Help pass the USPS Shipping Equity Act
Recently introduced legislation would enable breweries to use the United States Postal Service to ship beer directly to customers. The Brewers Association, which represents the interests of the nation’s small and independent breweries, is asking you to help get the legislation passed into law.
Currently, breweries are limited to using private carriers like FedEx and UPS to complete direct-to-consumer sales. The USPS Shipping Equity Act is bipartisan legislation that would allow breweries, wineries, and distilleries another option for shipping their product, an option of particular value for producers in rural and remote locations that are better served by the USPS. According to the Brewers Association, 13 states allow such shipments. Washington and Oregon are among those states.
The Brewers Association is asking citizens like you to contact your federal officials and let them know that you support the USPS Shipping Equity Act (H.R.3287/S.1663). The statement below offers more information about the legislation as well as links to help you contact the appropriate federal officials.
From the Brewers Association:
USPS Shipping Equity Act
Representatives Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have introduced the United States Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Equity Act (H.R.3287/S.1663), bipartisan legislation that would give USPS the same ability as private carriers to ship alcohol in states where it is legal to do so. In addition to giving breweries (and wineries and distilleries) another avenue to ship their product, the legislation:
- Would not make any changes to federal excise tax collection, nor inhibit state and local authorities to regulate beverage alcohol.
- Would not impact the strong safeguards to prevent underage consumption of alcohol by minors.
- Is estimated to provide the postal service with $180 million in additional revenue per year.
Currently, 13 states and Washington, D.C. allow breweries to ship beverage alcohol products using private carriers. The USPS Shipping Equity Act supports consumer choice and offers producers – many of whom are in rural or remote areas – the opportunity to reach their adult customers that may otherwise be unable to purchase the product locally or travel to acquire it. Direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping serves as an important complement to the traditional three-tier system of beverage alcohol distribution. Allowing the USPS to compete in this market would be beneficial to breweries and consumers by supporting consumer choice.
A consumer survey by SOVOS Ship Compliant and Harris Poll found that 84% of regular craft beer drinkers – defined as those who drink craft beer at least once per month – want to be able to legally purchase beer via DtC shipping to their homes. Additionally, the survey found that more than 73% say the pandemic has increased their interest in purchasing craft beer via DtC shipping.
To meet that demand, we have seen state laws expanding to allow shipping and delivery of alcohol products, as well as allowing alcohol “to-go” at restaurant and bars. The USPS Shipping Equity Act would help small and independent breweries, wineries, and distilleries meet that demand by allowing the postal service to provide another method of getting their product to market. In addition to the Brewers Association, the legislation also has the support of the American Craft Spirits Association, American Mead Makers Association, American Postal Workers Union, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, National Association of Postal Supervisors, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, United Postmasters and Managers of America, and WineAmerica. View a letter of support from more than 100 associations.
Key Legislative Sponsors
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
House of Representatives – View current list of H.R.3287 co-sponsors
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)
Learn more about USPS Shipping Equity Act and Direct to Consumer Shipping
- Contact your federal officials about the USPS Shipping Equity ActOpens in new window
- Interstate Direct to Consumer Shipping Laws