State Distribution Laws


In Connecticut, a brewer holding a manufacturer’s permit for beer is allowed to distribute its beer at wholesale.

Brewer’s arrangement with licensed wholesalers is also regulated by the state. For instance, a distribution agreement with a term of longer than 6 months requires the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s approval, in addition to the brewer and wholesaler, in order to reduce the territory or terminate the agreement.

If a brewer wants to unilaterally terminate a distribution agreement or reduce the territory, it must have just and sufficient cause for doing so. The brewer must also send notice to the wholesaler describing what changes it is making, and its reasons. A similar notice must also be send to the Department of Consumer Protection. However, the change won’t become effective until the Department determines the brewer has just and sufficient cause, which it may require a hearing to determine. In a “no-duh” type of law, the state considers just and sufficient cause to be the “existence of circumstances which reasonably warrants a termination or reduction.”

Another rather unique rule: wholesalers cannot refuse to deliver to retailers outside their territory, but only if:

i) no other wholesaler is currently serving that territory;
ii) the retailer is willing to pick up the product at wholesaler’s distribution center; and
iii) retailer meets the same standards the wholesaler requires of its other retailers.

Fun Fact: Connecticut was one of only two states that did not ratify the Eighteenth Amendment and rejected federal prohibition (neighboring Rhode Island was the other).