In their roles as President and Vice President of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, two industry leaders with varied experience are eager to support fellow business owners — and their sights are set on growth.

Adam Romanow, founder and CEO of Castle Island Brewing Company in Norwood and South Boston; and JP Gallagher, co-owner and head brewer at Lost Shoe Brewing & Roasting Company in Marlborough, are the newest board officers of the state’s membership-based trade association. The Mass Brewers Guild works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers through legislative influence and professional development.

Romanow, who has served on the MBG board since 2018 and was previously Treasurer and VP, was appointed by the board in February 2023 as President for a two-year term. Gallagher, whose business opened in 2019, was a MBG board member for two years before being elected Vice President.

Following the historic victory to reform Massachusetts franchise laws in 2021 as well as the MBG’s successful efforts last year to continue pandemic-era programs that benefit the beer industry, the Guild has two new legislative priorities, Romanow says.

First, the Guild is advocating for craft brewers to be allowed to sell their products at farmers markets. Currently, Massachusetts liquor laws allow only wineries and cideries to sell alcohol in this setting. “We’re looking to bring a little bit of parity to the alcohol space, because we’ve heard from a lot of our member brewers that they would like to be able to sell their beer to go at farmers markets,” Romanow says.

Another legislative priority of the MBG involves changing a law against self-distribution for brewpubs. The Commonwealth currently requires brewpubs to go through a distributor to sell their products off-site, either for on-premise consumption or off premise. If passed, the bill promoted by the Guild would allow for licensed brewpubs to self-distribute a limited amount of beer, Romanow explains, “to take care of those situations where it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to sell your beer to someone else only to buy it back yourself, or to have it travel 50 miles in each direction to go to a neighboring restaurant.” Brewpub licensees constitute a fairly small number of Mass. license holders, Romanow notes, yet changing this law is crucial for many of them.

Key to supporting both efforts, Gallagher agrees, is to meet with local legislators “to make sure that they know what our priorities are.” Gallagher currently serves on the Guild’s Government Affairs Committee, as well as its Membership and Marketing committees. Communication is at the heart of all of the goals he has for his role as Guild Vice President.

“A big reason why I wanted to run for a board seat was because of how much the MBG has helped us as a small business,” Gallagher says. Lost Shoe has “valued the support that we’ve been given through the MBG. I want to make sure that other breweries in Mass. can benefit from that as well.” He hopes to increase membership to the Guild, which currently counts 130 breweries among its ranks out of 230 operating in the state.

Supporting breweries’ efforts to become more diverse and inclusive places to work is important to the Guild’s board members. “That will help our growth as an industry,” Gallagher says. “You need diversity.”

In terms of marketing priorities, the board is collaborating with MBG Executive Director Katie Stinchon to streamline communications for both its members and consumers. Gallagher would also like to plan and execute more “membership tours,” during which board members visit fellow MBG breweries to gain insight into specific challenges and successes. “We do surveys throughout the year, but sitting down and having conversations directly with other breweries was super beneficial to understanding what some of the pain points are that our members are facing, so that we can better support them,” Gallagher says.

For Romanow, the next couple of years present “a lot of opportunity” for the MBG and its members. The craft beer market itself is trending downward, he notes, with more brands vying for less shelf space. “The Guild has a real opportunity, if not obligation, to be there to support our members through mentorship, knowledge sharing, and really helping them navigate a lot of the hurdles that are going to be coming,” Romanow says. MBG leaders are also positioned to assist and advise breweries dealing with growing pains related to sales and distribution issues, and matters of human resources.

The Mass Brewers Guild hosts quarterly membership meetings as well as other networking opportunities and events throughout the year. Romanow says there’s a need for more, like offering formal peer mentoring or more frequent roundtable discussions to members.

There is currently a vacancy on the nine-member Board of Directors. To learn more about what the role involves, check out this blog post. To set up an interview or to learn more, email the executive director. Ideal candidates are already involved in the organization by regularly attending meetings, participating in the MBG’s festivals and fundraisers, and being visible members of the community. It’s important for the board to see a strong commitment from individuals wishing to join the leadership team.

Beyond volunteering to serve, member breweries can support the board in numerous ways. Throughout the year, there are opportunities to participate on action committees, volunteer at MBG festivals and events, and get the word out about legislative efforts. Feedback of any kind is always welcome, Romanow says. “We want to make sure that we’re focusing on the items that matter most to our members,” he says.

To learn more about the Mass Brewers Guild’s membership opportunities, programs, fundraisers and beer festivals, visit


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