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Study Shows Montana’s Beer and Wine Distributors Boost Economy

July 24, 2014


Montana’s beer and wine distributors support more than 2,000 jobs, with average earnings of nearly $54,000, according to a recent study by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The study, commissioned by the Montana Beer and Wine Distributors Association (MBWDA), found that distributor operations increase the number of jobs, levels of household income and tax revenues across the state.

“We found that distributors make Montana’s economy larger, more prosperous and more populous,” said Colin Sorenson, a BBER research economist who conducted the study along with BBER Director Patrick Barkey.

BBER’s study found that Montana’s 22 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.

“A lot of our work is behind the scenes, so people may not realize the pivotal role we play in getting products to customers,” according to Mike Markovich, a Montana Beer and Wine Distributors Association board member. “For example, it would be pretty hard to get many of your favorite Montana craft beers in your local store without distributors to help make it happen. We are able to transport the beer of even small Montana breweries in our trucks alongside the nationally known beers, which provides a great diversity in products offered by Montana retailers.”

Association distributors deliver beer and wine to approximately 3,200 licensed accounts located throughout Montana’s 56 counties.

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at UM is a research center producing economic and industry data for Montana. For more information visit:


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