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


An Established Distribution System



In 2008, when Boston Beer Company had a problem with glass in their bottle, it was the brewery's network of distributors that made a successful and safe recall possible. Courtesy of the National Beer WHolesalers Association.

Checks and Balance in Beer Distribution

Beer distributors are the critical link in the established and regulated system which includes brewers and importers, distributors, and retailers. Our members provide a variety of beer brands through licensed retailers at a great value in a manner that is safe and for the public. 

Entities wishing to manufacture, promote, distribute, deliver, merchandise, or sell beer, wine or spirits must be licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth has established a three-tier system where each licensee falls into only one of the three-tiers (retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer). 

Massachusetts' current system is beneficial for all consumers, brewers, and distributors for several reasons:

  • They facilitate product diversity and consumer choice by encouraging distributors to invest capital and labor in the creation of new markets for emerging beers and the expansion of markets for existing products.
  • They safeguard an open, accountable and transparent marketplace where brewers of all sizes can compete and access retailers of all sizes.
  • They ensure all three tiers (brewers, distributors and retailers) operate independently. This independence creates a transparent and accountable distribution system that protects consumers from abuses and counterfeit or adulterated product. 

Constellation Brands Beer Division President Bill Hackett and Chief Sales Officer Bruce Jacobson discuss the value of the three-tier system and beer distributors. Courtesy of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Independent beer distributors are the indispensable buffer between brewers and retailers, preventing dangerous practices, while delivering unprecedented consumer choice, variety and safety. Courtesy of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

In 2012, Heineken USA initiated a voluntary recall of specific bottles. Heineken USA's Dolf van den Brink and Stacey Tank discuss how they worked closely with distributors to quickly and efficiently pull potentially effected bottles out of the marketplace. Courtesy of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.