State Distribution Laws


License Needed to Self-Distribute: No
Statute: § 311.195 R.S.Mo.

Missouri Statute

Holders of a microbrewery license in Missouri are not permitted to self-distribute. Brewers can choose to obtain a 22 Percent Wine Manufacturer-Solicitor license which allows them to also obtain a wholesaler’s license for self-distribution. However, if those brewers also want to have a retail by drink license, they will need to also produce 200 gallons of wine per year.

Brewers and wholesalers must enter into written agreements for the distribution of beer, which designates an exclusive territory for the wholesaler to distribute brewer’s products. The wholesaler must also file that agreement with the Missouri Department of Public safety. If the brewer assigns more than one wholesaler to a territory, or if a wholesaler distributes outside their territory, they will be fined by the state. Any modifications to the distribution agreement must be filed with the state. Brewers are not allowed to set resale prices for their wholesalers in their distribution agreements.

Brewers are not permitted to terminate or not renew their distribution agreements without first giving the affected wholesaler at least 90 days’ written notice. This notice requirement does not apply if the wholesaler engages in criminal misconduct, fraud, abandons the business, becomes bankrupt or insolvent, or products a check for products with insufficient funds. Brewers must also have good cause for terminating or not renewing a distribution agreement. Good cause includes:

1) the wholesaler failing to comply with an essential and reasonable provision of the distribution agreement;

2) the wholesaler failing to observe reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing; and

3) revocation or suspension of the wholesaler’s license for more than 31 days. If a brewer does not give proper notice or does not have good cause, the wholesaler can file a lawsuit against the brewer and recover damages which includes the loss of goodwill and cost of the lawsuit.

State MO | Trademark Liquor

Fun Fact: Anheuser-Busch, headquartered in St. Louis, became the first brewery to use pasteurization in the 1870’s.