brewers, those which brew specialty and micro beers, also benefit as they often cannot afford to employ a large sales force. Thanks to your wholesaler, consumers have an enormous variety of beers to choose from.