H267, An Act relative to small brewers

Senator Brownsberger submitted the following testimony to the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

TO:                  Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

FROM:             Senator William N. Brownsberger

RE:                   H267

DATE:              November 12th, 2013

­I am writing in support of H267, An Act relative to small brewers.

This bill will bring much needed reform to the relationship between small brewers and wholesalers.  Current regulations protect the rights of wholesalers to distribute alcoholic beverages, essentially in perpetuity unless the producer appeals to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.  This process can be very slow and costly and ultimately result in an unfavorable decision.  The intent of the current law is to protect distributors, who make large investments in distribution infrastructure, and promotion.  The loss of a large supplier has the potential to cause irreparable damage a distributors business.

H267 only impacts the relationship between distributors and small brewers, who often make up a fraction of a distributors business.  This legislation will enable small brewers to change distributors with fewer hurdles, which will allow them to find the best partner for their small business.

This bill will support a burgeoning industry in the Commonwealth, creating jobs and supporting entrepreneurship.  I hope the committee will report H267 favorably.

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