Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Releases Annual Report

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division has released its fiscal year 2021 annual report.

Liquor sales topped $400 million for the first time, with a total of $415.8 million and an unprecedented 13.2% increase over FY20. The previous fiscal year saw $367.3 million in liquor sales, which was also a record at the time. Fiscal Year 2021 began July 1, 2020, and ended June 30, 2021. Thus far, FY22 liquor sales have seen an increase of 5.7% through the end of November.

“The outcomes within this year’s annual report reflect good government planning and execution,” says ABD Administrator Stephen Larson. “This is a direct result of ABD putting in place a solid strategic plan in 2019.” Income from liquor profits, beer barrel and wine gallonage tax, and revenue from licensing and regulatory efforts translated into a total transfer of $168 million to the State’s General Fund for appropriation by the Iowa legislature including $29 million to the Iowa Department of Public Health for the administration of substance abuse and prevention education programs.

ABD sold more than 6.5 million gallons of liquor in FY21. Ruan Transportation, ABD’s distribution partner, played a key role in managing the sales surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. “ABD continuously strives to achieve its goals no matter the ‘climate’ of the day. Our distribution partner, Ruan, demonstrated their ability to manage effectively during this period as they played a critical role in success for ABD,” says ABD Chief Operations Officer, Herbert H. Sutton Jr.

Once again, Black Velvet held the top spot as the most popular brand in FY21. Black Velvet has been the most popular brand since at least FY12, when ABD began reporting the top brands. Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum round out the top three as was the case in the previous fiscal year. Blue Ox Vodka was the most popular Iowa brand for the third year in a row. 

“Although COVID-19 has created additional challenges in the marketplace, this report reflects ABD’s continued success in achieving the mission of serving Iowans through responsible and efficient licensing, regulation, and distribution of alcohol,” says ABD Executive Officer II, Jake Holmes.

The full annual report can be accessed online at



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