The June/July issue of Yankee Brew News had two stories about Connecticut brewing that I think illuminate the shape of the craft brewing industry today. On May 11, the Connecticut Senate passed a bill establishing the Connecticut Brewery Trail. In June, the House passed it and the trail will go into effect today. Connecticut already has a wine trail. The marketing of breweries as tourist sites is an important part of the development of craft beer. As a niche market with deeply loyal customers, the chance for these customers to see where their favorite beer is produced as well as acquire paraphernalia from that brewery is very appealing.
Also today, the liquor industry in the state faces an increase in the sale tax as well as a floor tax that will apply to what retail stores already have in inventory. Yankee Brew News claims that these new taxes represent a 20 percent increase. Many other produces are also facing tax increases including tobacco. For more on these taxes click here.
Craft beer is a highly fashionable upscale product that also holds a special place in both the federal and state government’s treasuries. I have been surprised that more states have not already turned to alcohol beverages to shore up their deficit budgets.