Hartford mayor big on beer

Luke Bronin

lukebronin.com

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin would like to see more breweries in Connecticut’s capital, where two recently opened this summer, joining City Steam Brewing.

“We want as many breweries as we can get,” Bronin said in a phone interview Friday. “We see breweries as catalysts for economic growth, and also as places that add to the livability and fun.”

This summer saw the openings of Hanging Hills Brewing on Ledyard Street and Hog River Brewing on Park Street, just a few miles northwest. Bronin attended both openings.

“Breweries are not just manufacturers of beer, but they are centers of community,” Bronin said.

Bronin alluded to zoning code changes that came into effect recently that allowed for Hanging Hills to serve beer relatively close to an elementary school. He said that such “overhauls” are necessary to continue economic growth.

“It’s important to me that we focus on…not just the big shiny development, but also the things that change the day to day,” he said.

In terms of where new breweries in Hartford might go, Bronin said he’s not biased.  He said he’s open to “any breweries who want to come and be part of the revitalization.”

Statewide, with more than 40 breweries, there’s been talk of a Connecticut beer trail, much like its wine trail, complete with signage. It only exists virtually — you can learn more at CTBeerTrail.net —  but Bronin said he loves the idea.

“For now,” he said, “we’ll focus on the Hartford beer circuit.”

Read my story about the opening of Hanging Hills and Hog River at the Republican-American: BIG TOWN, SMALL BEER.

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