State Distribution Laws


License Needed to Self-Distribute: No
Statute: 7 V.S.A. § 271

Vermont Statute

Vermont does not allow brewers to self-distribute, but it is one of the few states that allows brewers to ship beer directly to Vermont residents with the appropriate permit.

Otherwise, Vermont brewers must use wholesalers to distribute their products to retailers and must comply with Vermont’s rules governing those relationships. These distribution agreements must be in writing and provide wholesalers with exclusive territories. Additionally, among other things, brewers cannot:

  • Force wholesalers to accept beer they haven’t ordered
  • Restrict a wholesaler from selling or distributing another brand of beer
  • Restrict a wholesaler from transferring its business without good reason
  • Fail to deliver products within a reasonable time after the wholesaler orders it

Brewers also can’t terminate or not renew distribution agreements without good cause, giving the wholesaler 120 days’ written notice and 120 days to cure the problem. Good cause and notice are not needed if the wholesaler is insolvent, bankrupt, or the brewer can prove providing notice would do irreparable harm to the marketing of its products.

Small brewers (those brewing less than 50,000 barrels per year) are subject to different standards related to the termination of distribution agreements. Small brewers are permitted to terminate or not renew a distribution agreement if the distribution agreement itself gives them that right. If it doesn’t, then they will need to follow the same termination requirements as other brewers. If a small brewer wants to terminate an agreement without cause, it must give the wholesaler 30 days’ notice and pay the wholesaler for the cost of the dealer’s laid-in inventory of the brewer’s products.

State VT | TTB License

Fun Fact: The Alchemist in Vermont is credited as having released the first “New England-style” or hazy IPA with their cult classic, Heady Topper.