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What would make Connecticut distillers ecstatic?

Connecticut’s brewing industry has reportedly grown by exponential leaps and bounds in the seven years following the enactment of state law enabling craft beer makers to sell their product onsite in taprooms.

Spirit distillers have duly noted the surge. They would like nothing more than to see a similar reality ensue in their market.

That market is more than a bit constrained by comparison. As an in-depth online report notes concerning Connecticut’s craft spirits market, it was only three years ago that regulators gave distillers license (literally) “to manufacture, store, bottle and sell their liquor for off-site consumption.”

That was good, say industry principals, but they want more. Again, they point enviously to their brethren in the craft beer market.

“If I was a brewery, I could open my doors and have people come to me,” laments one spirits distiller.

Would-be law providing that result for distillers is currently working its way through the Connecticut General Assembly. Industry participants have their fingers crossed.

While waiting, they reiterate what they view as a most basic and important point. Expanding the market for distillers, they say, would produce a most salutary economic benefit for the state. Namely, it would draw in increasingly higher numbers of consumers seeking “the full taproom experience.” That in turn would bring regulators more tourist revenue and tax dollars and make Connecticut increasingly attractive as a locale for other businesses as well.

The writing is on the wall, implies one distiller who says that the current legislation in the works needs to be enacted – or else.

“The model that is being executed in Connecticut is not viable for distilleries,” he stresses. If a new scheme is not approved soon, he adds, distillers will reestablish operations in more friendly states.

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