State Investigating Pretty Things Pay-to-Play Accusations

A glass of Pretty Things Beer.
A glass of Pretty Things Beer. –The Boston Globe

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project’s overnight rant-by-tweet Tuesday morning did not fall on deaf ears.

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission will investigate claims from Paquette that a couple of Boston-area bars have asked for payment in exchange for being put on tap, according to The Boston Globe.

If this is your first time hearing about the dispute: In the very early hours of Tuesday morning, Pretty Things co-owner Dann Paquette took to the company’s Twitter account to accuse a couple of bars owned by the Wilcox Hospitality Group—Lower Depths and Bukowski Tavern—of asking for pay in order to be put on the bars’ draught lines. That’s against the law. (While singling out the Wilcox bars, Paquette did not name any brewers or distributors that are paying to get on lines.)

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Gordon Wilcox, the owner of the bars, responded with an open letter to Paquette claiming the bars shunned Pretty Things due to its price tag, and calling the beer an “inferior product’’ at its cost.

Some on social media pointed out that the letter did not directly refute the charge from Paquette. A spokesperson for Wilcox later told Boston.com that Wilcox “refutes everything’’ from Paquette’s “tirade.’’

It’s not clear how intensive an ABCC investigation would be; The Globe reports that past investigations “tend to be petty spats between competing bars that are difficult to substantiate.’’

“Now that this incident has been brought to our attention, we are looking into it,’’ said Chandra Allard, a spokeswoman for Treasurer Steven Grossman, whose office oversees the ABCC. “If the allegations of wrongdoing are found to be true, we will go forward accordingly.’’

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