Massachusetts: Alcohol board reverses small brewer rule

Alcohol regulators in Massachusetts are pulling back from a rules change that had small beer brewers across the state fuming.

The change approved last week by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission would have required brewers operating under a so-called farmer-brewery license to grow at least half the hops and grains they use, or get them from a domestic source.

Regulators said the change was designed in part to promote farming in Massachusetts.

Brewers protested, saying the change could harm their businesses or even force some of them to close.

Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman announced Monday that the ABCC had decided to eliminate the rules change.

Grossman said the commission would instead hold a series of public hearings to solicit comment from the public and brewers.

Brewers welcomed the reversal.

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