The Importance of the Three-Tier System

The three-tier system creates three legally separate and independent parts to how alcoholic beverages are made, delivered and sold.

Policy makers showed wisdom in creating the three-tier system. Keeping each tier separate maintains fairness and choice in the alcoholic beverage market. More importantly, the three-tier system gives one group - distributors in the middle tier - key responsibility for "chain of custody" over the product.

This means distributors have the primary responsibility for ensuring that the product delivered to retailers is pure, fresh, safe and properly handled. The vast majority of alcoholic beverages sold in Colorado, whether beer, wine or spirits, come to the consumer safe and protected via distributors.  Three cheers for three-tiers!


 The Three-Tiers   Benefits of Three-Tiers  Video Overview



What Makes The Three-Tiers

Discover the components of each tier in the three-tier system.



Sometimes referred to as suppliers, brewers, or manufacturers, producers are the individuals or businesses that make the alcoholic beverage.




Distributors move the product from producer to retailer, either "on-premise" (bar, restaurant, etc.) or "off-premise" (retail stores).




The final destination in the three-tier system is where the consumer can purchase the final product. Retailers sell the product to the consumer.  






Benefits of the Three Tier System

Select an option below to learn more about that part of the process.






Informative Three-Tier Video

Learn more about the three tier system by watching the below video.