Saturday, December 24, 2016

Alvarium Beer Company eyes March opening

...The owners of Alvarium Beer will open a brewery in the industrial-heavy neighborhood in early March, 2017. They say they have discovered a truism through market research: while the overall age of beer drinkers has dropped, a new, younger crowd not only embraces what’s fresh in craft brews, but also wants to try older styles of beer.

This is music to the ears of Alvarium’s owners, Michael Larson, 32, general operations manager, Brian Bugnacki, 34, sales and marketing manager, and Chris DeGasero, 33, head brewer. The three have signed a lease to transform a 5,000-square-foot former printing firm into a brewery with a taproom serving area that will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Alvarium will offer seven products beginning next year, including Polish and German beers, and a nostalgic version of Cremo Lager and Cremo Ale. Longtime New Britain residents may recall that Cremo was once the toast of New Britain.

“We wanted a unique name for our brewery, one that was tied to the city,” Larson said. “The city baseball team is the New Britain Bees, and the Latin word for beehive is ‘alvarium.’ New Britain’s motto is ‘Industry fills the hive that enjoys the honey.’”

The brewery logo depicts bees leaving and returning to the hive.

“We want New Britain to be a beacon for craft beer,” Larson added, mixing the metaphor. “First New Britain, then Hartford, Newington and beyond in bars and restaurants.”

The three owners and friends had been home brewing when two years ago DeGasero suggested they open their own brewery. They view their investment of a quarter to half a million dollars as a step up. To them, New Britain was the prime location with industry in the city on the rebound. Then, too, Mayor Erin Stewart was a huge supporting factor...

DeGasero, who will be responsible for brewery production and recipe formulation, said, “We don’t have any brew we’re dead set on; we’d rather adapt to the taste of people who come to our taproom.”
Alvarium will brew 220 gallons a batch. With its oversized fermenters the brewery can quickly adapt to styles that are selling and can double-batch, making twice as much product. The owners have also installed a water tank that uses less water than other breweries.

DeGasero has been a brewmaster and assistant brewer at Cambridge House Brewpub in Granby and City Steam in Hartford. He also apprenticed at 508 Gastropub and Brewery and Chelsea Brewing in New York City....

Complete article:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fairfield Craft Ales opens in Stratford

The only thing better than a brewery in Stratford is two breweries in Stratford. Or at least that’s what two Fairfield couples, Joseph and Marcie Bow and Mike and Amy Borruso, are banking on.

With the help of a Kickstarter campaign, the couples have opened Fairfield Craft Ales on Honeyspot Road just a beer glass throw from Two Roads brewery. But with some break-out fresh brews, they hope they won’t be in the shadow of the other beer behemoth for long. And in fact, Two Roads has been very helpful to the little upstart.

“Before we opened we talked to the owners of Two Roads because we didn’t want to cause any issues,” said Joseph Bow. “They couldn’t be nicer, offering us advice and help.”

Both Joseph Bow and Mike Borruso have day jobs in Manhattan, but each had been brewing beer at home for more than 20 years...Neither knew each other until Bow began coaching Borruso’s son in Little League.“We started talking and it turned out it was Mike’s dream, too, to open a small brewery,” Bow continued.

So in August 2014 they began exploring possibilities, checking out sites from Norwalk to Milford and going around talking to the owners of other breweries.

“The best advice we got was to go to a town that already had one brewery because that town would be more receptive because they already had a process for approving the permits for setting one up,” Bow said. “The town of Stratford was very welcoming to us and we ended up signing a lease that October.”

It took nearly two more years for the operation to get up and running. Although they hired a carpenter and a plumber to put in the bar and the taps and hook up the brewing system, the couples did much of the work themselves...
There’s Whiter Shade of Pale Ale, Live & Let Rye IPA, Turn! Turn! Turn! Saison, Quadrophenia Belgian and Revolution IPA. They’re brewed to satisfy both the casual beer drinker and the aficionado.

“Right now we are making some easy-drinking beers for the summer, but as the seasons change we will be changing up our lineup,” Bow said. So in the future patrons can expect to find some porters and the inevitable “Twist and Stout...”

