Statement by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
“The closure of bars, restaurants and taverns across Massachusetts has been devastating for business owners, their employees and local economies,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations. “The path to recovery for the hospitality industry will last long beyond the end of COVID-19. While this is a positive step, we encourage the House to extend cocktails to-go privileges as long as possible to ensure these businesses get the support they need.”
“It’s not going to be safe to pack people into bars and restaurants for some time to come,” said Jackson Cannon, bar director for Eastern Standard & The Hawthorne. “One of the ways to help Massachusetts’s hospitality businesses survive this pandemic while maintaining public safety measures is by allowing consumers to enjoy handcrafted cocktails to-go in their homes.”
The legislation passed today, Senate Bill 2740, allows cocktails to-go only until the end of the governor’s executive order. The House can amend the bill to increase the length of time allowed for cocktails to-go.
Currently, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Iowa became the first state to make the cocktails to-go measure permanent on June 29. Other states, including Texas, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia, are also considering making their policies permanent.
The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.