Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5580

Title:

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A FARM BREWERY MANUFACTURER PERMIT.

Vote Date:

3/16/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/11/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

As the microbrewery industry has grown rapidly and is now intersecting with agriculture in the growing of hops, barley and other grains, the establishment of a manufacturer permit for farm breweries has become increasingly imperative. With interest increasing in growing crops such as hops, barley and other grains to be used in the brewing of beer by state farmers, a manufacturer permit will help farmers achieve better crop diversification and integration.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Henry N. Talmage, Executive Director – Connecticut Farm Bureau Association: Mr. Talmage stated that a farm brewery manufacturer permit will help farmers diversify into new crops and allow them to vertically integrate their operations. This will provide further opportunity to grow agri-tourism for our farms and help attract economic activity to rural communities. This permit would be modeled after the farm winery permit.

Changes Recommended

As hops and barley take years to become fruitful and are not easily grown in Connecticut's climate, Mr. Talmage suggested language that requires the locally grown grain content be “not less than 25 percent in the first tive years and “not less than 50 percent” thereafter.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Connecticut Beer Wholesalers: the group testified that current permitting regulations allow for most of the provisions in the proposed bill.

Reported by: Jane Dauphinais

Date: 3/21/16