August 18, 2017

CT's craft brewers stoke state economy

PHOTO | MorgueFile.com
PHOTO | MorgueFile.com

The number of active craft breweries in Connecticut has tripled over the past five years, while nearly 40 new outlets are being planned, according to the Brewers Association.

Craft breweries numbered 16 in 2011 and 49 in 2016, the trade group said Friday.

Connecticut's craft beer industry in 2012 generated a nearly $374 million economic impact. By 2014, the economic impact of the Nutmeg State's craft beer industry grew to $569 million, employing 4,632 people, the association said.

The ramp-up has paralleled Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's tenure, which began in 2011.

One investment made by the state's brownfield program during Malloy's tenure is $500,000 used to clean up the former U.S. Baird site in Stratford that now serves as home to Two Roads Brewery, which employs 100 people and is the largest craft brewery in the state.

In 2012, Malloy signed a law allowing craft breweries to have on-site taprooms that didn't require food service. He also signed a Sunday liquor sales law that allows breweries to sell by the pint, said Brad Hittle, CEO of Two Roads Brewery.

This year, Malloy signed the farm brewery law, which allows farm breweries to make, store, bottle, distribute, and sell up to 75,000 gallons of beer a year, and to advertise their product as Connecticut Craft Beer.

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