The University of Southern Maine is getting ready to announce a partnership with the Maine Brewers’ Guild that the school says will benefit the state’s fast-growing craft beer industry.

Officials with the university say the alliance will allow breweries access to the school’s new Quality Assurance and Research Laboratory. The university says the lab partnership will help breweries develop new products, avoid contamination and consistently deliver good beer.

Maine’s breweries employed 1,500 people in 2013, a year when they generated $92.6 million in sales. The Maine Brewers’ Guild says there are more than 70 breweries in the state. That’s twice the number from four years ago.

The university and guild will announce more details about their pairing on Thursday.

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