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December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended

 

December 5, 2014 marks 81 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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Wholesaler Membership

Application Form (PDF)

Benefits Brochure (PDF)

Regular voting membership in WSWA is restricted to bona fide wholesalers/distributors of wine and/or spirits who:

  • Hold a basic permit under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act as a wholesaler/distributor.
  • Hold an appropriate state license and/or permit as a wholesaler/distributor.
  • Are engaged as a wholesaler of wine and/or spirits by buying from primary sources of supply (i.e. distillers, vintners, prime importers) and selling to retail accounts within their state.
  • Any applicant for membership in the association shall also support the principles and purposes of WSWA which include: (a) preserving the integrity of the three-tier system of distribution; and, (b) advocacy of the vital role of the wholesaler/distributor in the system of distribution.

Reasons to Become a WSWA Member 

Help protect your business!  As the only national association representing wine and spirits wholesalers, WSWA performs a number of vital services for its membership, including:

Advocacy

The association’s primary mission is advocacy of the wholesaler’s interests in the federal and state legislative and regulatory arenas. Through federal affairs lobbying, WSWA is well positioned to represent members’ interest on all Congressional and regulatory issues – especially those impacting wholesalers’ ability to manage their businesses productively and profitably. State affairs efforts work in coordination with state wholesaler associations and lobbyists to effectively communicate and promote the wholesalers interests within state legislature and regulatory bodies.

Public Affairs Initiatives/Advancing the Role of the Wholesaler

WSWA provides its members with strong public relations programs aimed at promoting responsible access to alcohol beverages and advancing the importance of the wholesaler role in the distribution process.  These programs emphasize cooperation with other tiers of the wine and spirits industry, as well as with government agencies, the prevention community and citizens' groups. The resulting coalitions build a two-way street of benefits that cannot be duplicated by any one WSWA member. WSWA also provides its members with public relations materials and resources helping them prepare for speaking to the media, legislators, business and civic groups and the general public. WSWA’s public affairs department continually promotes industry responsibility and the economic contributions of the wholesaler to national and local media ensuring that millions are hearing our messages.

Business Benefits and Access to Industry Information, Studies, and Other Research Tools

WSWA keeps it members abreast of national and state issues/developments in a variety of areas, including: legal (court cases and rulings), regulatory, research and education about best practices, new trends and revenue streams, marketing data and industry specific topics affecting the members businesses. WSWA members receive an electronic newsletter, Last Call, which updates members on a wide variety of key association issues.

The association also conducts/underwrites industry studies (e.g. wholesaler economic contributions, financial benchmarking) and surveys (e.g. underage alcohol access, employee compensation) providing wholesalers with valuable information to advance their interests and support their vital role in the alcohol beverage distribution system.

In addition, WSWA has created a new bundle of wholesaler-specific member benefits designed to help reduce the cost of doing business – in most cases saving you more than the cost of you WSWA annual membership investment. From health benefits and liability insurance to truck leasing, tires, office supplies and much more, WSWA’s member-only purchasing program will create significant operational cost savings for your company.

Networking Opportunities at the Wine and Spirits Industry's Leading Events

WSWA’s Annual Convention and Exposition is the premier gathering in the wine and spirits industry, bringing together member wholesalers, suppliers from throughout the world, trade media, federal and state government officials, brokers and importers and national and state association executives. The convention provides members the opportunity to exchange ideas with other distributors, and to discuss industry issues with representatives of foreign and domestic wine and spirits suppliers. The convention program includes presentations by well-known public figures and prominent industry leaders, supplier hospitality suites and exhibits and numerous social events.

Other WSWA sponsored-events include the Council for Leadership Development, an annual conference dedicated to providing educational seminars for rising member executives and WSWA’s Legislative Fly-In, held annually in Washington, DC, which provides an opportunity for wholesalers to meet and discuss important topics with members of Congress.

Annual dues for wholesaler members are based on sales volume in dollars. Currently, more than 350 wholesaler establishments - who sell in excess of $34 billion in wine and spirits - are members of WSWA.