Fairfield Craft Ales, at 724 Honeyspot Road in Stratford, is open Thursdays 4 to 9 p.m., Friday 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday noon to 9 p.m.

Complete article:

The Two Roads Brewing Company expansion of its brewing campus in Stratford

“We here at Two Roads Brewing are proud to announce the expansion of our brewing campus with the planned addition of a 25,000 square foot sour and barrel-aging brewery,” the company announced on its website. “Situated on 2.5 acres of newly acquired land adjoining the existing brewery, this $12 million facility will feature a 50 barrel ROLEC brewhouse, foudres, a coolship, and storage for 2000 wood barrels. It will also have a tasting room that can accommodate 120 visitors overlooking a wetlands preserve.

“We plan to expand production of our award-winning line-up including our Tropical Lambic called Hexotic, Framboise Noir Black Raspberry Lambic, Urban Funk Wild Ale (made with yeast from Superstorm Sandy), Worker’s Stomp White Wine Barrel-Aged Saison, all while launching many new styles over the coming years.”

BEER CONN Webster Bank Arena - December 10th, 2016

Sample Over 100 Beers

12:30-4:00 or 5:30-9:00

The biggest names in brewing will gather once again at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT on Saturday, December 10, 2016 for the 3rd annual BEER CONN festival. BEER CONN, a beer tasting extravaganza, will showcase more than 50 local, national, and international breweries. The event is hosted by Starfish Junction Productions, an award-winning event production company which has received critical acclaim for events produced in the specialty beverage industry.

Connecticut residents aren’t shy about their love of beer…They come out in record numbers to support all the local guys and are excited when they discover a new beer from a national brewery! BEER CONN, a thirst-quenching pay-one-price beer tasting event, is held indoors at the Webster Bank Arena (Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment Complex) and offers beer aficionados, beer lovers and the casual beer drinker the opportunity to speak to company representatives and the brewers responsible for creating some of the world’s most popular and award-winning brews.

“Done very well, not overcrowded did a great job controlling the crowd, no long wait in line for the tasting, cost effective the price was right.“—2014 Attendee

“Great event, not overcrowded, short wait at beer lines, overall excellent.” – Thadeous 2014

“My favorite part about this beer fest was that it was not oversold, and was not super crowded, as many past beer events have been. There were barely any lines, it wasn't crazy and hectic, and you were actually able to speak with the reps from the breweries for a bit. I liked how it was a bit longer than most beer fests I have been to, so you don't feel as rushed. Very nice how they had water available at all stations to rinse/drink in between beers. Great event! Looking forward to next year!” – VolvoBug 2014

Come join us and enjoy a variety of beer from your local favorite breweries and try some new ones! Your pay-one-price ticket includes admission to the Expo, a 5 oz. souvenir tasting cup and the freedom to enjoy 2 oz. samples from any exhibiting brewer

Tickets are $40+ Ticketmaster fees when purchased online in advance of the event. If tickets still remain, they will be $50 on event day online and at the Webster Bank Arena box office. Everyone who purchases a ticket will get in. No tickets will be sold once the event sells out. There is a limited number of attendees to insure that everyone that purchases a ticket will be able to sample the beers they want and move around with ease. Food will be available for purchase via the arena concessions. This is a 21+ event, every attendee must present valid photo for admission.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Connecticut brewers at the third annual Connecticut Brewers Fest at Two Roads

//Thirty-four breweries were in attendance to show off some experimental beers and favorites to attendees and fellow brewers...

Jeff Browning, brewmaster and partner at Brewport in Bridgeport, said the event is a great opportunity to showcase as wide a variety as possible among local brewers...

Fairfield Craft Ales brewmaster and co-owner Joseph Bow said one of the best parts of the event is the opportunity to get professional opinions in addition to feedback from beer drinkers.

Complete article, video and pictures:

Breweries Attending:

Cambridge House
Half Full
Back East
Charter Oak
Stony Creek
Thimble Island
Firefly Hollow
City Steam
Two Roads
Black Hog
New England Brewing
Broad Brook
Olde Burnside
GW Beer

CT breweries take top honors at the recent Great International Beer & Cider

Three local breweries have taken top honors at the recent Great International Beer & Cider Competition in Providence, R.I.

