Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Consumer: Alcoholic Beverages

D7 Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC)
Office of the Treasurer
239 Causeway Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-727-3040
Fax: 617-727-3065; License Investigation
Fax: 617-727-1510; Commissioners/Executive

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) is the general supervisor of the alcoholic beverages industry in Massachusetts. It is involved in licensing, adjudicatory, and investigatory activities. The ABCC directly licenses manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, agents, brokers, solicitors, farmer-wineries and farmer-breweries, railroads, airlines and steamships, and other statewide activities including liquor transportation companies and storage warehouses. It also "licenses" out-of-state and out-of-United States alcoholic beverages businesses by issuing Certificates of Compliance. While individual cities and towns grant licenses to retailers of alcoholic beverages including restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs, and "package" stores, the ABCC gives final approval for all retail licenses. The ABCC also approves all temporary licenses for sale of wines at auction. The ABCC investigates applications for any license and prosecutes violators of the Liquor Control Act and the ABCC Regulations. The ABCC also accepts complaints concerning any aspect of the alcoholic beverages industry. It adjudicates violations of the state liquor laws as well as business disputes among members of the alcoholic beverages industry. The ABCC also serves as the appeals board from actions of any licensing board.

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