North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Market: Regulations, Statistics, Trends, and Wholesalers

North Carolina has specific laws and regulations when it comes to the buying and selling of alcoholic beverages. This is a market that’s attractive for many suppliers and wholesalers within the industry. Whether you’re looking to gain traction within the NC market or if you’re just curious to learn about the market trends and regulations, keep reading to find out more.

This guide covers various types of data related to the consumption of beer, wine, and spirits in the state of North Carolina. Additionally, we discuss various laws and state regulations, top spirits, wine, and beer brands, and lastly, the most popular distributors throughout the state.

If you’re looking to find out how you can penetrate the market or gain exposure, then we recommend filling out the form on the page and a member of the Park Street Team will contact you as soon as possible.

Consumption Trends In North Carolina

North Carolina is a very popular market when it comes to consuming alcohol. See below for the consumption of 9-liter cases of spirits, wine, and beer based on the data we’ve collected. These charts have been created by our team at Park Street. Spirits have a compound annual growth rate of 4.82% while the CAGR of wine is much lower at 0.13%. Beer has a negative CAGR at -1.14% over the years represented below.

North Carolina Spirits Consumption from 2015-2020 by 9-Liter Cases


North Carolina Wine Consumption from 2015-2020 by 9-Liter Cases


North Carolina Beer Consumption from 2015-2020 by 9-Liter Cases


North Carolina Spirits Volume Sales By Category – 2020 Data

Spirit trends in North Carolina by volume and dollar sales in 2020.

Category Volume Sales
Thousands, 9-liter cases
Dollar Sales
Straight Whiskey 456 N/A
Canadian Whisky 271 N/A
Scotch Whisky 42 N/A
Irish Whiskey 21 N/A
Gin 153 N/A
Vodka 957 N/A
Rum 221 N/A
Tequila 238 N/A
Cordials/Liqueurs 486 N/A
Cocktails 130 N/A

Source: Beverage Information Group

North Carolina Beer Volume Sales By Category – 2020 Data

Beer trends in North Carolina by volume sales in 2020

Category Volume Sales
Thousands, 2.25 Gallon Cases
Volume Sales barrels
Craft 9.7 312.9
FMBs & Hard Seltzer 7.5 240.4
Super & Super Premium 10.5 339.9
Light 34.6 1117.3
Popular 3.6 115.4
Imported 9.4 302.5

Source: Beverage Information Group

Coming Soon: Wine trends in North Carolina by volume and dollar sales in 2020.

The Top 10 Spirits Brands
In North Carolina

  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka 750ml
  • Patron Silver Tequila
  • Tito’s (1.75L)
  • Hennessy VS 750ml
  • Jameson Whiskey
  • Jack Daniel’s Black Label
  • Casamigos Blanco Tequila
  • Grey Goose Vodka
  • Hennessy VS 375ml
  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon

The Top 10 Table Wine Brands
In North Carolina

  • Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
  • Conundrum Red Blend 2020
  • Treana Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
  • Klinker Brick Brickmason 2018
  • Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2021
  • Tres Sabores 2020
  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
  • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2019
  • Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon Lot N.V.
  • Frei Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon

The Top 10 Domestic Beer Brands
In North Carolina

  • Coming Soon!

Alcoholic Beverage Distributors Located In North Carolina

In the United States, alcohol must be sold through what’s known as the three-tier system. This requires the sale of alcohol to flow through suppliers, wholesalers, and/or importers, as well as retailers, both on-premise and off-premise. This is important to know if you’re a supplier. We’ve covered this topic in great detail here on our site. For more information on this, please see below or reach out to us.

The Three-Tier System Overview

Looking for a list of alcohol distributors located in North Carolina? If so, then the lists below are what you’re looking for. You will find some of the most popular alcoholic beverage distributors located in NC below. We’ve categorized them as wine and spirits distributors as well as beer distributors.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at all the distributors operating within the United States, then check out the full list provided below. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, please reach out to our team for help and we’ll get back to you.

Wine & Spirits Distributors

More Coming Soon

Beer Distributors

More Coming Soon

More Distributors in North Carolina (A-Z)

Full North Carolina List Coming Soon!

Click here for a complete list of alcoholic beverage distributors. 

Self-Pitch Distribution Model

Finding the right distributor is often cited as one of the most difficult challenges to building a brand in the U.S. There are thousands of brands and industry consolidation has led to fewer distribution companies to choose from in each market.

As such, one option available to emerging brands is to use Park Street’s self-pitch distribution model.

The self-pitch distribution model is similar to the three-tier traditional distribution model where the product is delivered to retailers, but the key difference is that sales and marketing are handled by the supplier.

Contact Us To Get Started Today

Selling Alcohol In North Carolina

The buying, selling, manufacturing, and consuming of alcohol have been regulated and controlled by the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission since 1937. This includes transportation and possession of alcohol as well. All the enforcement of the state regulations is controlled by this commission.

If you’re looking to sell alcohol in NC, then you need to know and understand the regulations set forth by this board. Remaining compliant is of the utmost importance. This is why we’ve provided answers to many questions related to selling alcohol off-premise and on-premise. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us by clicking here.

