Moon Hill

Local Breweries Raise a Pint and Funds for the Mass Brewers Guild During #MassBeerWeek

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Local breweries are coming together to host “MBG Pint Nites,” with the goal to raise awareness and funds for the Mass Brewers Guild during Mass Beer Week.

Mass Beer Week, held from April 20 through April 28, is the state’s celebration of locally made craft beer.

All breweries, tap rooms, restaurants and bottle shops are encouraged to get involved in the festivities by hosting their own unique events. The only requirement to be involved in Mass Beer Week is that the event must focus exclusively on beer brewed in the state of Massachusetts.

Battle Road Brewing Co., CraftRoots Brewing, Harpoon, Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, Mayflower Brewing Co., Medusa Brewing Co., Moon Hill Brewing Co., Night Shift Brewing Co., and Sam Adams, will all hold a designated MBG Pint Nite during the weeklong celebration, where a $1 of all beer sales that day will come back to the nonprofit organization.

The Mass Brewers Guild is the state’s trade association that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth.

Want to support the cause? It’s easy. Flex your pint lifting biceps and belly up to a tap room on the following days to help raise funds for the MBG:

Battle Road Brewing Co.
20 Sudbury St., Maynard, MA
Tuesday, April 24

CraftRoots Brewing
4 Industrial Rd, Milford, MA
Wednesday, April 25

306 Northern Ave., Boston
Wednesday, April 25

Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
100 Clinton St., Framingham, MA
Thursday, April 26

Mayflower Brewing Co.
12 Resnik Rd # 3, Plymouth, MA
Thursday, April 26

Medusa Brewing Co.
111 Main St., Hudson, MA
Monday, April 23

Moon Hill
74 Parker St, Gardner
Thursday, April 26

Night Shift Brewing
87 Santilli Hwy, Everett
Thursday, April 26

Sam Adams
30 Germania St., Boston
Thursday, April 26

Be sure to share, and tag, your delicious beer on social media #MassBeerWeek -- For questions, or more information about the Mass Brewers Guild, visit

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Fix the beer distribution laws


With the explosion of small breweries in the U.S., it is not unusual to hear stories enumerating the problems encountered by these breweries as a result of outdated alcohol laws and regulations. It begs the question: What changes in the law can be made to allow these small breweries to thrive?

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There are three brewing licenses defined by Massachusetts law: farmer brewer, pub brewer and manufacturer. Farmer and pub are responsible for the boom in small breweries.

Most breweries opening today are licensed as farmer brewers. Does that mean they are a farmer or are obtaining product locally from farmers? No, none of that. It means they can only sell their alcohol product at their bar or tasting room, plus they can freely self-distribute their product to other retailers and wholesalers. So what's the farmer thing about? I'm not sure, but I think the intention was to inspire farmers to grow their own barley and hops and create value by retailing these products. However, I cannot think of a single farmer brewer licensee that does this, though I'm not saying there isn't one out there. The situation for farmer brewer licensees is pretty good, since they can self-distribute and sell retail. Their one big problem – a problem for all brewery licensees – is limited access to markets due to Massachusetts Franchise Law.

Franchise law requires the brewer and distributor/wholesaler relationship to be permanent in a particular region of distribution. In other words, brewers are stuck with a distributor unless they can demonstrate a serious grievance and have bottomless pockets for legal fees. A distributor not selling your beer, or not selling it well, can just sit on your product, effectively putting you out of business. Franchise law was meant to protect small distributor/wholesalers from big breweries back in the 70s. 45 years later the landscape has flipped and the now very large distributors are still being protected. And they love it!

The pub brewer license is for businesses wanting to to retail alcohol other than their house-brewed beer. Properly licensed pub brewers have the ability to pour anything they want along with all of their own beers. However, this license is restricted from self distribution. Pub brewers must use a distributor/wholesaler (along with that permanent relationship dictated by franchise law) - a very expensive option for a brewery trying to get started in distribution.

Massachusetts currently has around 140+ breweries (and that number is growing), which ranks us at about 17th among states in the U.S. Another statistic, breweries per capita, ranks Massachusetts 24th! Clearly there is room to grow.

It may take a while to clean up the brewery laws – and good people are working on it – but in the meantime, if issues surrounding the franchise law can be remedied and self distribution can be legalized for pub brewers (both have bills pending on Beacon Hill), small breweries can enjoy unfettered access to markets and Massachusetts can get back on track as a leading brewing state.

Rick Walton is owner and president of Moon Hill Brewing Co. in Gardner.

Originally posted on

Originally posted on