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Agency Operations (OHLQ)

Agency Operations (OHLQ)

Who we are

Ohio Liquor (OHLQ) is a unique public/private partnership that ensures the safe and fair distribution of high-proof liquor across our state and directs profits from the sale of liquor to fund economic development in Ohio. In everything we do, advocating for responsible consumption is always our top priority.

Working for You

OHLQ puts Ohio consumers first. We ensure that liquor prices are fair and consistent across Ohio and competitive with other states. We seek out rare, premium, and small-batch bottles so that we carry the sought-after products that Ohioans want. We also work to make our state a preferred market for suppliers; this allows us to purchase products at lower prices and to buy larger amounts of rare products.

We strive to continuously provide the best customer experience possible. Over the past few years, we’ve designed a more consistent look for OHLQ stores to simplify in-person purchasing, and we’ve improved our database and search capabilities to make it easier to locate specific bottles.

Bringing rare and small-batch products to Ohio

Many of the most sought-after liquor products are distilled in very small quantities, and markets all over the country and the world must compete for a portion of a very limited supply. OHLQ aggressively pursues these rare and premium products to beat out other states and markets for limited-supply bottles. In addition to fostering relationships with suppliers and demonstrating Ohio’s desirability as a market, we have significantly streamlined our distribution process to ensure that our state is one suppliers want to choose over others when distributing rare products.

Consequently, we can offer a growing selection of one-of-a-kind bottlings of the best barrels from premium distillers, unique releases available only at OHLQ stores, and other rare and small-batch products. When products are sent to Ohio in extremely limited quantities, we hold bottle lotteries to make sure all Ohioans have an equal opportunity to purchase these rare bottles.

How we select the products we carry

OHLQ carries more than 5,000 different liquor products, and our buying power is reflected in the variety of products that we can offer consumers. We work hard to ensure that the selection we offer consumers is wide and well-curated, and that it includes new products, rare and small-batch bottles, and classic staples.

Customers often ask how OHLQ selects the products we carry. This process is initiated by suppliers. Suppliers compare states to determine where they want their products distributed, and then request to have their products sold there. This is why OHLQ fights so hard to make Ohio a welcoming and sought-after state that suppliers will choose over other markets. This is also why OHLQ works to build strong relationships with suppliers, and to seek out suppliers of rare and small-batch products to show them Ohio’s desirability as a market. Our buying power and our extensive efforts to centralize and streamline distribution, sales, marketing, and performance data are appreciated by suppliers and have given us important competitive advantages. Our innovative programs in these areas led to a 2019 Best of the Best Practices Award.

OHLQ lists new products every quarter, and the number of new products brought to Ohio each quarter depends on the number of requests from suppliers. The Ohio Division of Liquor Control (the Division) reviews supplier requests and decides whether to buy and carry the requested products in OHLQ stores based on information the suppliers provide, including:

  • Sales trends, category demand, and success in other markets
  • Price of the item to balance the number of products in each price tier across all categories
  • Supplier marketing support to ensure consumers are educated on the product/category

When a request is approved, suppliers then use sales data to determine which stores in Ohio will receive their products as well as the quantity each store will receive.

Product sales and performance are tracked and evaluated daily. Twice a year, the Division uses this data to determine if any products are underperforming and should be removed from the state’s portfolio. Once a product is removed, or “delisted,” the remaining inventory is often sold at a discount at your local OHLQ store and in the Last Call stores throughout the state. Find your Last Call store here.

Our Partnership

OHLQ is a partnership between the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control and JobsOhio Beverage System (JOBS), formed to use the profits from the sale of high-proof liquor in Ohio to fund job creation and bring new capital investment to the state. The Division selects and prices products and manages the sale of liquor in Ohio. JOBS supplies the products to OHLQ stores and owns the profits from the sale of all high-proof liquor in the state. JOBS uses these profits—not taxes—to provide stable and dedicated funding for JobsOhio, a private nonprofit corporation dedicated to Ohio’s economic development. Privately owned OHLQ stores (sometimes referred to as Contract or State Liquor Agencies) contract with OHLQ to sell high-proof liquor on consignment.