While most states operate under a version of the three-tier alcohol distribution system, Oklahoma technically has a four-tier system: producer, distributor, broker, and retailer. But as the Tulsa World's "What the Ale" blog reports, Oklahoma will be transitioning to a more traditional three-tier system later this year:
"A lot of things will change in the beer, wine and spirits world in October, not just cold regular beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores.
The Oklahoma distribution system is changing too. Oklahoma has been a four-tier state for a long time. Now, it is changing to a three-tier state.
The four tiers included producer/supplier, importer/distributor, broker and retailer. Under the new system, the broker will merge into the importer/distributor category.
For the average consumer, nothing changes — in theory.
But the new law will give breweries a choice of which distributor they want to use. For the consumer, it means the product is taken care of because a brewery could move to a different distribution company if they aren’t happy. Breweries will also know what stores their products are going to be in and how long they have been sitting there. Under the current system, they have no idea where their product is unless they make phone calls or visit a liquor store..."
Read the rest here.