The Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania (MBDAPA) is the trade association for all Pennsylvania beer distributors, both retail and wholesale.  MBDA includes over 450 members from throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania .

Since 1936, MBDA has provided information about the Pennsylvania system of beer distribution to consumers, the legislature and MBDA members.  MBDA works to ensure our distributors have the information and programs they need to be successful and to serve their customers and community in an efficient and responsible manner.

Our Mission

MBDA provides a voice for our members in Harrisburg and makes available discounted programs for distributors, including credit/debit card processing and business insurance.

Our Officers, Directors & Staff

MBDA is managed by an Executive Staff and Board of Directors. Directors are elected for a one-year term by a majority vote of the Policy Committee, comprised of Association members. Officers are elected for a one-year term by a majority vote of the board of directors. Officers and directors are not paid employees, but generously give of their time to attend meetings and represent their county members.

View the Officers Directory (PDF)

MBDA Accomplishments

  1. Secured 12-pack sales for beer distributors, the most significant package reform in 75 years, through MBDA's concerted legal and lobbying efforts with the PA Liquor Control Board.
  2. Without MBDA's concerted opposition, there would be thousands of non-specialty retailers selling case beer from the aisles today.
  3. Stopped Governor Corbett's proposal for issuing thousands of new beer selling licenses.
  4. Secured passage of the Quota Law to ensure the value of your license.
  5. Defeated repeated legislative efforts that would have raised prices, decreased selection and lowered the value of your licenses.
  6. Substantially reduced the amount of on-premises records you are required to maintain.
  7. Stopped efforts to make Distributors pay thousands in mercantile taxes on their yearly gross receipts.
  8. Successfully secured Sunday sales with extended hours to help Distributors better compete with other licensees.
  9. Helped defeat efforts to increase the state excise tax on beer.
  10. Pushed through legislation to allow on premise beer tastings.
  11. Secured passage of legislation allowing beer distributors to accept credit cards.
  12. Obtained far greater inventory of items that Distributors are permitted to sell, in addition to malt beverage products.
  13. Have intervened in multiple license transfer requests to stop the expansion of beer and fuel sales from the same location.
  14. Added member benefit programs and services that help distributors save thousands a year in operational and other costs.
  15. Added new and more convenient dues-paying alternatives.


  • Helped defeat proposals to increase the state excise tax on beer.
  • Helped defeat legislation that would have decreased a licensee’s right of appeal.
  • Defeated legislation to allow credit sales among licensees.
  • Kept mandatory deposit bills and referendums bottled up.
  • Blocked legislation to legalize interstate sales of beer.
  • Eliminated language from a bill to permit food stores to sell candy that contains liquor.
  • Lobbied against legislation to privatize our state store system to benefit only big business.
  • Revised the bad check reporting rules.
  • Helped secure injunctive relief in federal court against mail-order beer clubs.
  • Blocked legislation to allow licenses to be transferred out of county.
  • Helped defeat attempts to impose additional restrictions on beer advertising.
  • Helped to eliminate the surety bond requirement.
  • Assisted in having written opinions of the PLCB made binding on the State Police BLCE.
  • Drafted and secured passage of false ID legislation.
  • By the Wilsbach decision, secured exemptions for distributors from paying mercantile taxes.
  • Blocked legislation to reverse the Wilsbach decision.
  • Drafted and secured passage of the Franchise Law.
  • Drafted and secured passage of the Territorial Law.
  • Promoted and participated in alcohol education and awareness programs.
  • Helped to eliminate Special Occupation Tax.


  • Supported Clean Air Act exclusion for distributors.
  • Lobbied for and secured passage of legislation to permit distributors to open for beer sales on Sundays.
  • Lobbied for and secured passage of legislation to allow beer tastings on a distributor’s premises.
  • Supported legislation to limit the time that a license can be held in safekeeping.
  • Drafted and secured passage of legislation to allow distributors to accept credit cards from consumers.
  • Obtained approval from the PLCB for distributors to sell items in addition to beer.
  • Had alcoholic cider defined as a malt beverage to allow sales by distributors.
  • Legalized placing the trade name on a distributor’s building.
  • Increased the number of product signs allowed for display in windows and doorways.
  • Drafted and secured passage of the Quota Law.


