Home Industry News Releases New Website Targets Harms Caused by Three-Tier System of Alcohol Regulation

New Website Targets Harms Caused by Three-Tier System of Alcohol Regulation


Three-tiersystem.com Provides Alternatives to and Critiques of Antiquated Alcohol Regulatory System

(Salem, OR—March 19, 2023)—The three-tier system of alcohol distribution is nearly 90 years old. Yet, despite massive cultural, economic, social, and technological changes that have occurred since the 1930s, the system still governs how alcohol is distributed in most states. A new website, “Fermenting Change”, has launched outlining the various ways this archaic system harms the alcohol industry and prevents consumers from accessing the products they want. The new website also offers an alternative to the three-tier system necessary to bring alcohol regulation into the 21st century.

The Fermenting Change website can be accessed at http://www.three-tiersystem.com

Created by Tom Wark, a 30-year veteran of alcohol marketing and politics, the new website provides an alternative to the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet about the three-tier system largely created by wholesaler interests that directly benefit from the three-tier system being maintained in law. All but three states still mandate a three-tier system.


“The wholesale side of the alcohol industry has been gaslighting alcohol regulators, lawmakers, members of the alcohol trade, and consumers for decades with their false assertions that the three-tier system is necessary to prevent minors access to alcohol, promotes competition, keeps counterfeit products out the marketplace, and prevents monopolies,” says Wark. “But the biggest lie being told by wholesalers is their claim that the success of alcohol regulation in the U.S. depends on alcohol producers only selling to wholesalers and retailers only buying from wholesalers.”

The three-tier system of alcohol distribution is defined by two key provisions: 1) producers, wholesalers, and retailers are licensed separately and given different privileges, and 2)  producers are only allowed to sell to wholesalers, while wholesalers are the only entity allowed to sell to retailers. This latter provision blocks producers’ path to market, prevents retailers from diversifying their inventories, and keeps consumers from accessing the products they want.


The new website is the only one of its kind providing a comprehensive and critical view of the three-tier system. Additionally, “Fermenting Changes” provides an outline of an alternative to the three-tier system of alcohol regulation that places emphasis on encouraging a competitive marketplace for alcohol sales and distribution and providing consumers with full access to products in the U.S. marketplace.

“The three-tier system was created in the early 1930s after repeal of Prohibition and with the goal of preventing the problems that preceded Prohibition more than 100 years ago,” notes Wark. What’s needed is a new alcohol regulatory approach that addresses the primary concerns and issues confronting society and the industry in the 21st century, not the 19th century.”



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