Boston – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) secured the Massachusetts Senate’s approval of S. 97, An Act authorizing the town of Hawley to grant one license for the sale of wine to be drunk on the premises during today’s informal legislative session.
S. 97, a home rule petition approved by local voters during a Special Town Meeting on December 29, 2010, authorizes the Town to grant one license to serve or sell wine for consumption on the premises of a local farmer-brewer, as long as any wine tasting is limited to one ounce per serving and served to patrons and customers who are at least 21 years old.
Hawley is one of the remaining dry towns in the Commonwealth, where beer and alcohol are not sold or served; however, the Town also hosts the Headwater Cider Company,an orchard and cider mill owned by Peter Mitchell, a local farmer who is licensed by the state to manufacture hard cider at his farm. Mr. Mitchell wishes to open a tasting room at his facility, and while the community wishes to remain dry, they also wish to support him in this endeavor.
The home rule petition was sponsored on behalf of the Town of Hawley by Downing and State Representative Gailanne M. Cariddi (D- North Adams). The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for review and consideration.