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....

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