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Beer gardens face a stealth attack on Beacon Hill

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It’s February — not a time when most folks are obsessing about beer gardens. Except, of course, for a couple of Massachusetts lawmakers still intent on micromanaging liquor licenses on the local level.

When the beer garden season ended last fall, the phenomenon had reached new heights, with the open-air taps catering to crowds on the Greenway, the Esplanade, the Seaport District, and SoWa, and popping up in neighborhoods throughout Boston. Only the restaurant industry, which wasn’t fond of the competition, was grumpy at the development.

Consumers, however, were voting with their raised glasses. Which makes the bill filed by state Senators Nick Collins of South Boston and Ed Kennedy of Lowell so bewildering.

Most beer gardens operate under a series of one-day licenses. The Kennedy-Collins bill would bar any individual or entity from getting more than 14 one-day licenses in........

© Boston Globe