Mass. Brewers Say New Rules Threaten Local Industry

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — More than two dozen beer brewers in Massachusetts say a rules change proposed by the state could hurt their businesses or even force them to close.

The rules change approved Monday by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission would require brewers operating under a so-called farmer-brewery license to grow at least half the hops and grains they use, or get them from a domestic source.

Brewers say that would be extremely difficult.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

Any brewer that loses that license would not be allowed to operate on-site tastings. They could also be forced to employ distributors, which would cut into any revenue.

The new rule would affect a number of local brewers including the state’s largest, Boston Beer Company, which is responsible for making Samuel Adams beer.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

Jeremy Goldberg, the owner of Cape Ann Brewing Co. in Gloucester, tells The Boston Globe the rule will put him out of business.

State officials say the change is meant to clarify regulations defining a farmer-brewer, or someone who grows cereal grains or hops to produce a malt beverage. The law is designed to promote farming in Massachusetts.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • petem

    What about doing something to ENCOURGE farming rather than this which seems to be a slap at brewers that are sourcing ingredients from the best source. Are we in MA going to be able to grow the same hops that Boston Beer uses that are from Europe? I would think we would have already done so if we could or someone wanted to try. Anyone know what reasons were given for this from the farmer’s angle?

  • gigi

    i would hazard a guess that the growing season for the grains needed for beer is too short in Mass (or other NE states) – have any of the officials pushing this thing even thought of that? they are not putting snow in the beer, the grains need more than two months (i imagine sowing several different timed crops would be optimal) to grow before harvesting! ugh….

  • Mark

    That’s it undermine the little guy again!

  • Ted

    How does this make any sense at all? Which politician is getting lobbying money for this ridiculous law? This almost sounds like “American Steel for America”

  • Linda

    Another bunch of politicans that should be replaced. Dang, how many rocks are they crawling out from under ??? Must be to much hot air going to their heads frying their brains

  • sean

    So the state is going to force even more companies to leave the state…way to go

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