Boston Officials Suspend Use of Portable “Beer Towers”

Boston.com reports that local licensing officials have suspended the use of increasingly-popular large, portable beer taps and are requiring that businesses already licensed to serve alcohol request permission to use the beverage dispensers.

The decision comes after at least two city bars, one in Allston and another in Brighton, were cited on St. Patrick’s Day by Boston Police for serving “beer towers” without prior city approval and for serving to patrons in ratios that exceeded the statewide limit of 2 drinks per patron.

Beer towers, also known as “portable beer taps,” come in an array of sizes — often double or triple the size of standard pitchers typicallying hold between 48 ounces and 60 ounces. The towers commonly feature a spout allowing guests to pour individual cups or glasses.

The city has sent out notices to all Boston businesses licensed to serve alcohol informing them that they must stop using beer towers immediately. “Please be advised the [licensing] board is taking this stance based on its concerns with serving the public need and at the same time protecting the common good and safety of all,” reads the letter.

Meanwhile, the letter reminds business owners that “prior to the installment of any permanent self-service beer tap system, you must obtain approval from this board to amend the liquor license.”

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