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10 Best Liquor Distributors in the US

Choosing the right distribution partner is critical. We'll explain the benefits, key considerations, and our list of top liquor distributors in the US

Partnering with a liquor distributor can offer numerous advantages, ranging from enhanced market access and cost efficiency to regulatory compliance and marketing support. It allows liquor businesses to focus on their core competencies while leveraging the expertise of distributors to navigate the complexities of the supply chain and distribution process. In this guide, we’ll share the major benefits a liquor distributor can provide, as well as best practices for choosing the right distributor for your brand. We’ll also share some of the top liquor distributors in the country, so you have a head start on your quest to discover the best partner for your liquor business.

Why Partner with a Liquor Distributor?

Partnering with a liquor distributor offers a variety of benefits that contribute to the overall success and efficiency of your business. Here are a few major benefits of working with a liquor distributor.

Market Access and Expansion

Liquor distributors often have established networks and relationships with retailers, bars, restaurants, and other outlets. Partnering with a distributor can provide your liquor business with broader market access and help expand your reach to new customers and locations.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Distributors have expertise in logistics and supply chain management. They can efficiently handle the storage, transportation, and delivery of liquor products. This allows your liquor business to focus on its core operations, while the liquor distributor takes care of the intricacies of the distribution process.

Cost Efficiency

Managing a distribution network can be resource-intensive and costly for a liquor business. By partnering with a liquor distributor, your business can benefit from economies of scale, as distributors can consolidate shipments, negotiate better transportation rates, and streamline the overall distribution process, leading to cost savings.

Regulatory Compliance

The distribution of alcoholic beverages is often subject to complex and stringent regulations. Liquor distributors are typically well-versed in these regulations and can help ensure that your liquor business remains in compliance with local, state, and federal laws related to the sale and distribution of alcohol.

Market Insights

Distributors often have access to valuable market insights and data. By partnering with a distributor, your liquor business can gain a better understanding of consumer preferences, market trends, and competitive dynamics. This information can be invaluable for making informed business decisions and adapting strategies to changing market conditions.

Brand Visibility and Promotion

Liquor distributors can play a crucial role in promoting and marketing liquor brands. They may have dedicated sales teams, marketing resources, and promotional strategies to increase brand visibility and drive sales. This can be particularly beneficial for new or smaller brands looking to establish themselves in the market.

Learn more: Digital Marketing 101 for Beer, Wine, & Spirits

Efficient Order Fulfillment

Liquor distributors can efficiently manage and fulfill orders from various customers, distributing them to several establishments on their roster. This ensures that retailers and establishments receive their inventory in a timely manner, helping maintain positive relationships and preventing stockouts. 

Risk Mitigation

Partnering with a liquor distributor can help mitigate certain business risks. For example, distributors may absorb some of the financial risks associated with slow-moving inventory or market fluctuations, providing your business with a more stable financial environment.

How to Pick the Best Liquor Distributor for Your Business

Selecting the best liquor distributor for your business is a critical decision that can significantly impact your brand's success. Here are key considerations to help you pick the right distributor.

Market Knowledge

Choose a liquor distributor with a strong understanding of your target market. They should be familiar with local preferences, regulations, and distribution channels. A distributor with knowledge of your specific niche or product category can provide valuable insights and better represent your brand.

Distribution Network

Evaluate the distributor's distribution network, including the range of outlets they serve. A liquor distributor with a broad network that aligns with your target customer base will help you reach a wider audience. Consider the geographic areas they cover and whether they have a presence in key markets for your brand.

Track Record and Reputation

Research the liquor distributor's track record and reputation in the industry. Look for references or testimonials from other brands they have worked with. A liquor distributor with a positive reputation for reliability, efficiency, and ethical business practices is more likely to be a good partner for your business.

Financial Stability

Assess the financial stability of the liquor distributor. A financially stable partner is better equipped to handle the challenges of the distribution business, and it reduces the risk of disruptions in your supply chain. You can request financial statements or industry references to gauge their financial health if necessary.

Marketing and Promotion Capabilities

Consider the liquor distributor's marketing and promotion capabilities. A distributor that actively promotes and markets its brands can significantly contribute to the success of your products. Inquire about their marketing strategies, promotional events, and how they plan to enhance the visibility of your brand.

Technology and Logistics Capabilities

Evaluate the liquor distributor's use of technology and logistics capabilities. Efficient order processing, inventory management, and delivery tracking are crucial for a smooth distribution process. A distributor with modern systems can enhance the accuracy and speed of order fulfillment.

Flexibility and Customization

Assess the liquor distributor's flexibility in adapting to your specific needs. Consider whether they can accommodate special requests, such as customized packaging or promotional programs. A distributor willing to work collaboratively and tailor their services to your brand's requirements is more likely to foster a successful partnership.

Communication and Transparency

Effective communication is essential for a successful partnership. Choose a liquor distributor that communicates transparently about their processes, timelines, and any challenges that may arise. Regular updates on sales performance, inventory levels, and market feedback are crucial for making informed business decisions.

Contract Terms and Conditions

Carefully review the terms and conditions of the distribution agreement. Pay attention to pricing structures, payment terms, exclusivity clauses, and termination conditions. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that the contract aligns with your business goals and protects your interests.

