Beer brewers raise concerns about bigger companies - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Beer brewers raise concerns about bigger companies

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The push to brew and grow local is now becoming a concern. (WFSB) The push to brew and grow local is now becoming a concern. (WFSB)
MORRIS, CT (WFSB) -

If you're a beer drinker, you know the craft beer industry in Connecticut is booming.

Some breweries have been in the state for years, others are up and coming.

The push to brew and grow local is now becoming a concern, after some big beer conglomerates are trying to impact the local guys.

“I think more people are realizing that fresh beer, local beer made with local ingredients is well worth the investment,” said Doug Weber, of Pioneer Hops in Morris.

There are well over 5,000 hops grown in the Morris field, and hops growers and brewers are trying to continue with that investment.

That’s why U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, along with Connecticut breweries and hop growers, are coming together to talk about their concerns after two big beer companies merged.

“They can put craft brewers out of business that's my concern, the craft brewers, the hops growers and the consumers who buy the beer,” Blumenthal said.

There is concern the big guys could set the price for hops, raising it and putting local industry folks out of business.

“If margins are squeezed because of anti-competitive practices, it will be difficult for some brewers. The luxury of buying a local product made on a small scale versus agra-grown on large farms,” Weber said.

Many hope that's not the case, and they continue their businesses like they are now.

“We are promoting high-quality aroma, flavoring hops grown in CT conditions which have characteristics that the big boys don't have and can work closely with brewers in CT to give them the kind of high aroma hop that makes the best beer,” said James Shepherd, of Smokedown Farms.

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