1.4 min readBy Published On: February 13th, 2019Categories: Eat and Drink2 Comments on End of an Era: Beer Garden Reform

Updated from early post:

Maybe it was too good to be true. Craft beer gardens popping up in the city on places like plazas, greenways and under expressways. Sunshine, craft beer, laughter, outdoors. Well, looks like some changes are coming for beer gardens.

According to the Boston Globe, local restaurants don’t love the idea of these beer gardens and a new bill filed via Senator Nick Collins and Senator Ed Kennedy would put a 14-day cap on the number of one-day licenses for outdoor drinking events/pop ups per individual or business per year. Basically, the way the current law is written, you can get up to 30 one-day licenses which allows the beer gardens to stay open for a month. When the month is up, another applicant can pick up a new round of 30 one-day licenses on the brewers behalf. A loophole! Sneaky brewers!

Evidently local brick and mortar bar/restaurant owners don’t think this pop up business is fair –  especially since it’s cutting into their business not to mention owning a liquor license in the City of Boston isn’t cheap. And neither is rent so why should these beer gardens just be allowed to pop up easy breezy – is the sentiment behind the restaurant owners’ thinking.

So could this be the end for pop up beer gardens? Maybe not, but some changes are coming to make the beer garden playing field even.

You can read Jon Chesto’s full article in the Globe here! 

Here’s a letter from Senator Collins on the subject to the City of Boston:



  1. Nick February 13, 2019 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Instead of enacting new regulations making it more difficult for breweries to operate beer gardens, why doesn’t Nick Collins work to repeal regulations that make it difficult for restaurants to compete and stay in business. Beer gardens aside, recent reports in the Globe certainly give the impression that restaurants are having a hard time turning a profit right now. The solution is to make it easier for restaurants to remain in business, NOT to make it equally as hard for everyone else.

    • Not so New to The Hood February 13, 2019 at 10:12 am - Reply

      There aren’t many regulations that can be changed without massive backlash. The globe cites rent, minimum wage and competition as the major issues. Rent control, caps on # of restaurants in neighborhood, repealing minimum wage changes, etc, are the LAST thing a politician is going suggest if they want to continue their career in politics.

      There are just too many people with enough money and a dream of owning a restaurant that think it’ll be easy peasy. Look at backyard betty’s…i give it 3 more months TOPS until they close.

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