Frequently Asked Questions

Keg warehouse
Keg warehouse

Beer and wine distributors in Maine are often asked several typical questions about the distribution industry and about the ways distributors can help new retailers to sell their products. The distributors are also asked questions about legislation, including the value of the three-tier system, how it works and why state-based regulation and the role of independent distributors is so important when it comes to responsibility and public safety.

Here are some of the questions we receive most frequently and their answers.

1. I am a supplier/manufacturer and want access to the market in Maine, who do I contact?

To conduct alcohol sales in Maine a supplier/manufacturer must comply with specific laws and regulations. To learn more about these provisions, please contact the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations (BABLO). Click here for more information.

2. I would like to have access to market what distributor should I contact?

There are eight members of the Maine Beer & Wine Distributors that provide distribution services for more than 4,500 retail accounts across the state of Maine, these accounts include on and off premise. Click here to find a distributor in your local distribution area.

3. I want to become a redemption center, what do I need to do?

Maine is a bottle bill state with a closed loop delivery system. In order to become a redemption center, you must be licensed by the Department of Environmental Protection. Click here for more information about the rules and laws for redemption centers in Maine. The members of the MBWD have established a commingling group that helps create efficiencies for retailers. Click here for more information or contact your current distributor.

4. I am a local brewer/vintner and would like to get more access to market. Can a distributor help me?

If you are interested in utilizing services of a distributor for on or off-premise distribution, click here to find and contact your local MBWD distributor.

5. How do I find my favorite beer/wine/champagne/hard cider?

Distributors provide value to retailers by providing access to thousands of brands across the globe. If you are unable to find your favorite product, you will need to submit a special request to your local retailer. The role of the distributor is to provide the products requested by retailers.

6. I am an elected official and I would like a tour of the local beer and wine distributor in my area, who can I contact?

Warehouse tours for any of the eight members of the Maine Beer and Wine Distributors can be scheduled by contacting Cheryl Timberlake, executive vice president for the MBWD. Click here to send her an email and set up a tour.

7. Do you sponsor or provide charitable donations for fundraising events?

As an association, we have created a state-wide responsibility campaign with our spokesperson Olympian Julia Clukey. All the members support this community initiative and help spread Julia’s message in their communities. To learn more about our responsibility campaign, click here.

Our individual members are also very involved in their local communities and participate and support several charitable events throughout the year. Decisions are made by each local distributor. Click there to find and contact your local distributor.

8. How do I book a presentation from Olympian Julia Clukey for my school?

Middle schools and high schools across Maine have the opportunity to request a presentation from Olympian Julia Clukey at their school as part of her "Julia Inspires" campaign that is made possible by the MBWD. Julia trains year-round and competes in the sport of luge during the winter months. She is currently scheduling presentations for March, April, May, June and September. To request a presentation, visit www.clukeyluge.com/presentations.

9. I am looking for a job at the beer and wine distributor in my area, who should I contact?

Our members are proud to provide great employment opportunities with excellent benefits. If you are looking for a job, please contact your local distributor directly. Employment decisions are made by each local distributor. Click here to find and contact your local distributor.

10. I am looking for a wholesale wine seller to purchase wine from for an upcoming wedding, is that service that you offer?

All alcohol in Maine must be sold through licensed retailers. Individuals need to contact or visit their local wine retailer for more product information.

Didn’t find the answer to your question? To submit a question to the MBWD, click here to send us an email.

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