Beer Money: National Beer Wholesalers Association

national beer wholesalers association

What’s going on here? Read this post to find outAll charts below are clickable to enlarge.

Campaign finance, from 1989 through Q2 2014: $41,822,766


  • All time: $10,530,752
  • 2013-2014: $2,075,000
  • 2013-14 spending was 19.7 percent of all time amount

2013-14 Cycle

Individual contributions:

national beer wholesalers association donations reps 2013-14 cycle

Political Action Committee contributions:

national beer wholesalers association donations PAC 2013-14 cycle

All Time

Individual contributions:

national beer wholesalers association donations reps all time

Political Action Committee contributions:

national beer wholesalers association donations PAC all time

Over last seven years, top-five party committees have been:

  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $124,000
  • Republican National Committee: $75,000
  • National Republican Congressional Committee: $60,000
  • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: $45,000
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee: $45,000

Wholesalers Association (Organization)


  • $31,854,660 since 1990
  • $4,012,200 in 2014


  • $11,100,752 since 1998
  • $1,280,000 in 2014

Wholesalers Association PAC

2014 Election Cycle

  • Total Raised: $4,171,593
  • Total Spent: $4,087,898
  • Contributions to federal candidates: $3,213,000 (44% to Democrats, 56% to Republicans)

Of note, the National Beer Wholesalers Association PAC was by far the most active donor. In the 2014 election cycle, they’re listed with 429 candidates/recipients from the House of $1,000 or more, 117 of which received $10,000, the maximum per candidate, per election year. The Association had 45 candidates/recipients from the Senate at $1,000 or more, with 27 getting $10,000.

From the House, here are top states where donations were made to candidates:

  1. CA: 56 (15 GOP, 41 Dem)
  2. TX: 38 (24 GOP, 14 Dem)
  3. NY: 26 (8 GOP, 18 Dem)
  4. FL: 24 (17 GOP, 7 Dem)
  5. PA: 19 (14 GOP, 5 Dem)

Legislation of Interest

The Wholesalers Association actually has an annual legislative conference that “provides distributors with the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and to educate members of Congress about the importance of effective state-based alcohol regulation, the role of beer distributors and the regulatory, economic and commercial value that distributors deliver to their communities.”

The Association has position statements on their legislative priorities on their website, which include:

I reached out to Kathleen Joyce, communications director for the Wholesalers Association, to ask for a comment on their political efforts. She offered these excerpts from comments made by Craig Purser, president and CEO, during the Association’s annual legislative conference.

Read that hyperlinked PDF for everything, but here are some notes:

  • Both Sen. Orin Hatch of the Senate Finance Committee and Rep. Paul Ryan of the House Ways and Means Committee “have strong relationships with beer distributors and know the value of local, independent businesses.”
  • Support for the Highway Trust Fund and passing a transportation bill “is good for America and it’s good for the beer business.”
  • A focus on preventing Congress from passing legislation “that would harm states’ ability to regulate this industry.” Or, in other words, ensuring the Association “works to ensure that the very foundation of state-based alcohol regulation and the independent beer distribution system stands firm.”
  • The regulatory system of the beer industry is already effective and the Association wants “to ensure that any changes to the federal tax code will not impact state laws which support an open and independent beer distribution system.”

Beer Money series:

Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

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