South

Braintree keeps its ban on beer by the pitcher

Pitchers of beer are not served in the town of Braintree.

Janet Knott/Globe Staff/File

Pitchers of beer are not served in the town of Braintree.

With no requests for change at last week’s licensing board meeting, Braintree will keep its policy of banning the sale of beer by the pitcher.

Braintree’s policy is contrary to state law, which allows beer to be sold by the pitcher to groups of two or more.

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Town officials had said they would be willing to consider relaxing the policy, but no business owners came forward at Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of License Commissioners to request a change. As a result, board members said they would keep the policy as is.

“The reason we were planning on having the discussion was a few establishments reached out to me in conversation inquiring about the difference in Braintree’s regulation and in other communities and what the state allows. That’s what led to the potential discussion on that item,” said Joseph Powers, Braintree town clerk and chairman of the licensing board. “There were four licensed establishments that had reps there, but not one person was willing to come forward to offer thoughts if they wanted this change to occur and if they saw value to it. So the board took no action and the previous regulation remains in full force and effect.”

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The topic came up after Powers sent out a reminder to Braintree businesses of the no-pitcher policy.

According to Powers, some establishments were unknowingly violating the practice, most likely because Braintree’s policy differs from that in other communities where the restaurants have locations.

“It was quite surprising that there was no discussion whatsoever despite the offer,’’ Powers said.

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Since the reminder was released, Powers said there have been no subsequent violations.

Additionally, establishments with liquor licenses were asked to confirm that they had received and read the memo.

Braintree’s no-pitcher policy was put into effect shortly after a fatal alcohol-related accident in the parking lot at a Ground Round restaurant in 1983.

Overall, although there is a perception that Braintree’s liquor license laws are stricter than the state’s, the pitcher policy is the only instance in which that is the case, Powers said.

“The reality is we match up with communities, but it’s a legacy with a reputation,’’ Powers said.

Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett
@gmail.com.
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