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What do CT’s various liquor industry participants want?

Various things.

In a nutshell, that’s about the easiest way to describe what Connecticut’s many business players involved in the liquor realm seek both now and in the future.

Anyone who follows liquor industry goings-on across the United States knows that Connecticut is ground zero for turmoil, acrimony, incessant finger pointing and strident demands for regulatory change.

That is, wholesalers fight each other and collectively band to contest alleged encroachments from new businesses. Some makers of alcoholic beverages say they are unfairly barred from product distribution. Others both laud or lament state laws concerning off-site product sales and the operation of tap rooms. And many critics point to dollar-linked numbers showing that state consumers pay more – often far more – for alcohol than do individuals in surrounding states.

In other words, change is the operative byword concerning Connecticut’s liquor laws.

And that comes with multiple questions and challenges, many which were posed late last month at a public hearing in Hartford. A media piece on the event notes that the forum was “packed” by members of the liquor industry, and that they were eager to offer opinions “on a number of bills seeking to modernize Connecticut’s liquor laws.”

A few specific topics quickly rose to the top of the agenda. They repeatedly do so in liquor industry-tied discussions in Connecticut, meriting considerable public scrutiny and comment.

One of those centers on the repeated condemnation by larger sellers of antiquated state laws that bar them from lowering their prices and thus allegedly confer an unfair advantage on smaller competitors. We noted in our February 27 blog post a federal court’s recent decision to steer clear of that conflict/debate.

Another prominent focus at the above-cited hearing centered on new parameters and prerogatives potentially applicable to recent industry entrants like craft beer makers and winery owners.

Much is in flux in the industry, with opinions from multiple perspectives being asserted. We will keep readers duly informed concerning material developments.

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