The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (Division) released its Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report, highlighting a record year of sales and reversion to State coffers. Overall, total liquor sales increased 4.7 percent over the previous fiscal year to $320 million, and $120 million was transferred to the State General Fund for appropriation by the Iowa legislature. Fiscal Year 2018 began July 1, 2017, and ended June 30, 2018.
“This report demonstrates that the Division is providing a significant return on investment to the citizens of Iowa,” said Division Administrator Stephen Larson. “Additionally, Iowa’s economic vitality is supported by the work performed by the Division, which is why we will continue refreshing our laws, policies, and processes to ensure fair and effective governance of Iowa’s alcoholic beverages marketplace.”
During Fiscal Year 2018, Iowans showed a preference for wine, liquor and Iowa-made beer. Compared to the previous fiscal year, total gallons of wine, liquor and Iowa-made beer sold increased 1.1 percent, 2.8 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively. Iowa-made wine saw a decrease in total gallons sold of 6.5 percent, and total gallons sold of beer not made in Iowa decreased 2.2 percent.
American vodkas, Canadian whiskies and spiced rum were the top three categories of liquor products sold during the fiscal year. Black Velvet whiskey retained its long-standing place as the top-selling brand of liquor sold in the state, while Templeton Rye’s 4-year rye whiskey was the most popular Iowa-made spirit.
New to the report was a section dedicated to the Division’s regulatory compliance efforts. During the fiscal year, almost 17,000 alcohol licenses, permits and certificates were issued, more than 21,000 people were trained and certified in the responsible selling and serving of alcohol and over $157,000 was collected as a result of administrative actions.
“The Division continues to be effective and efficient in the licensing, education and regulation of alcohol,” said Josh Happe, Bureau Chief of the Division’s Regulatory Compliance Bureau. “We will continue working to increase our regulatory footprint in the state, with protecting public health, safety and welfare at the forefront of the work we do.”