FAQs on North Carolina Beer, Wine & Spirits Sales

Do Walmart, Target, and CVS sell alcohol in North Carolina?

Walmart is a retailer that’s allowed to sell malt beverages for on and off-premise consumption. They are also allowed to sell unfortified wine both on and off-premise. Target is a retailer that’s allowed to sell malt beverages for both on-premise and off-premise consumption. It’s allowed to sell unfortified wine on and off-premise as well. CVS is categorized as a drugstore and it’s allowed to sell malt beverages and unfortified wine for off-premise consumption.

What are the alcohol laws in North Carolina?

There are alcohol laws in NC that retailers and consumers must abide by. You must be 21 years old to consume, possess or buy alcohol in North Carolina. It’s illegal for any retailer on-premise and off-premise to sell and/or serve alcoholic beverages to individuals under the age of 21. Parents are prohibited from providing alcohol to their children who are not 21 years old.

Do they sell liquor, wine, or beer in grocery stores in North Carolina?

They sell beer and wine in grocery stores in NC. They do not sell liquor in grocery stores. Liquor is sold in state-run stores in North Carolina.

Do they sell liquor, wine, or beer in gas stations in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, liquor is only sold at ABC Stores that are run by the state. However, beer and wine are both available for purchase at grocery stores and convenience stores.

What is the alcohol excise tax in North Carolina?


Unfortified Wine:
$0.2634 per liter

Fortified Wine:
$0.2934 per liter


$0.6171 per gallon


In North Carolina, the sale of liquor is controlled by the government, including taxes, fees, markup pricing, and the profit derived from liquor sales.

Buying Alcohol In North Carolina – Hours, Locations & Taxes

North Carolina, is a state where the sale of some alcohol is restricted to state-run locations. Learn the rules and regulations when it comes to buying alcohol in the state. We cover laws on buying wine, beer, and spirits below as well as buying on-premise and off-premise.

FAQs on Buying Beer, Wine & Liquor in North Carolina

What is the alcohol tax in North Carolina?

North Carolina has a general sales tax of 4.75% that applies to all purchases of beer and wine. Spirits are subject to a sales tax rate of 7.00%.

Can you buy liquor in grocery stores in North Carolina?

No, in North Carolina, liquor is only sold at ABC Stores. These stores are run by the state. You can purchase beer and wine at grocery stores and convenience stores where available.

Can you buy alcohol in gas stations in North Carolina?

Liquor and other spirits are only sold at ABC Stores which are run by the state. Beer is available for purchase at gas stations between the hours of 7 AM and 2 AM.

Can you buy alcohol on Sunday in North Carolina?

No. Alcohol is not sold on Sundays in NC. Consumers are able to purchase alcohol between Monday and Saturday during designated hours which must be between 7 AM and 2 AM. All ABC Stores in the state are closed on Sundays.

Does North Carolina Allow direct-to-consumer shipping?

North Carolina allows direct-to-consumer shipping for wine only. It is not permitted for spirits and beer.

What times can you buy liquor, wine, or beer in North Carolina?

The law states that the sale of alcohol can take place between Monday and Saturday 7 AM – 2 AM. On Sunday, certain types of alcohol can be purchased after 12 PM. However, ABC Stores, where liquor is sold is not open, so the sale of spirits is not available on Sunday. As for on-premise sales, business establishments that have an active on-premise license are able to sell alcohol after 12 PM and must stop serving at 2 AM. Please note, counties and cities are able to put their own regulations in place as well so this may vary from county to county.

Can you order alcohol to go in NC?

No, as of today, you can no longer order alcohol to go in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper’s executive orders allowing mixed drinks to go expired on June 1, 2021.

Where in North Carolina can buy alcohol off-premise?

There are many different types of locations in NC where you can buy alcohol for off-premise consumption.

Malt – Restaurants, Hotels, Food Businesses, and Retail Businesses

Unfortified Wine – Any location that has an unfortified wine permit, authorizing the retail sale. The product must be sold in the manufacturer’s original container for consumption off the premises. This permit also authorizes the shipping of unfortified wine in closed containers to individuals inside and outside State lines.

Where can buy alcohol for on-premise consumption in NC?

It depends on the type of alcohol being sold. Below you will find details listing out locations based on alcohol type.

Sale of Malt Beverage On-Premise – Restaurants, Hotels, Food Businesses, Retail Businesses, Private Bars, Private Clubs, Convention Centers, Community Theatres, Distillery, Sports and Entertainment Venue

Sale of Unfortified Wine On-Premise – Restaurants, Hotels, Private Bars, Private Clubs, Convention Centers, Cooking Schools, Community Theatres, Distillery, and Sports and Entertainment Venue

Sale of Fortified Wine On-Premise – Restaurants, Hotels, Private Bars, Private Clubs, Community Theatres, Wineries, Convention Centers, Distillery, and Sports and Entertainment Venue


Here at Park Street, we connect suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. We also provide various types of services, giving you the opportunity to remove the complexity, and allowing you to focus solely on growth and brand building while we do the rest! If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please feel free to complete the form below and a member of our client development team will be in touch within 24 hours.

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