News Published: Jun 1, 2019 - 10:04:42 PM

Connecticut legislature green lights pro-craft beer bill, sends to the governor for signature

By Connecticut Craft Brewers Guild

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Hartford, CT - Today, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (140-5) in favor of pro-jobs, pro-craft beer bill (S.B. 647), which increases the amount of craft beer that a brewery can sell directly to a consumer for off-premise consumption from nine liters to nine gallons.

The Connecticut State Senate passed the bill with overwhelming support on Thursday, May 30, by a vote of 35-1.

“Passage of this bill is great news for brewers, small business owners, and consumers statewide,” said Phil Pappas, Executive Director of the Connecticut Brewers Guild. “It represents the most significant updates to craft beer and alcohol laws since the Prohibition-era.”

Here’s what the bill does for our state’s job-creating craft beer industry:

Increases the amount of craft beer that can be sold on-premise for off-premise consumption: Currently, Connecticut craft breweries can sell up to nine liters (approximately 1 case of 12-ounce cans) to an individual over 21 years of age within 24 hours. If this bill is passed by both chambers and signed into law by the governor, the limit will increase to nine gallons (approximately 4 cases of 12-ounce cans).
Updates to the permitting structure: Consolidates nine manufacturer permits into 3, including (a) limiting manufacturer permittees to producing spirits; (b) combining four beer permits into one; and (c) creating a new wine, cider, and mead permit similar to a farm winery permittee
Gives wineries, cideries, and distilleries the ability to sell CT craft beer: The bill creates a Connecticut Craft Cafe permit under which all manufacturing permit holders will have the ability to sell all other types of alcohol manufactured in the state.
Allows craft breweries to manufacture wine, cider, and distilled spirits: The bill allows breweries, along with wineries, cideries, and distilleries the ability to hold multiple manufacturing permits, granting them the ability to make beer, wine, cider, spirits and mead all under one roof.

“We’re thankful to all of our industry partners who have worked so hard on this bill, and to lawmakers like you who have been so generous with your time, energy, commitment, and dedication to making Connecticut better for small businesses,” said Pappas.

Connecticut’s local, independent, job-creating craft beer industry is booming, resulting in a nearly 750 million dollar economic impact annually and more than 4,600 part-time and full-time jobs statewide.

The next step for the bill is to be signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont.

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