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.

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