EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 4, 2014

Derry bar gets inspected after rival's complaint to state

DERRY — Cask and Vine wound up under state scrutiny after a business rival complained about the bar’s limousine tours.

Cask and Vine owner Andy Day said he intended the tours as a way to show support for other bars.

“One of our brothers in arms was responsible with us getting a visit from the State Liquor Commission,” Day said yesterday.

He said he was still struggling to wrap his head around the complaint.

“They’re taking a shot at us,” he said.

Day doesn’t expect sanctions from the liquor enforcement division after meeting with an inspector, but has made changes in website and social media postings about Cask and Vine’s “Tap 13” tours.

Tap 13 is a play on words. There are 12 taps at Cask and Vine.

The website explains that Cask and Vine has been fortunate and wants to share. Since January, the bar has closed early on Saturday nights and taken a group of eight people who sign up to other local family owned bars.

The patrons get a sample from the Cask and Vine collection en route, then Cask and Vine buys the first round at the other bar.

“Our goal is to support small business, have a good time, and do so in a safe, law-abiding manner compliant with the NHSLC regulations,” the company said on the website.

Tour participants don’t pay for their beer provided during the trip. Sometimes they bring their own.

Day said no money changes hands for the beer. Tour participants pay a $20 membership.

He also said Cask and Vine purchases that first round at full price once at the bar on the road.

The state inspector would not tell Cask and Vine who initiated the complaint.

But Day said the business that complained accused the company of selling growlers of beer, which would be illegal under state law.

“In a day where small businesses need to stick together, this baffles me,” Day said.

Liquor enforcement officials did not return a phone call.

The Legislature is currently looking at the issue of growlers and whether to let patrons of bars, restaurants and stores use them to carry out draft beers.

Senate Bill 257 will get a hearing Tuesday in Concord before the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee.

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