Distributors weigh in as new paths are sought for craft brewers

Distributors weigh in as new paths are sought for craft brewers

Beer distributors offer reasonable solution on emerging breweries

The editorial “Free the craft brewers” (Sept. 25) correctly highlights the success of Massachusetts’ thriving beer industry. Since 2011, the current system promoted the doubling of the number of Massachusetts breweries to 110.

In response to calls for more flexibility for emerging breweries to change distributors, beer distributors proposed a fair and reasonable solution, H.2823, allowing genuine emerging breweries the freedom to change distributors for no reason, while keeping Massachusetts’ family-owned beer distributors independent of the established breweries that have enjoyed market success for decades.

More than 97 percent of breweries in the United States produce less than 30,000 barrels of beer a year; every authentic emerging brewery is covered by the beer distributors’ proposal.

Our fair compromise answers the question “Who benefits?” The answer: the consumer, primarily by preserving access to an ever-expanding selection of beer brands. Other proposals before the Legislature would severely disrupt distributors’ business, endanger Massachusetts jobs, and give greater power to long-established regional, national, and multinational breweries that today confront intense competition from more and more emerging breweries.

H.2823 delivers a balanced solution that continues the success of Massachusetts’ beer industry.

William Kelley, president

Beer Distributors of Massachusetts