As discussed extensively on DrinksReform.org, the three-tiered system of alcohol distribution often blocks or limits the ability of breweries and other alcohol producers to self-distribute their products directly to consumers or retailers. Instead, brewers are often forced to work through a legally-mandated middleman--known as a wholesaler. But according to Sociable, a new online platform is trying to disrupt this market:
Your local bar comes up with a special Friday beer, a new beer from a small brewery with a strange name. It’s a few dollars more but, hey! you take the bet.
You take a sip and the magic happens. Its malty aromas and fruity touches blow you away. A glow of alcohol warms your tongue and palate. Hints of green apples, apricots and banana appear and sparkle. The taste lingers full in your mouth with plenty of body and a long finish of dry and fresh bitters.
Next Friday, after a challenging working week, you’re ready for more of the same delight. But alas! the craft jewel is long gone.
The bartender shrugs his shoulder when you ask for more information. He mentions the distributor; the one in charge...
Bevv, a California-based startup wants to offer alternatives to the ‘three-tier system’. Working within the legal landscape, it offers a self-distributing model, where more parties can benefit from the many independent producers in the growing US-market.
Its platform for craft beer aims to increase profit margins. Smaller breweries that couldn’t retail otherwise have their beers stay on tap. Retailers can reduce costs and offer a wider and more flexible selection. And consumers have a more affordable access to more tastes of craft beers..."
So far, however, it appears that Bevv will be limited to certain states that permit self-distribution and direct-to-consumer alcohol shipments. R Street's Jarrett Dieterle has written before about the many barriers in place that are currently blocking a true online booze marketplace from taking off.