"RELEASE: New ad campaign launching to support CT farm brewery legislation"
“When a farm and brewery partner up, it supports local businesses, creates markets for local goods, and creates jobs. That’s a win-win.” – Barry Labendz, founder of Kent Falls Brewery Co.
May 8, 2016 (Milford, CT) – Today, a new statewide ad campaign is launching in support of pro-farm brewery legislation currently being considered by CT’s General Assembly.
The 30-second video ad features Barry Labendz, founder of the Kent Falls Brewery Co. – which is the first farm brewery in the state – located in Kent Falls, CT.
“With the farm brewery bill, state lawmakers have a chance to help strengthen growing industries,” says Labendz. “When a farm and brewery partner up, it supports local businesses, creates markets for local goods, and creates jobs. That’s a win-win.”
The farm brewery bill – An Act Establishing a Manufacturer Permit for Farm Brewers (HB 5928) – creates a license for farm breweries, allowing permittees to advertise their product as "Connecticut Craft Beer." It also allows farm-based permittees who pay a $300 fee to make, store, bottle, distribute and sell up to 75,000 gallons of beer a year.
In addition, the permit allows permittees to sell their craft beer at a farmers market and requires permittees to use a certain amount of hops, barley, and other fermentable grown or malted in the state. More specifically, the bill requires farm breweries to use 25 percent locally grown ingredients during their first year, then 50 percent in subsequent years.
The bill passed unanimously in the state’s House of Representatives, and now awaits approval from the Senate and governor’s signature.
Brett Broesder, co-founder and vice president of Campaign for Tomorrow's Jobs, hails the bill as a pro-growth measure that will help Connecticut compete with its neighboring states.
“Connecticut’s craft brewery industry is growing,” says Broesder. “If lawmakers pass the farm brewery bill, it will pave the way for farm brewers to grow statewide. In turn, the Nutmeg State will be in a better position to win the competition for tomorrow’s good-paying craft beer jobs.”
The Nutmeg State is currently home to more than 50 craft breweries; Connecticut brewers alone are producing more than 3 million gallons annually. The economic impact of the craft beer industry on our state is near $569 million every year.
Although craft breweries seem to be popping up in Connecticut everywhere, there’s still a lot of room for growth. In fact, nationwide over 1,000 cities with populations of more than 10,000 people still do not have a craft brewery, confirming that there is still room for growth in the marketplace.
Connecticut lags behind its neighbors. For example, in Massachusetts, there are currently more than 80 craft breweries with an annual economic impact of more than $1.4 billion. On the other hand, the Empire State is home to over 200 craft breweries with an annual economic impact of $3 billion.
One reason for our neighboring states having a leg up on craft brewery growth is their incentivizing farm brewing. In 2012, the New York State Legislature passed – and the governor signed into law – a bill creating a farm brewery license.
Since the permit became available in 2013, more than 130 farm brewers have been authorized, creating jobs and growing the state's economy. In fact, since 2013, craft beer production in New York State has increased by more than 50 percent.
"The farm brewers bill will help boost demand for homegrown agricultural products while creating jobs and new tourism opportunities,” said Broesder. “By bringing agriculture and craft breweries together, we can help continue to grow this booming industry right here at home.”
About Campaign for Tomorrow’s Jobs
The Campaign for Tomorrow’s Jobs focuses on growing Connecticut’s economy for present and future generations in three key policy areas: workforce preparedness, business growth & innovation and fiscal sustainability. Read more at www.tomorrowsjobs.org.
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