STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — When the Beer’d Brewing Company opens its doors at The Velvet Mill, there is often a line of customers waiting outside.
Many are there to taste the latest brew and bring some home for later.
But if they’re looking to buy a case of 16 ounce cans, they are often disappointed. State law limits microbreweries to selling no more than nine liters of beer to retail customers.
That includes growlers, and as far as cans go, that means four four-packs even though a case of beer can hold six four-packs. So, people often leave with with a partially-filled case and some disappointment.
“That’s a big problem,” said owner Precious Putnam.
She and her husband Aaren Simoncini opened the Stonington brewery in 2012.
“We used to brew a hundred barrels of beer. Now we’re at two thousand barrels of beer with 15 staff,” said Putnam.Related Content: Small storeowners opposing Malloy’s liquor law proposals
Boy, have they grown. But they say further growth is limited because of state law. Especially since breweries in neighboring New York and Massachusetts have no limits. After a recent can release, some took to social media.
“There were comments that said ‘oh Beer’d limited us,’ ‘I drove 90 minutes and I was only able to get four four packs from them,'” said Putnam.
She believes if they could sell more, people would buy more. She points to the popular Boston brewer Trillium.
“15 percent of purchases in their tap room are over nine liters and that actually equates 20 percent of their revenue,” said Putnam.
“They want to come to North Stonington, Conn. but they cannot make it work if they cannot sell direct to the customer,” said State Senator Heather Somers.
She hopes to get the nine liter limit removed from the law with what she says is a small business bill. Wholesalers and distributors however may want to keep it in place.
“I think it’s because they have this idea that if we’re allowed to sell unlimited we won’t need them,” said Putnam. “That’s not true.”
Even if Putnam was able to sell an unlimited amount of beer, she says they would still limit what they sell because they would want to make sure there was enough for everyone.