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Connecticut spirit distillers raise glasses to this legislation

We noted in a recent Berdon, Young & Margolis blog post that Connecticut spirit distillers collectively “had their fingers crossed” pending the potential passage of would-be law that could dramatically jump start their businesses.

Uncross those digits and let the jumping commence.

In a word, state distillers were elated by the enactment last month of a bipartisan bill that materially relieves restrictions on their industry that they say long hampered it. We noted in our May 20 blog entry that Connecticut wine and spirit makers chafed under what was unquestionably a comparative disadvantage.

That was this: They alone were denied the right to sell alcoholic beverages from on-site taprooms. State law extended that prerogative to only craft beer makers, which distillers understandably decried as a reality that unfairly targeted them.

Well, things are now different in the wake of the recent legal change. Last month’s enactment, while centrally spotlighting the expanded selling rights of craft beer producers, also confers welcomed new powers on wine and spirit manufacturers.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont called his signing of the legislation a “long overdue” act that will spur the state’s regional competitiveness in an industry linked with sizable revenues.

“There’s so many breweries and vineyards in Connecticut, and we should be doing everything we can to support them,” Lamont stated at a signing ceremony.

Statistics relevant to employment in the state’s craft brewing sector solidly buttress the governor’s comments. Reportedly, industry jobs have grown remarkably within the past decade, jumping from less than a score to nearly 800.

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