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A 2014 study by the University of Montana found that Montana’s Beer and Wine Distributors have the following economic impacts:

An average of 2,048 additional permanent, year-round jobs in the state;
More than $120 million received by Montana households;
Disposable income of over $100 million;
Nearly $200 million in sales from businesses and organizations based in Montana; and
Tax and non-tax revenues, not including property taxes, of more than $36 million.

Distributor activity sustains nearly 1,200 jobs in wholesale trade and more than 800 additional jobs in manufacturing, state and local government, construction and other private sector industries, the study found.

To read the complete study, click here.


For more than 80 years the American system of state based, three-tier alcohol regulation and independent licensed distributors has withstood the test of time as one of the best examples of the optimal balance or transparency and accountability, availability and control, and private efficiency and public interest.

Click on each of the subtopics below to learn more.

Prohibition is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. Discover the true story of America’s “Great Experiment.”

Watch the preview here:

What is the three-tier system?

Following the repeal of Prohibition, states created a three-tier alcohol distribution system which strikes a careful balance between control and access of this socially important but potentially harmful product. In this system, brewers sell their beer to distributors, and distributors market, sell and safely deliver those beers to retailers.

What is the Care Act?

The Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2011, H.R. 1161, is about WHO should make decisions regarding alcohol regulation rather than WHAT those decisions should be. The CARE Act recognizes and reaffirms that alcohol is different from other consumer products and that it should continue to be regulated by the states. The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave rise to a state-based sys­tem of regulation that effectively balances community attitudes about alcohol with healthy marketplace competition and vast consumer choice. This is why today’s system allows businesses to grow. The majority of Americans believe state and local governments should decide how alcohol is sold in their communities.

Since the repeal of Prohibition nearly eight decades ago, states have effectively regulated alcohol in a way that serves the needs of their citizens. Over the past six years, however, more than half of the states have been chal­lenged in federal courts by plaintiffs seeking to reduce the states’ ability to regulate alcohol. Attacks on this working regulatory system present a significant and unnecessary burden to taxpayers at a time of record state deficits. The CARE Act will help limit such unnecessary litigation by clarifying congressional intent and continuing to keep alcohol regulatory decisions at the state level.

For more information about the CARE ACT, visit

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