Beer Distributors of Massachusetts, Inc.
A Voice for Distributors Throughout the Commonwealth


The Massachusetts Fair Trade Law: The Facts

What is the Fair Trade Law?

The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives states the primary responsibility to regulate alcohol. The Massachusetts Fair Trade law is a key component of state alcohol regulations; it address the relationship between beer suppliers and distributors. The law provides balance and guidance for brewers and beer distributors.


1)    Consumer Choice – Product Diversity

2)    Brewer Access – Distributor Independence

3)    Public Safeguards – Responsible Sales


Additional Facts about Fair Trade laws

  • Beer fair trade laws facilitate product diversity and consumer choice by encouraging distributors to invest capital and labor in the creation of new markets for craft beers and the expansion of markets for existing products.
  • Beer fair trade laws, coupled with three-tier requirements, safeguard an open, accountable and transparent marketplace where brewers of all sizes can compete and access retailers of all sizes.
  • Brand distribution rights can and do change frequently. Beer fair trade laws allow for the transfer of brands between distributors.
  • Beer fair trade laws allow for distribution agreements to be terminated for cause.


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ResourcesCarrie Nash