  • Defeat chain stores’ efforts to enact bill creating “food service licenses” for supermarkets and conveniencestores that would allow them to sell beer exclusively for take-out in any package size of 6 packs or more, alongside other items carried by these stores, and paid for at the same register alongside thoseitems.
  • Allow beer distributors to sell packages of 22 ozs. or more to consumers.
  • Continue to protect our three-tier system.
  • Continue to preserve our Quota Law and Residency Requirement Law.
  • Continue to defeat all legislation that would unreasonably restrict a distributor’s sales and/or hinder your right to earn a living. They include: Food service licenses for supermarkets and convenience stores to sell beer. State and local governments increasing and/or imposing new taxes on distributors. Forcing distributors to take back empties from consumers. Placing additional restrictions on beer advertising. Requiring distributors to register kegs. Permitting interstate alcohol sales


Consumer Care

Beer distributors offer consumers a wide selection of beers and other beverages in a variety of package sizes and containers. MBDA members represent hundreds of manufacturers, from multi-national breweries to the smallest microbreweries. We provide customers with a vast selection of imported and domestic beers, including all Pennsylvania brews.

A typical member offers consumers more than 1,000 choices in the form of multiple brands, styles, sizes, packages and related snacks and supplies. Because of the variety and quality of our members’ products, Pennsylvania brewers can maximize both exposure and floor space.

Protecting Minors

Beer distributors have years of experience in not selling to minors, and our livelihood is dependent on preventing illegal sales. MBDA members have invested in the newest age verification equipment, and the Association promotes its use by offering discounted pricing through endorsed vendors. Members train employees not to sell to minors or intoxicated persons, and we participate in alcohol awareness and educational programs throughout the Commonwealth. Our distributors also participate in educational and empowering programs, including Cops in Shops, DARE, Family Talk, Project Sticker Shock, RAMP, Responsible Marketing Initiative, Slow on the Bottle Enjoy the Road, TIPS and We ID. They give talks at local schools on the dangers of underage drinking and are a force in the community to fight teen drinking.

How does MBDA encourage adult consumers to drink responsibly?

To promote adult responsibility and fight underage drinking and alcohol abuse, beer distributors work diligently with industry affiliates, enforcement agencies, churches, schools and advocacy groups. Our distributors have formed partnerships with a variety of community groups and initiatives, including:

• Catholic Youth Organization
• College Action Against Underage Drinking, Council on Chemical abuse
• Dickinson University’s Public Safety Department
• Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking
• PA Liquor Control Boart
• Sheriffs’ Association
• Wyoming Valley Alcohol & Drug Service.

Statistics released by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that Pennsylvania, with a decline of 7.4% over 2005, was one of 26 states in which the number of drunk-driving-related fatalities dropped.

Community Involvement

Beer distributors are local, family-owned and operated businesses, generation after generation, who give back to their communities. Our members sponsor a variety of consumer-based programs:

• youth and school athletics
• benefits to help offset medical costs
• cheerleading
• fishing clubs
• bands
• theater groups
• concerts
• school scholarships
• block parties
• fairs and festivals
• parades

MBDA members contribute to a variety of community groups:

• local churches
• youth ministries
• police/fire/ambulance departments
• booster clubs
• women’s clubs
• libraries
• museums
• historical societies
• parks and recreational centers.

Specific beneficiaries include

• Alex’s Lemonade
• American Cancer Society
• American Legion
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters
• Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Hershey Medical Center
• Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
• Cerebral Palsy
• Children’s Miracle Network
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Diabetes Association
• Easter Seals
• Exchange Club
• 4-H Club
• Humane Society
• Kiwanis Club
• Lions Club
• Make-A-Wish
• March of Dimes
• Muscular Dystrophy Association
• Multiple Sclerosis Association
• Optimists Club
• Power Packs Project
• Read Across America
• Red Cross
• Relay for Life
• Rotary Club
• St. Jude’s Hospital for Children
• Salvation Army
• Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
• Special Olympics
• Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
• Toys for Tots
• United Way
• University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center
• Veterans of Foreign War
• Vietnam Wall Memorial
• Walk for Life
• War Veterans of Iraq
• Wolves Club

Besides monetary support, donations may include beverages, snacks, ice, shirts, hats or gift certificates.

Economic Impact

Beer distributors are local employers with more than 36,000 workers, and generate in excess of $2.9 billion in annual economic impact. MBDA members generate substantial federal, state and local tax revenues. Annually, the Commonwealth receives $1.1 billion in personal, business and and consumption taxes, a portion of which goes back to each local municipality. The tax dollars we generate stay in our communities and in Pennsylvania.



230 South Broad Street
Suite 903
Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-732-6023 (fax)