The 20th annual competition, sponsored by Yankee Brew News, drew 814 beers and ciders from breweries across the country to be judged in blind tastings.

Two Roads Brewing of Stratford was the belle of the ball with first place finishes in the German, wheat-style beers with its Geyser Gose, in the Belgian specialty beers with its Holiday Ale, in the Belgian Saison category with its Worker’s Comp, with its Bergamonster in the spice beer category, in the sour/wild beers category with Philasmic and again, in the fruit lambic category with its Kriek.

It took second place in spice beers with its Passionfruit Gose and second in wild beers with Hexotic.

Bridgeport’s Brewport took a first-place award in the brown ale category with its Barrett Brothers Brown Ale and received two second-place finishes with its Old News in the strong ale category and with its Schleuter Dinkel Weizen in the wheat beer category.

Aspetuck Brew Lab of Bridgeport took second in the Belgian golden ale category with its Divine Sublimation Belgian Golden Strong.

Complete article and pictures:

Other CT prize winners:


3) Hatch Plug Ale, Cavalry Brewing, Oxford, CT


1) Blonde on Blonde, City Steam Brewery Café, Hartford, CT


3) Back East Ale, Back East Brewing, Bloomfield, CT


2) Article 15 Ale, Cavalry Brewing, Oxford, CT


1) Porter, Back East Brewing, Bloomfield, CT


1) Doppelbock Lager, Thomas Hooker Brewing, Bloomfield, CT

Veracious Brewing Company (Monroe) Wants to Add Food Trucks

When Tess and Mark Szamatulski opened the Veracious Brewing Company on Route 25, the idea was to give people a chance to drink quality craft beer and wine while being a part of a grander experience.

For most in the brewing world, that includes good food — often from a local food truck on the grounds.

But due to a town “peddler law” prohibiting the selling of items from a vehicle, outside of receiving a special one day permit, Veracious has been unable to bring the popular collaboration into their business plans.

“People want food trucks,” Tess Szamatulski said. “It’s not a bad thing. It’s just the convenience.”
They can point to Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, which uses food trucks to feed staff and visitors several times a week, and is hugely successful...

Veracious Brewing opened in 2015 at 246 Main St. (Route 25). It’s now offering craft brewed IPAs, lagers, stouts and ales with names like Bloobs, Black Velvet, 29 Pews, Jack’d Up Pumpkin and Johnny The Destroyer.

On their website,, a bright orange Pizza Pie Wagon is ever-hopefully on display.

At Two Roads in Stratford, brewery patrons are already making the most of food trucks on the premises.

“When we first opened we didn’t have any foods,” said Tasting Room Manager Ted Pert. “We just had little snacks and stuff.”

Back then, patrons ordered food and had it delivered to the brewery, same as Veracious does now. But having the trucks on the grounds brings in even more business.

“When we’re thinking about food trucks, we think about beers we have and think about how it will complement and go well with their food,” Pert said.

“My passion for craft beer is really a cultural appreciation and the two outstanding features of that are food and drink,” he said.

There was no legislation in Stratford, however, that would have prohibited Two Roads from bringing in food trucks, said Pert. “As far as I know there was never any red tape,” he said...

Complete article and pictures:

Shebeen Brewing Company Releases Newest Collaboration with Onyx Moonshine

Shebeen Brewing Company announces the release of its newest Onyx Moonshine – Secret Stash Whiskey barrel-aged beer, Golden Imperial Honey IPA, marking the second beer in an ongoing collaboration between the two Connecticut beverage producers.

The Shebeen-Onyx collaboration series features a lineup of high-gravity, small-batch, barrel-aged beers. Golden Imperial Honey IPA is a bright, imperial version of their competition winning brew spiked with local honey from Stonewall Apiary located in Hanover, CT, and laced with subtle notes of vanilla and oak acquired while aging in the barrels. Big and complex this brew has a resinous hop character combined with sweet toasted malt and honey notes, which complement the char of the whiskey barrels. It truly lives up to its name in color, Golden.

