(ANKENY) – The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) released its fiscal year 2020 annual report on December 11th, 2020. Overall, total liquor sales were $367.3 million, an increase of 8.2 percent over the previous fiscal year, and over $133 million dollars was transferred to the State’s General Fund for appropriation by the Iowa legislature. The time period for this report began July 1, 2019, and ended June 30, 2020.

“This report demonstrates that ABD continues to provide a significant return on investment to the citizens of Iowa,” said ABD Administrator Stephen Larson. “Despite the challenging times during the pandemic, the citizen-owned distribution model generated over $133 million dollars that will be used by the legislature for programs that benefit all Iowans, regardless of whether they choose to consume alcohol.”

During this pandemic, the public health and safety of Iowans was a top priority. ABD was able to use its distribution system to disperse important supplies such as hand sanitizer and masks to state agencies and charitable organizations across the state. 

This year marked the first full fiscal year of ABD’s partnership with Ruan Corporation. “Partnering with Ruan for our distribution services allows the Business Operations Bureau to focus on one of its core objectives, providing a more diverse offering of products through category management,” said Herbert H. Sutton Jr., ABD’s Chief Operations Officer.  

This report, as with prior reports, disclosed that American vodka, Canadian whiskey, and spiced rum continued to be the top three categories of liquor products by gallons sold during FY20. Black Velvet, Tito’s, and Captain Morgan remained the top-selling brands in their respective categories. Blue Ox Vodka was the top-selling Iowa-made spirit.

During the fiscal year, ABD issued nearly 17,000 alcohol licenses, permits, and certificates for a total of $17.6 million in revenue, which is less than FY19, due to COVID-19 relief measures. Additionally, the deferment of taxes and fees resulted in decreases in license and tax revenue. However, this decrease in revenue was minimal compared to the increase in liquor sales, which significantly offset those reduced revenues. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of Iowans have been, and will remain, the focus of the work we do,” said Josh Happe, Bureau Chief of ABD’s Regulatory Compliance Bureau. Compliance and education initiatives resulted in nearly 21,000 people trained and certified in the responsible selling and serving of alcohol and over $100,000 collected as a result of licensees, not in compliance with state alcohol laws.

The full annual report can be accessed online at https://abd.iowa.gov/annual-reports.

About the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division: The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division serves Iowans through responsible and efficient licensing, regulation, and distribution of alcohol. For more information about ABD, visit https://abd.iowa.gov.