The Massachusetts craft cocktail industry is facing an expiration date of two weeks unless legislation reconsiders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for Massachusetts craft cocktail businesses, due to the restrictions imposed on bars and restaurants in the state. Initially, the restrictions included a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off-premises, as a means to prevent the spread of the virus.
In response, Governor Charlie Baker’s administration announced an emergency measure to allow the sale of cocktails-to-go, providing a lifeline to these businesses. However, the legislation is set to expire in two weeks, on August 6th, unless the legislature acts to extend it.
Advocates of the craft cocktail industry are pushing for the legislature to take swift action to extend the measure, citing the substantial economic impact of the industry. According to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, craft cocktail businesses employ an estimated 10,000 workers in the state and generate an estimated $2 billion in economic activity.
The Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, a group of craft cocktail businesses, has launched a campaign to urge lawmakers to extend the legislation. The Alliance has argued that the current measure is not enough to sustain their businesses and that further support is necessary.
The craft cocktail industry is not alone in facing the expiration of the measure. The Massachusetts Brewers Guild, a trade association representing craft breweries, has also called for an extension of the legislation.
The Massachusetts legislature is currently in recess, but the Alliance and other craft beverage businesses hope that the legislature will act quickly upon its return to extend the measure. The future of the craft cocktail industry in the state is on the line.