#NoLImits

An Act Promoting
Craft Breweries and Distilleries and Price Fairness

CT Beer Drinkers!!

Do you want to see the 9 liters state limit removed?
Do you want to be a part of moving the state forward?
Do you want to bring CT in line with Massachusetts' craft beer movement?

Well now is your time!!! 

We have House Bill No. 5036 going to Public Hearing
this coming Tuesday, March, 6, 2018 at 10:00am
in Room 1E of the LOB
(Legislative Office Building - 300 Capitol Ave #5100, Hartford, CT 06106).

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Want to read the full bill?

Read the Propaganda

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FACTS:

HB No. 5036 does't increase taxes.
HB No. 5036 doesn't add 25-cent deposits.

How to Help

1) Spoken Testimony
Sign-up for the Hearing is 7:30am to 8:30am in the First Floor Atrium. You need to submit 30 copies of your written testimony during that time to speak. Remember you only have 3 minutes. 

**I know 7:30am is early, but we highly suggest you get there very early, especially if liquor stores and wholesalers are going to fight against this bill. They will fill the entire building...and we just can't let that happen. We need every brewery to stand united together and show that we are a big group and we have the community standing behind us. Also, the speaker line is first come, first served so the earlier you get there, the better place you have in line. 

Here is the link regarding the hearing date and time to sign-up: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/CGABulletin/Bulletin.asp

Scroll down 1/3 down the page to: 
*GENERAL LAW COMMITTEE

TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2018

2) Written Testimony
To support this bill, copy and paste one of the messages attached below and send it to gltestimony@cga.ct.gov with the subject "In Support of House Bill 5036."

We know this isn't much time, but I know that if we do this together we can make it work! #NOLIMITS for CT Breweries!!!

Written Testimony Steps:
Step 1- Address the General Law Committee Members

Dear Representative D’Agostino, Senator Leone, Senator Witkos, Representative Smith, and distinguished members of the General Law Committee.  My name is ______________________. I am submitting written testimony in support of H.B. 5036 – An Act Promoting Craft Breweries and Distilleries and Price Fairness.  As a resident of the State of Connecticut I want to thank you for the opportunity to voice my support of House Bill 5036.

Step 2- State Why You Support HB 5036 (below are a few ideas, feel free to use one of them)

I) The proposed changes affect not only myself, but also my family members and guests that visit from out of state.  The component of the bill that is most important to me is the removal of the nine-liter retail limit imposed upon state manufacturers of beer.  Although my parents may never have enjoyed the ability to visit a local brewery, the craft beer industry is currently expanding at a break-neck pace.  The availability of very fresh craft beer is a luxury that should be enjoyed by all who wish to partake.  As the law currently reads, if I visit my local CT-based brewery, I am only able to purchase nine liters of beer, requiring me to bring a friend in order to purchase a single case of pint-sized cans for my party or gathering!  As always, I still have the opportunity to visit my local retailer to purchase as much beer as I want, however I’m often presented with a lack of variety, higher prices and beer that may be months old.  I also often encounter retailers hiding, limiting, re-packaging or price-gouging more difficult to find beers that may see limited distribution in the state.  When I visit my local brewery, it is often an educational experience.  I learn about everything from the new varietals of hops utilized, which farm the adjunct ingredients were harvested from and the fact that it is a State of CT law that prevents me from buying more than 19 pint-sized cans at a time.  I find it incredible that the State of CT has maintained such a protectionist law while CT based vineyards are able to retail an unlimited volume of wine to tasting room visitors.  Taking this one step further, I often find myself in New York or Massachusetts visiting breweries.  Those states do not impose any type of volume limits and I regularly see patrons utilizing hand trucks to maneuver their daily purchases to their vehicles.  It’s honestly shocking to see Connecticut, a state that seems to be financially strapped and losing residents left and right hold off on changing this regulation for so long based on the perceived “threat” to the retailer and wholesaler association.  At the end of the day, I asked myself, who are we protecting by keeping this statute in place, and the answer was clear, it’s not myself or my fellow consumers.


II)  I want to start by explaining I’m not only a resident of CT but also a huge supporter of CT Beer!  The past five years have really seen a massive uptick in availability and quality for in-state beer manufacturers.  Watching the industry grow at such a speed has been truly amazing, and with that growth has come growth in skilled labor, charitable giving and community-building activities.  I often choose to visit the tasting rooms of independent breweries as this is the cheapest, freshest and most informative way for me to buy beer.  I know that the money I spend in a local tasting room isn’t going to a massive overseas corporation and the beer I receive is of top quality and freshness.  My support for HB 5036 mainly stems from my support of the CT beer industry.  Until recently, I was unaware that it is in fact a law that breweries can only sell me nine liters of beer in a day.  Obviously, it isn’t every visit that I brush up against this law, but I’ve found that when I want to host an evening or share beer with out-of-town friends, I either need to bring a friend to the brewery for a purchase or I am forced to visit a package store.  In my experience, I’ve found package stores to have a limited selection of CT-made beer, most of their inventory is on the older side, they often charge upwards of five dollars more for something that could be found at a brewery, or they repackage the beer that I want with beer that I don’t want, forcing me into the sale.  This leads me to my point.  I find it ridiculous that the state maintains such a law restricting the potential sales and subsequent growth of our flourishing brewing industry.  This is akin to me visiting a farmer’s market where the state says I’m only allowed to buy ten eggs from the farmer, but if I visit the grocery store down the road, I’m allowed to buy the full dozen.  This seems backwards.  In a state desperate to create jobs, it seems like stifling a manufacturing industry with proven growth is the wrong way to go.  I urge you to pass HB 5036, and show your support for our in-state manufacturers of beer!


III)  I’m writing today as I’ve personally watched the craft beer industry in CT grow by leaps and bounds.  In only the last few years CT has gone from about ten licensed breweries to over sixty!  This is an incredible feat and has in part been fostered by loosened regulations imposed by the state on these small manufacturers.  I often ask small CT-based brewers how it is to work with the state.  While they are often proud to be contributing members of the CT economy, the one thing that I commonly hear back is that they are restricted in ways that vineyards are not.  HB 5036 seeks to eliminate the nine-liter retail volume limit imposed on these small manufacturers.  As with many manufacturers, retail sales carry the highest margin and as such allow them to grow their sales and manufacturing staff to support these increased sales.  When manufacturers are forced to work with middle-men like wholesalers and retailers via the three-tier system, they lose a massive percentage of their margin and subsequently their ability to grow their staff and business is cut away.  In a climate where we are constantly griping about jobs leaving for overseas or being eliminated, this cottage industry is creating manufacturing jobs in CT of all places!  Eliminating this arbitrary limit on retail sales for breweries should result in increased job creation, increased sales tax revenue, increased excise tax and increased income taxes, which is by all accounts a win for the state of CT.  I urge you to support HB 5036 today and be a part of creating a flourishing manufacturing industry in the state!


Step 3- Thank Them!!  And Sign Your Name Proudly


Step 4- Submit

Email letter of support to gltestimony@cga.ct.gov with the subject "In Support of House Bill 5036."

Thank you for helping revolutionize the Connecticut Craft Beer Industry!