This Connecticut partnership began in 2015 when Shebeen was named the winner of the inaugural Onyx Moonshine Secret Stash Beer Bash Competition. The event raised money for scholarships at Goodwin College. Onyx Moonshine provided whiskey barrels to over twenty Connecticut breweries, and let the public vote on the best barrel-aged beer at a festival in August. As the winner of this statewide competition, Shebeen was given access to a collection of handcrafted, newly charred American oak barrels that originally aged Onyx Spirits Company’s Secret Stash.

“It felt like a natural partnership. As a bit of a whiskey enthusiast, I have been a longtime fan of Onyx’s handcrafted spirts.” said Shebeen CEO Richard Visco,

“Shebeen is an Irish Gaelic word for speakeasy. So getting to come together with another local Connecticut establishment to create a beer that pays tribute to that speakeasy spirit was a project I was proud to take on.”

Golden Imperial Honey IPA hit shelves in 22oz bottles for a limited release beginning the last week in June.

About Shebeen Brewing Co.

Though they just celebrated their three year anniversary in May, the idea for Shebeen Brewing started a quarter of a century ago, when its founder and Master Brewer Rich and his friend Scott, now the Head Brewer for Harpoon, ventured into home brewing when few even knew it existed on the East Coast. Rich took this homegrown experience, passion for beer, and his cultural roots from his birthplace of Northern Ireland, and finally opened the brewery in May of 2013. Shebeen or Sibin is Irish Gaelic for illegal brewhouse or better known in the States as a Speakeasy. Although, Shebeen Brewing Co. is a legal craft brewery, they keep that speakeasy spirit alive by creating interesting and challenging beers, alongside their flagship Irish Pale Ale. Sláinte!

About Onyx Moonshine

Bootlegging runs in the blood of Onyx’s co-founders, Adam and Pete. Adam’s relatives ran a Prohibition-era speakeasy on the Connecticut River, and Pete’s relatives have had a farm in Wethersfield, Connecticut, for more than 100 years that, shall we say … grew corn. Inspired by family lore and a rich local tradition, they set out to take American moonshine to a new level, using a secret recipe that they painstakingly refined. The result is a new legacy. With its launch in 2011, Onyx Moonshine became New England’s first legal moonshine since Prohibition, and the first ultra-premium American moonshine ever. Made in a small distillery in East Hartford, Connecticut, from carefully selected corn, malted grains and pure Connecticut spring water, Onyx Moonshine infuses age-old Yankee charm with a flavor and mixability that “shines” in the modern world.

List of Breweries

Aspetuck Brew Lab - Bridgeport (Black Rock)
Alvarium Beer Company - New Britain opening March 2017
Back East Brewing Company – Bloomfield
Beaver Beer Company[10] – Greens Farms
Beer'd Brewing Company[11] – Stonington
Black Hog Brewing Company[12] - Oxford
Brass Work Brewing Company[13] – Waterbury
Brewport -Bridgeport, CT
Broad Brook Brewing Company[14] – East Windsor
Charter Oak Brewing Company[15] – New Canaan
City Steam Brewery Cafe[16] – Hartford
Cottrell Brewing Company[15] – Pawcatuck
DuVig Brewing Company[17] – Branford
East Haddam Brewing Company[18][19] – East Haddam
Fairfield Craft Ales - Stratford
Firefly Hollow Brewing Company[20] – Bristol
Hog River Brewing-Hartford
Half Full Brewery[8][16] – Stamford
New England Brewing Company[16][21] – Woodbridge
Olde Burnside Brewing Company[22] – East Hartford
Overshores Brewing Company[23] – East Haven
Powder Hollow Brewery[24] – Enfield
Relic Brewing Company[8][25] – Plainville
Rheingold Brewing Company (owned by Drinks Americas)[26] – Wilton
Shebeen Brewing Company[27] – Wolcott
Southport Brewing Company[16] – Shelton, Branford, Stamford
Stony Creek Brewery – Branford
Still Hill Brewery[28] – Rocky Hill
Stubborn Beauty[29] – Middletown
Thimble Island Brewing Company [8] – Branford
These Guys Brewing [30] – Norwich
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company[16] – Bloomfield
Top Shelf Brewing Company[31] – Manchester
Two Roads Brewing Company[16][15] – Stratford
Voracious Brewery Company -Monroe, CT 06468
Willimantic Brewing Company[32] – Willimantic