The Massachusetts State Alcohol Commission passed an advisory last week mandating that any “farmer-brewers” must grow or find Massachusetts sources for at least 50 percent of their beer’s hops and grain, reports NPR. This rule will affect more than 24 small breweries. (Another class of brewers in Massachusetts, “manufacturers,” who are normally larger, are not affected by the new regulations.
The regulation “came as a shock” to many brewers who support local farms but still need to source ingredients from outside Massachusetts, which has only one malting facility. The brewers claim that there are not enough local distributors of grains and hops to supply everyone. The ruling will apply to all brewers that are up for renewal this year, as well as new brewers.
The biggest hops industry in the United States is located in the Pacific Northwest, though there are smaller-scale growers in the Northeast.