Compatibility and Relationship Building

Establish a strong working relationship with potential liquor distributors. Consider factors such as the compatibility of company cultures, communication styles, and the willingness of the distributor to collaborate. Building a positive and collaborative relationship is essential for long-term success.

Top 10 Liquor Distributors in the U.S.

Need some help finding the right liquor distributor for your brand? Here are some of the best liquor distributors in the U.S. to help you get started on your search.

1. Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits


Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits has a sprawling nationwide distribution system, spanning 45 U.S. markets supported by a truly excellent team. This distributor is highly mission-focused with a strong commitment to its employees and customers. Southern Glazer’s has also developed a proprietary e-commerce system for their customers to easily order products, review trends, and more, making this distributor a powerful partner to have for liquor businesses of all sizes.

2. Breakthru Beverage Group


Breakthru Beverage Group is a prominent North American beverage wholesaler that distinguishes itself through an agile and perceptive business approach. Though Breakthru has a larger reach in Canada, this distributor also represents liquor brands in states that are often difficult to service, like Nevada and California. For U.S. brands looking to eventually expand into Canada, Breakthru Beverage Group is a great partner.

View our list of Top Wine Distributors in Canada

3. Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC)


With roots predating Prohibition, RNDC stands as a prominent third-party distributor of wholesale beverage alcohol, focusing on wine and spirits. Serving as a preferred partner for alcohol producers committed to the three-tier system, RNDC excels as a brand-building and product expert liaison. Renowned for customer service, product expertise, and operational excellence, RNDC's enduring success is driven by a keen understanding of evolving market trends and a passion for the art of selling lifestyle products rooted in its extensive knowledge of the alcoholic beverage production process.

4. Ben. E Keith


For over a century, Ben E. Keith has been a premier distributor of fine food and premium beverages, committed to delivering exceptional customer service. Their robust beverage division proudly serves over 62 Texas counties, distributing Anheuser-Busch InBev products, craft and import beer brands, spirits, fine wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Ben E. Keither remains dedicated to the growth and success of customers, the industry, partners, and employees, upholding a legacy of quality that is hard to beat.

Also featured in our list of Top Beer Distributors in the U.S.

5. Johnson Brothers


Founded by 24-year-old Lynn Johnson, Johnson Brothers began as a one-man operation with a rented truck and a converted roller skating rink as a warehouse. Johnson's strong work ethic and dedication to superior customer service propelled the family-owned company to become one of the top beverage distributors in the country. Today, Johnson Brothers operates in 18 states with over 3,500 team members, representing countless beer, wine, and spirits brands nationwide.

6. Allied Beverage Group

New Jersey

Allied Beverage Group is a family-owned distribution company servicing the state of New Jersey. Dating back to the Repeal of Prohibition in the early 1930s, Allied's predecessor companies were industry leaders in wholesale wine and spirits in New Jersey. Now the state's largest distributor, Allied ranks among the top ten in the United States. Operating from state-of-the-art facilities in Elizabeth, NJ, with additional facilities in Swedesboro, NJ, the company represents leading global suppliers, servicing licensed package stores, restaurants, hotels, taverns, and clubs in New Jersey.

7. Empire Merchants

New York

Empire Merchants is a premier wine and spirits distributor throughout New York state with roots tracing back to the end of Prohibition. This distributor boasts over 1,500 dedicated employees and state-of-the-art facilities. Known for outstanding service and quality, the company has garnered loyalty from over 10,000 establishments, including restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs, and retail outlets. Distributing liquor throughout New York can be challenging, but Empire Merchants has the resources and experience to ensure your products achieve the reach you’re looking for.

8. Heidelberg Distributing

Ohio and Kentucky

Founded in 1938 by Albert W. Vontz, Heidelberg Distributing Company started as a one-man, one-truck operation. Today, it serves over 26,000 establishments in Ohio and Kentucky, with several offices across both states. After 84 years of family ownership, Heidelberg was acquired by Redwood Holdings in 2022. Heidelberg Distributing has a great reputation in the industry and the infrastructure to handle the distribution of liquor throughout both Ohio and Kentucky.

9. Fedway Associates

New Jersey

Fedway is one of the leading liquor distributors in the state of New Jersey. With a 630,000-square-foot warehouse, Fedway houses a vast array of beer, wine, and spirits, distributing them to their roster of over 7,000 restaurants, retail stores, bars, and more. Fedway is a loyal and dedicated partner for liquor brands looking to grow and establish themselves in the state of New Jersey.

10. Moon Distributors


Dedicated to superior service for Arkansas customers and suppliers, Moon Distributors emphasizes building brands, social responsibility, and exceptional customer service. As distinct distributors of liquor and spirits, they have played a significant role in introducing countless brands that are now common in restaurants and stores around the state. With over 85 years of experience, Moon and Central proudly stand as Arkansas' leading alcohol distributors.

Cheers to a Beautiful Partnership

Finding the right liquor distributor for your brand can transform your business into a profound success. By thoroughly researching and considering these best practices, you can make an informed decision when choosing a liquor distributor that aligns with the goals and values of your business.

‍‍See how a store and product locator can help you in your liquor marketing efforts in the U.S. Get a store locator demo from Grappos today!

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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