NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The pandemic has finally proved too daunting for several Connecticut breweries.
Three have closed or announced closings within the last month, and a fourth announced it is leaving its current space and assessing options for the future.
It’s a blow to an industry that has ben thriving in the state in recent years and it reflects a nationwide trend. Sales of craft beer dropped more than 9% in 2020, according to the Brewers Association.
“Keeping their doors open has been a real struggle for so many Connecticut breweries,” Kevin Mardorf, founder of CTBeer.com, told the New Haven Register. “With all the COVID restrictions, limiting folks going into their taprooms really took a toll on their business.”
Brewery owners told the Register they faced challenges from an overall decline in taproom business to having to comply with the state’s post-lockdown requirement that they also serve food.
“We don’t have the option of serving,” Justin Terribile, owner of 30 Mile Brewery in Old Saybrook, told the newspaper. “People are more inclined to sit for a longer time period in places that have food. With us having the inability to have food, it has limited the amount of time that people spend.”