BLOOMFIELD -- Beer and business.

That's the theme of Thursday's Best Practices and Brew Party at the Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield.

The event is sponsored by the Connecticut Business Leadership Network, a coalition of more than 250 members and businesses whose goal is to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The organization works with businesses, government and community service agencies to change attitudes about hiring people with disabilities.

Curt Cameron, owner of Hooker Brewery, said his company — which employes about 10 people with disabilities from Hartford-based Oak Hill — is a supporter of integrating the workforce.

"We've seen how well it's worked at our location," Cameron said. "It can work at others as well."

Cameron said his company was hosting the event to inspire more businesses to get on board.

"We meet with employers who are interested in diversifying their work force and bringing diversity full circle," said Sharon Denson, director of business partnerships and outreach for the Connecticut Business Leadership Network.

Denson said the organization usually makes its pitch to prospective partners during the workday, which means that people are usually in a rush to get back to work. This time they've decided on something different.

"It's a less formal setting that promotes networking," she said.

Joe Wendover, president of CTBLN and outreach relations manager for the Walgreens Distribution Center in Windsor, agreed.

"We're still doing the business part, but it's also fun," Wendover said. "People can relax and talk about some important things, like hiring people with disabilities."

Wendover's Windsor facility boasts a workforce that includes 250 disabled employees, who make up 47 percent of the workforce.

For information about Thursday's event call 860-561-1232 or email sdenson@ctbln.com.