For craft brewers distributing in Massachusetts, or thinking about it, there’s a bill before the legislature that you’ll want to know about. House Bill 267, if passed, would make it easier for small breweries to change distributors. Right now, Massachusetts law makes it difficult for brewers to make a switch, requiring permission from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission that doesn’t always come easily.
Interestingly, the existing law went into effect to protect mom & pop distributors from the whims of the “big guy” beer brands. Now, though, the tide has changed and there are good reasons for revising the law, in favor of letting the contracting parties terminate the agreement when and how their contract specifies. Notably, the bill would also provide an alternative non-contractual route to termination. There’s good reporting on MA H267 from the Boston Globe here, and you can check out the full text of the bill right here.