The American beer industry plays an important role in the lives of many Americans. The industry provides tax for the states and employment.

According to the Gallup, the data research firm, American’s most preferred alcoholic choice is beer. It’s estimated that the beer industry alone contributed $252.6 billion to the U.S. economy last year, surpassing video games and wine industries.

The beer industry is collectively organized in a three-tier distribution system: suppliers and brewers, wholesalers and retailers. The industry wouldn’t be efficient without a well-coordinated effort from all these organizations.

The Three Tier System

1. Suppliers/Brewers

The suppliers/brewers include firms that brew beers and those that import foreign beers. The firms can also include microbrewers and family owned businesses.

2. Wholesalers

Wholesalers are the middle-men between brewers and retailers. They purchase from suppliers and importers and sell to the retailers. Wholesalers can also play a role in the transportation and storage of beers through to delivery.

3. Retailers

Probably the most important group are the retailers. This group includes bars and clubs, liquor store, entertainment venues or convenience stores. This is where customers will finally get their preferred beer. Retailers can also serve as a place where customers can consume their beer and entertain themselves.

The Aim of a Beer Distribution System

From brewers to retailers, a reliable supply chain is necessary to deliver quality beer to thirsty customers across the country. A strong beer distribution system provides the following:

  • Transportation and delivery

  • Storage and inventory management

  • Maintenance

The aim of a solid beer distribution system is to provide an efficient and effective way for customers to receive their beer of choice at the right place and at the right time. However, this is a mammoth task without the right equipment and systems in place.

Today, customers have so many options which complicate the supply chain. Due to the rise of e-commerce and mobile revolution, the supply chain has had to change how fulfillment is done.

At the end of the day, most customers don’t care how their beer is delivered, as long as it is delivered on time and the taste is great.

This is why it’s so important for distributors to have the right equipment and systems in place. Using systems such as Unex case picking solutions can increase order picking efficiency and reduce errors while ensuring the correct orders are fulfilled.

As the beer industry continues to grow, better systems will need to be implemented to ensure customers continue to receive their beer and the superior quality that they expect. Continued improvement in production and delivery equipment will make sure that wholesalers and retailers make that happen.