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Pint-sized Rhode Island taps into regional craft beer boom

Last Updated May 26, 2018 at 9:00 am EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – As the high renaissance of craft beer continues apace in New England, Rhode Island has struggled to keep up.

But there is cause for optimism in the Ocean State. In 2016, the state loosened its limits on how much beer customers could buy at taprooms. Brewers say that has been a boon to their bottom lines.

Now, there are signs the state could see record growth in 2018.

Federal data shows Rhode Island saw the second-highest proportional increase in brewery licenses in the country last year. Experts say that’s an indication the state’s number of breweries could grow rapidly in the next year or two.

An economist with the Brewers Association says Rhode Island has the population density and proximity to cities to support a larger market.