Wholesaler Shot4

December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended


December 5, 2017 marks 84 years since the United States ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for the modern three-tier beverage alcohol system.

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By the Numbers: The Wine and Spirits Industry

From the craft cocktails in a restaurant to the wine served at a backyard barbecue, the beverages that Americans responsibly enjoy are delivered to restaurants, bars and retail outlets by wine and spirits wholesalers. These family-owned American businesses employ nearly 65,000 workers in every state and every Congressional district.
U.S. wine and spirits wholesalers deliver the widest array of products available anywhere in the world in a manner that is transparent, well-regulated, and efficiently taxed.
Wholesalers account for nearly 65,000 jobs paying $5 billion in wages. 1.5 million people in the United States depend on the production, distribution, and sale of wine and spirits products for their livelihood. This is equal to almost 1% of the country’s working population.
These are real people with real jobs, ranging from vintners, to importers, to truck drivers, to the wait staff in bars and restaurants throughout the country.
The wine and spirits industry is a major contributor. The federal government received a total of $6.45 billion in excise taxes, and $15.89 billion in business-related taxes from beverage alcohol products. This does not include customs duties paid on imported products. 
State and local governments received $34.15 billion in taxes from the wine and spirits industry.
More than 57,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States are supported by the industry.
In addition to those working in the three tiers of the wine and spirits industry, a broad range of workers including those in banking, construction, packaging and agriculture supply the industry with goods and services.