Farmer-Brewery/ABCC issue

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UPDATE: 8/9/2011:  On Monday, after a meeting between the state Treasurer and the Mass Brewers Guild, the state announced that it would be reversing the 50% requirement put out in the 8/2 advisory.  This is great news for MA craft brewers who hold framer-brewery licences!  Public hearings will be held on license reform moving forward, so we will keep you in the loop as this evolves.

On August 2nd the ABCC issued the following advisory, basically requiring all current and new farmer-breweries in the state of MA to grow 50% of their aggregate hops and/or grain.  This requirement came out of left field (no pun intended)  and is unachievable by most ( if not all) MA farmer-breweries.  The fact that no existing breweries were grandfathered, and that the loss of our farmer-brewery license would also mean the loss of retail sales ( aka new growlers and refills) makes this a SIGNIFICANT ISSUE for Cape Cod Beer.  We have held a farmer brewery license since 2004, and our federal license was previously associated with a farmer brewery license issued in 1995, so basically for 16 years, without any previous mention or concern in regards to where our malt or hops come from.

To the right is our most recent statement to the press (and the world) in terms of where we stand with this issue.
Rest assured, dear fans of Cape Cod Beer, we have not yet begun to fight!  Our hope is that this first round of talks will allow the ABCC to see the impact of their advisory and work towards a mutually agreeable solution.  Otherwise you will be hearing from us in terms of how we plan to fight these changes and what we need you to do on our behalf.   We greatly appreciate all the calls, emails, tweets and facebook posts and messages from friends and customers concerned for us.  Thanks for your kind words, and offers of support.  Hopefully this will blow over as quickly as it blew in…else you’ll be hearing from us on how to help!
As always, thank you for your support
Todd, Beth & the rest of the brew crew @ Cape Cod Beer

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4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Robert Seeber says:

    Following is a letter I submitted to State Treasure Steve Grossman who overseas the ABCC..

    Dear Mr. Grossman
    First, I have no dog in this fight..I just enjoy being able to buy fresh, high-quality unpasteurized beer right from the taps at the brewery. The revival of small, family-owned local brewers is a VERY healthy thing for our economy and for those who enjoy quality, local brews.

    I suspect Massachusetts farmers will indeed investigate planting hops as the demand for that crop grows with the brewers success. Barley is a bulk commodity and small local brewers are NEVER going to have any impact on that market…

    Please put a leash on the ABCC and let the micro-breweries flourish. I suspect the REAL problem here is that the big beer distributors are squeaking about lost sales..Well if they sold something other than mass-produced, tasteless swill, the micro-brewers could never compete in the market. If they can’t compete against a product that sells for twice the price of their so-called beer, the problem is with them, not the micro-brewers….

    • capecodbeer says:

      thanks so much for your support! It appears Mr Grossman now better understands the impact. Maybe because of your letter ( grin).

      Did you know he will be visiting here on 11/4?

      Cheers CCB

  2. Jim & Ginni Nichols says:

    Thank you so so much for the personal tour of your wonderful brewery. We all enjoyed it very much! Looking forward to refilling our growlers next time we are on the cape!

    Sincerely,
    Jim, Ginni, Jake Nichols and Nora Burton

  3. Jim & Ginni Nichols says:

    Thank you so so much for the wonderful private brewery tour! We enjoyed it ver much! Looking forward to refilling our growlers on our next trip to the cape.

    Sincerely,
    Jim, Ginni, Jake Nichols and Nora Burton

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