WBWAO Celebrates 75th AnniversaryWBWAO Celebrates 75 years!

The Wholesale Beer and Wine Association of Ohio started as a small group of pioneers in Ohio's new beer distribution industry in 1935, three short years after the Repeal of Prohibition. Much has changed in 75 years, but the original purpose of the Association remains the same: To represent distributor members with integrity; to work with state officials to carry out the state's public policy on the manufacture, sale, distribution and retail sales of alcoholic beverages; and to serve the public through the promotion of reponsible alcohol consumption.

Distributor's Role

Your local beer and wine distributor is dedicated to upholding Ohio's alcohol laws and regulations, promoting competition and providing consumers with selection, service and value.

Many people may think distributors simply deliver beverages from wineries and breweries to local retailers. However, our role is much more involved than just delivery.

Distributors purchase beer and wine from suppliers, reducing those suppliers' capital requirements and transferring the risk of retailer non-payment to the distributors. We then store product at local facilities until local retailers order it. This allows retailers to keep their inventory to a minimum and costs associated with storage. Additionally, same day or next day delivery helps maintain the freshness of many products for consumers.

"Retailers" are licensed by the state of Ohio and include such outlets as your local grocery store, a gourmet wine and beer shop, restaurants, pubs and taverns, private clubs, sports and concert venues and superstores. With the distributors responsible for selling the beverages to retailers, suppliers also benefit as they often cannot afford to employ a large sales force.

"Hard liquor" or "spirits" are defined as alcohol beverages containing over 80-proof alcohol. These are handled exclusively by the state of Ohio's Division of Liquor Control which acts as the state-wide distributor and grants licenses to retail outlets to sell spirits.