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Connecticut’s Microbreweries Tap into a Growing Thirst for Specialty Brews

While the microbrewery scene has been going strong for decades elsewhere, Connecticut only got into the game in earnest in July 2012, when a new state law permitted breweries to sell direct to consumers.

Now there’s a Connecticut Beer Trail and 26 active microbreweries—with 11 more coming this year. Most of these craft brewhouses were founded by bold young men who changed careers to follow their beer-making dreams.

Another success story is Conor Horrigan, the former investment banker behind Half Full Brewery.

“Three years into the fast-track finance life, I asked myself, ‘Is this what I really want to do?’” says Horrigan. “On a train between Prague and Vienna, it hit me that my glass was only half full.” When he opened the brewery in 2012, his life turned optimistic. His crisp, citrusy Bright Ale was his first bright idea. Then came smooth, easy-drinking Pursuit IPA and malty Toasted Amber Ale. This May, Corrigan introduced Onward American Pale Ale. “We did 2,200 barrels last year,” he says, “this year we’re shooting for 5,000.”


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