You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

letters

Many options for craft brewers

AS AN attorney who represents the western Massachusetts distributor against Opa Opa in a proceeding pending before the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, I was distressed to read the Globe’s misleading editorial encouraging lawmakers to support a bill that would change the long established relationships between brewers and distributors (“To help craft beers flourish, give brewers more freedom,” Feb. 20).

First, current law does not force craft brewers to stick only with their existing distributors. Craft brewers can use as many distributors as they desire. Further, Massachusetts craft brewers who hold a farmer-brewer license are also entitled to self-distribute. Opa Opa’s problem is not the current law, but contract law. Opa Opa signed an exclusive contract in which it agreed to give up its rights to use other distributors or self-distribute in exchange for benefits conferred by one distributor.

Continue reading below

The editorial fails to note that current law provides craft brewers with a six-month “test period” to use a distributor and then abandon that distributor without consequence if the relationship is not working. Finally, current law allows any aggrieved craft brewer to petition the ABCC to terminate its current distributor if it can prove “good cause,” which is precisely what Opa Opa is doing.

Current law strikes a fair balance between the interests of craft brewers and distributors. Lawmakers would be better advised to more fully fund the ABCC, a well-run agency despite the Legislature’s chronic neglect of its needs.

J. Mark Dickison

Boston

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.