Beer Festivals and Economic Development

This Saturday, in Hartford there will be the Small State Great Beer festival. This is the second for the event and they expected more than thirty-five brewers to participate. The beer festival was the idea of three young people with some connection to Hartford. It is being held downtown in Constitution Plaza.

Beer festivals like this are part of the growing trend of municipalities seeking economic development from craft brewing. I am currently serving on a subcommittee of the Massachusetts Alcohol Task Force ( You can read about that here).
My committee is looking at Public Health, Safety and Prevention. Another committee is looking at local economic development.

These two goals could be in conflict since increased economic development via craft brewing will most likely lead to more retail outlets and more drinking. One of the key points of the public health movement around alcohol  abuse is to try to reduce retail outlet density and control the amount of drinking that is done.

Both Massachusetts and Connecticut have a large number of craft breweries and both states as well as many others are seeking to obtain revenue from these establishments.







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