Avoid a Beer Monopoly By Setting the Market Free

How the Mandatory Three-Tier Distribution System Inhibits Competition

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Ask anyone who enjoys a nice brew if we are currently living under a beer monopoly and most would laugh off the question as silly. Today, most Americans have access to a wider variety of beers from a greater number of brewers than at any other time in our nation’s history. The number of craft breweries continues to rise as states free up the market, making it easier for brewers to produce and sell their products. However, some distributors, in conjunction with health advocates, want to halt that progress by convincing consumers that such changes actually hurt the vibrancy of the beer market. In reality, strengthening the current distribution system will only benefit a small number of large and powerful beer distributors and make it more difficult and expensive for small and startup brewers. If we want to prevent the possibility of a beer monopoly, encourage new brewers in the market, and increase the variety of beer available to consumers, then we need to free the market more—not less.