Bringing Brewing Back

By at September 22, 2016 | 2:10 pm | Print


New Britain may have lost Cremo Brewery in the 1950’s, but soon it will have Alvarium Beer.

Three brewers are bringing back beer made in New Britain. Co-owners Mike Larson (operations manager), Chris DeGasero (head brewer) and Brian Bugnacki (sales and support) will be opening a 5,000 square foot space on John Downey Drive on Oct. 1. Each has been in the business for about 10 years.

In about 7 months they will open a 2,500 foot space specifically for a tap room.

“We don’t want a brewery for the sake of having a brewery. We want a communal place where people can get together, drink together and socialize,” said Larson. “A model has us featuring a tap room. People can come in and we will grow and distribute to restaurants, Greater New England and beyond.”

About 100 people can come in and enjoy the beer, cider, wine or cold brewed coffee.

There will be 6-8 styles of beer. One will incorporate honey as a special beer. The other beers will include beers that are simple, popular and more eccentric.

“We really want to create an experience. We want to create an adult Jenga arena. We want tables that go around in a semi circle so people can sit and watch and have a great time,” said DeGasero. “We want local artists. We want to create a space for everybody.”

Drop down lighting in a honey comb shape is planned. The bar will be built with wood and steel.

“We want people to feel connected to where the beer is made. You will be able to see our brew house system where everything is made,” said Larson. “It will be an open layout.”

Food trucks will be on site and Bugnacki specialty meats will make kielbasa.

“It will be more substantial than chips and peanuts, but not a full kitchen,” sad Bugnacki.

It will be open Friday, Saturday and Sundays.

“We will start with local distribution. Ten to twelve restaurants will also have our product,” said Larson. “We will sell them kegs directly. As we grow, we will expand beyond that.”

The trio each began brewing beer at home. They made five gallons at a time when started and now will make thousands of gallons at a time.

“The craft beer scene is so powerful. In Connecticut it is just starting to grow. There is a hole that we wanted to fill,” said DeGasero. “By putting your love, sweat and blood into it, you get much more of an end result compared to something that is mass produced.”

Alvarium is Latin for beehive.

“Alvarium is a connection to New Britain. We did a lot of research and wanted to fit it with New Britain,” said Larson. “We believe New Britain is a strong community. It is very diverse and we want to centralize ourselves so we chose New Britain.”

The closest brewery is in Bristol.

“We want to be the hive for the bees which represent New Britain workers,” said DeGasero. “We want them to come home to Alvarium to drink and socialize and then go back out and do their job.”

The logo symbolizes the bees leaving and returning to the hive.

“Mayor Erin Stewart has been really kind to us. When we proposed the offer, she jumped on it,” said DeGasero. “Bill Carroll (economic development coordinator) found locations and got many departments involved to make sure we were on the same page.”

“They are going to be a wonderful addition to our New Britain business community. This is the piece that we have been waiting for. Our own New Britain beer is coming back,” said Mayor Stewart. “A lot of folks remember Cremo. A lot of residents still have Cremo cans. We are very excited to welcome Alvarium into our New Britain community. Nothing says being part of the community more than their name and logo.”

Stewart says a lot of people have approached the City about having a brewery in the City, but Alvarium has done everything right.

“They have great people working for them and we are confident that their product is going to be top notch,” added Stewart. “People from across New England will want Alvarium Brew.”

The trio is investing $350,000 plus in their idea and has consistently placed in top 3 in every contest they have entered.

They are also ecologically conscience sending leftover grain to local farmers to use for cattle feed and purchasing a $10,000 water tank that will use a fraction of water other breweries use.

Two flavors of Alvarium Beer – Oktoberfest and A New Zealand Pale Ale – will be available at the Mayor’s Golf Tournament on Friday for those who want to try it.

To hear more about the company and its products, like them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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