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2020 brings big changes for state alcoholic liquor licensing

| Mar 16, 2020 | Uncategorized |

Whether you manufacture spirits, manage a brewpub, ship gift baskets or own a cafe, you must keep up with state liquor laws.

Perhaps you want to launch a new business. If so, keep in mind that 2020 brings sweeping changes in Connecticut alcoholic liquor licensing regulations.

Already in effect

As of January 1, 2020, the Connecticut Liquor Control Act affects beer manufacturer permittees by decreasing the excise tax exemption for on-premises beer consumption sales. The excise tax change applies to amounts over 15 barrels per year. A barrel holds at least 28 but no more than 31 gallons. Currently, the tax on a barrel of beer is $7.20.

Changes to expect

Many provisions of the Liquor Control Act will go into effect on July 1, 2020. Briefly, the Act:

  •         Limits manufacturer permits for producing spirits
  •         Consolidates manufacturer beer permits from four to one
  •         Creates a wine, cider and mead permit similar to a farm winery permit
  •         Establishes agricultural designations for alcoholic liquor
  •         Provides a craft cafe permit allowing manufacturers to sell other Connecticut-manufactured alcohol for on-premises consumption
  •         Consolidates wine and beer sales permits into one farmers’ market sales permit
  •         Allows retailer permittees to sell gift baskets containing beer
  •         Requires in-state transporters to keep records of Connecticut deliveries
  •         Prohibits the Department of Consumer Protection from requiring a partition between a bar and an eating area in cafes and restaurants

Liquor laws and costly surprises

Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or seller of beer, wine or spirits, you must stay abreast of the various state and federal regulations and obtain the proper permits. Absorbing the new regulations going into effect this year in Connecticut can be challenging, but you do not want to make any legal missteps. To avoid costly surprises, learn all you can about the alcoholic liquor licensing changes that affect your business. Implement those changes to remain in compliance with our state laws.