New Liquor Laws for Connecticut

June 11, 2019

I supported legislation which passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate regarding Connecticut’s rapidly growing craft beer, wine and cider industries. In just a few years short years these industries have grown from a few hundred jobs to several thousand and generate millions for the state economy.

Senate Bill 647, An Act Streamlining the Liquor Control Act, makes it easier for these small businesses to sell their products direct to consumers; sell each other’s products; and even open a restaurant if they choose. Restrictions under current liquor laws have been frustrating to craft brewers, winemakers and distillers. This legislation is pro-business, pro-consumer and pro-Connecticut by allowing these small businesses to expand their market share, create jobs and grow the local and state economies.

In addition, the bill does the following:

  • Increases, from nine liters to nine gallons, the daily per-person amount of beer certain beer manufacturer permittees may sell for off-premises consumption
  • Allows cider manufacturer permittees to sell cider and apple wine for on-premises consumption
  • Creates an out-of-state retailers shipper’s permit for wine to allow direct shipments of wine to in-state consumers
  • Consolidates four manufacturer beer permits into one
  • Establishes certain agricultural designations for alcoholic liquor
  • Establishes a craft cafe permit to allow manufacturer permittees to, among other things, sell other Connecticut manufactured alcohol for on-premises consumption
  • Allows alcoholic liquor permittees to hold both a manufacturer permit and a craft cafe permit or a restaurant permit
  • Preserves our farm wineries and allows them to expand their business

With regulations dating to the 1930’s, Connecticut’s liquor laws have been among the most challenging to revise. This legislation sweeps away numerous roadblocks and requirements that have kept today’s liquor industry from growing and contributing more to our economy.

Connecticut's craft liquor industry has contributed greatly to the State's economy and with these changes, will be poised to contribute more.