You pass our trucks every day. I am sure you have noticed — they say “Coors Light,” “Guinness,” “Peace Tree” or some other brand of a recognizable adult beverage.
Those trucks carry precious cargo. But, it’s not just the beer.
It’s the person behind the wheel.
That person is a beer distributor, and they work hard each and every day transporting beer to your favorite local bar or restaurant, grocery store, or convenience store where you purchase your favorite beer.
Beer distributors are part of a three tiered system of alcohol responsibility comprised of brewers, distributors, and retailers. This heavily-regulated system is essential to keeping the consumption of alcohol safe and responsible.
Beer distributors don’t only deliver your favorite drinks — they deliver a huge economic impact to your community. In fact, the total economic impact accounts for over $579 million!
In Iowa alone there are 54 beer distribution facilities that employ more than 1,343 men and women. These workers make a combined $102.2 million in salaries and wages. These men and women live in our communities, support local charities and events and, of course, help drive economic development. Beer distributors have invested more than $1.7 million in their communities and pay more than $104.4 million in federal, state, and local taxes that contributes to the safety and wellness of all of Iowa.
However, these businesses do not only have an economic impact, measured with numbers. They also have a real, lasting human impact. Across Iowa, the businesses promote local charities and community programs, sponsor local causes and events, and participate in activities that make all of our communities’ better places to live, work and raise a family.
For instance, in the last month beer distributors have been in schools, fitting children with winter boots and other supplies they desperately need. They’ve also held events to raise money for sexual abuse and assault victims. These are just a couple of examples of beer distributors investing in their communities to strengthen and enhance quality of life.
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So, the next time you pass a beer truck or see a distributor stocking the shelves at your favorite retailer, give them a wave — shake their hand — thank them. They got up before the sun to deliver so much more than beer.
• Mike Brewington owns Iowa Beverage Systems with locations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Eldridge.