As consumers look for more ways to support local, independent brands who are creating handcrafted products, the topic of shipping liquor, wine, and beer to customers across the country comes up almost daily. For distilleries in particular, this business channel is as difficult to tackle as it was during Prohibition.
Having to comply with arcane and difficult-to-follow laws makes the life of the average employee at a distillery much more difficult than it needs to be. With so many limitations on shipping over state lines, into dry counties, and much more, it can seem like an impossible avenue.
Having spoken with hundreds of distillery Founders, Operation Managers, and Customer Service Representatives, we’ve done plenty of research to understand the laws surrounding shipping DTC (direct-to-consumer) and have compiled those learnings in this blog. Read on to learn more about this hurdle.
The Three-Tier Distribution System
If you’re a part of the industry, you’re familiar with the three-tier distribution system. The three-tier system is incredibly important for the distilled spirits industry as a whole, as manufacturers provide alcoholic products to wholesalers, who distribute the products to retailers, who sell to the consumers.
However, the world has evolved digitally. Responsible, 21+ consumers like you want to be able to easily buy your favorite spirits online and have them conveniently shipped directly to you. This resource from Spirits United does a great job of showing the representatives for all 50 states to get into contact with to advocate for direct-to-consumer shipping.
State-Guided Shipping Laws
Instead of creating and maintaining liquor shipping laws at the federal level, they are determining at the state (and sometimes even county!) level, leaving often small distillery teams with a whole lot of research to do about whether they can ship within their state or to consumers in others. This resource from the American Craft Spirits Association does a great job of breaking out where distilleries are and are not legally allowed to ship, based on their location.
Reliable & Robust Packaging
To top off what makes shipping liquor within the United States difficult, there are very few packaging solutions for shipping glass bottles safely across long distances. That is, until now. Our AirShock sleeves are the perfect stylish, robust, and space-saving solution for both small & big distilleries looking to ship within their state, to others, or anywhere they can.
Check out our space-saving air packaging solutions today or get in contact with us to create a custom quote to fit your business’ needs!