The Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association was founded on July 1, 1944 and was first known as the Kansas Wholesalers of Malt Beverage Association. At that time, there were 114 local malt beverage wholesalers in the state. When it became legal under Kansas law to sell “strong beer,” the association eventually became the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association. There are now more than 25 licensed beer wholesalers in the state that sell strong beer, cereal malt beverages (3.2 beer), wine and spirits, and energy and sports drinks. Kansas’ beer distributors have invested millions of dollars into their operations. They play a vital role in ensuring that alcohol taxes are collected, and that a safe and reliable product full of consumer choice arrives in the market. They are also members communities in which they live in and do business, both as employers and charitable donors to important community causes.
In the state of Kansas, we have the three-tier beer distribution system. This system keeps the business of alcohol distribution local, employing state licensed distributors to monitor and ensure regulatory compliance in accordance with local attitudes and community expectations. The three-tier system also ensures that the makers of popular craft brews have been able to get off the ground and compete on a fair and level playing field.
Kansas Beer Distributors have had a significant impact on the economy with more than 1,180 employees, generating $75.5 million in wages and salaries for these individuals. Kansas Beer Distributors have contributed $1.4 million to charities, economic development, and local community events. They have also had an impact on capital expenditures totaling more than $23.2 million. Kansas Beer Distributors generates more than $62.5 million to federal, state, and local taxes, with the overall economic impact total at $481.6 million.