Mass Big Government Watch: We don’t need no stinking breweries edition.

The forces of Big Government are at it again.  This time the patronage laden Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is looking to put our microbrewery industry out of business.  The Boston Globe has the story.

Brewers such as Samuel Adams beer maker Boston Beer Co., Mayflower Brewing Co., Ipswich Ale Brewery, and others that operate under what is called a farmer-brewery license would be affected by the change, which has caused a buzz in the industry since it was disclosed in a commission advisory earlier this week. The change still has to be finalized, state officials said.

The new rule would require brewers under that license to grow at least half the hops and grains they use, or get them from a domestic source – which many said would be difficult in Massachusetts. Without that license, breweries could not operate on-site tastings, and, beer makers fear, would be forced to pay distributors to deliver their beer to retail outlets rather than save money by doing it themselves.

At Cape Ann Brewing Co. in Gloucester, owner Jeremy Goldberg said that the loss of his farmer-brewer status would likely put his entire operation out of business. At the least, he said, he’d be forced to close his new brew pub, in which he invested about $1 million, and lay off 30 employees.

I mean don’t you all drive by the road and see waves of amber barley growing all over the place?  I imagine that if one of the ABCC’s cousins was a brewer that this regulation wouldn’t be in place.  It is regulations such as this, enacted by unelected commissions and agencies that are putting us on uneven competitive footings with the rest of the nation and at a national level the world.  

Samuel Adams, the brewer, would be so proud of what has become of this great Commonwealth, don’t ya think?

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

  • I wish fermenting grains and hops, but this could be the big beer distributors organizations or maybe some big brewer.

    Laws should be passed by elected representatives, not some faceless bureaucrat.

    Please don’t take my beer away 🙁

  • Karl Marx

    This is government gone amuck and it smells of rent-seeking from the distributors and other competitors of craft brewers in the Commonwealth. That the hack division, nee ABCC, has this much power tells you all you need to know about how state government strangles private initiative.

    Sam Adams is crying in his beer!

  • I think that few people realize just how much of an institution in the community these people are. Few people are more dedicated to there craft then beer makers.

    I would love to hear their rational for this new regulation.

  • I think most people can agree that the proposed rule change is stupid.  But I don’t see what that proves about “the forces of Big Government.”  Most people outside the Ayn Rand fringes agree that food and beverages should be regulated.  It just has to be done in an intelligent way.  This story has nothing to do with the size of government.  

  • “……would be forced to pay distributors to deliver their beer to retail outlets rather than save money by doing it themselves.”

    Hmmmmm….wonder how much the distributors are paying for this….wonder if the loaders and drivers are members of a Union.