BRANFORD-- Micro breweries are making a big impact if you listen to the latest numbers from the industry's state trade organization, the Connecticut Beer Guild.
According to Curt Cameron, the president of the Connecticut Beer Guild and the owner of the popular Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, seven years ago the Nutmeg State had only a half-dozen craft breweries. Today, the number has grown to 33.
"By breweries, we're talking about a federally licensed brewery, not someone who is a home brewer with a website, a t-shirt and a dream," Cameron said.
The brewers have created an economic impact of around $569 million, Cameron stated.
"One of the reason we've had the success is because of the local community," Cameron said, adding brewers are finding that consumers in Connecticut are buying local.
In Branford, which is already home to three breweries, breweries have welcomed the caseload of work ahead of them at the Thimble Island Brewing Company. In July, the beer maker moved from a 3,000-square-foot space in town to a new 30,000-square-foot facility.
"Six years ago we couldn't image the spot where we are now," said Thimble Island owner Justin Gargano.
Currently, Thimble Island makes four varieties of it's craft beer, with two more planned for the near future.
"I do believe we will sustain the growth," Gargano said.