Drawing (Or, More Accurately, Pouring) a Blank?

In a guidance issued on May 24, 2017, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission announced a loosening of the Commonwealth’s stringent growler-filling requirements. Under this new guidance, farmer-brewers and pub-brewers may refill large glass growlers (i.e., growlers that the customer brings in) as long as the following three conditions are met:

  1. The growler is entirely blank (i.e., does not have any labeling from a different brewery)
  2. The growler is brought in empty
  3. The brewer fills the growler from a tank of tax-determined beer made by or for the brewer

Note that even under this guidance, any brewer that pre-fills growlers for purchase still must use only its own branded glass.

Could this relatively modest relaxing of the growler-filling requirement portend bigger changes for craft brewers and their consumers in the near future?  Stay tuned…

Robert Young advises businesses, municipalities, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations on a broad range of employment matters. He defends these clients against a variety of claims, including discrimination and retaliation, non-competition, trade secrets, and wage-and-hour matters. He has litigated disputes in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies. He counsels clients in matters outside of litigation, including the negotiation of agreements, medical leaves, and accommodation requests, as well as employee discipline and termination matters. In addition, he conducts internal investigations on behalf of clients, including alleged harassment, whistleblower, and other employee claims.

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