Changes in the state’s liquor laws approved Tuesday, May 2, by the General Assembly clear the way for Two Roads brewery to set up shop at the former U.S. Baird site on Stratford Avenue.
“This legislation should not only help Two Roads Brewery, but other similar businesses both in Stratford, and throughout our state,” Mayor John A. Harkins said. “My thanks to all those in the Stratford legislative delegation who supported this measure.”
“We were very pleased to learn that the Senate and House both passed this amended legislation, and we were impressed by the support of the Stratford area legislators and senators, who worked closely with us and the mayor to help make this happen,” said Brad Hittle, one of the partners in Two Roads. “It will certainly benefit us, the town, state, and Connecticut consumers.”
The bill passed the House by a vote of 116 to 27, and passed the state Senate Tuesday, May 1, with a vote of 28-6.
In addition to permitting the sale of alcoholic beverages on three state holidays — Labor Day, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day — between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the bill includes a provision that would affect the operation of Two Roads brewery. The section would allow breweries to “sell their craft beer to wholesalers, produce beer brewed under contract and sell it back to brewery clients in and out of state, offer visitor tours with a sample of their product, sell a glass of beer to visitors to enjoy, or sell beer by the package to customers to share at home.”
“I think this measure will offer many local Stratford businesses the opportunity to take in greater revenue and will especially be a great benefit to the new Stratford Two Roads brewery just as it gets under way,” said state Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-120), who supported the legislation.
The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis has estimated that the end of the blue laws will result in a projected $5.2 million of additional revenue to the state, as well as provide an opportunity for liquor stores to enjoy greater sales volumes, Hoydick said.
The bill scaled back on the deregulation of the liquor industry that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy originally sought, and creates a bipartisan task force that will study the deregulation of pricing of the liquor industry, particularly the issue of minimum pricing as compared to surrounding states.
Hittle said there is no timeline for when the brewery will open.
By: John Kovach
Reprinted from StratfordStar.com: http://stratfordstar.com/news/72942-liquor-bill-helps-pave-way-for-two-roads-brewery.html