Historians agree that bars in Massachusetts are about as old as the state itself. Early settlers wasted no time setting up local taverns before schoolhouses in some cases.

In fact, Massachusetts is home to what are believed to be the oldest bars in the United States like the Green Dragon Tavern which dates back to 1654, or Warren Tavern in Charlestown which was the first building to be erected in Charlestown after the British burned the whole town during the Battle of Bunker Hill in June of 1775.

At the beginning of 2024, Massachusetts was home to 828 bars and 1,645 beer, wine, and liquor stores. That's a lot of drunk people. And don't forget to add in the 114 colleges and beer-guzzling Boston sports fans.

As far as how much alcohol Massachusetts consumes compared to the rest of the 50 states, we're basically right in the middle. In VinePair's recent ranking of how much alcohol each state drinks, Massachusetts came in at number 21.

While it might seem like Massachusetts is a great state for drinkers, when it comes to the bar scene, the business of booze is heavily regulated. The state has some of the most rigorous rules in the country when it comes to serving and consuming alcohol.

At one point, Time Magazine named Massachusetts the second-worst state to drink in behind Utah, a state in which the high Mormon population has led to more "dry" cities and towns than any other state in the U.S.

Massachusetts' ban on "happy hours" and similar drink specials has always been well know, but another strict law surrounding "to-go" drinks has been in place for decades, until now.

Dry Hills Distillery Facebook
Dry Hills Distillery Facebook

Massachusetts Makes To-Go Cocktails and Alcoholic Beverages Legal

Massachusetts officials have given the green light for cocktail to-go, according to CBS Boston.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts made some temporary changes to laws regulating the restaurant industry which was hit particularly hard. One of those laws was the temporary allowance of to-go beverages containing alcohol. Yesterday, that allowance became permanent.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healy signed the supplemental budget bill on Tuesday, April 30, which included cocktails to-go in the state permanently.

Customers can buy up to 64 ounces of a mixed cocktail alongside a food purchase. The drinks must be kept in a sealed container and transported in the trunk of a car or a place "that is not considered the passenger area."


Massachusetts has become the 27th state to officially make cocktails to-go permanent in support of local businesses and consumers.


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Gallery Credit: Stacker


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