The second brewery in the City opened its door last Friday to a large crowd lining Arch St.
Five Churches Brewing welcomed a crowd of nearly 200 to its new brewery.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Five Churches Brewing to downtown New Britain,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “We have been patiently watching and following their progress over the last year and are looking forward to seeing the new foot traffic coming to our downtown.”
Five Churches Brewing, located in a historic building (constructed in 1900) at 193 Arch St., has been seeing renovation of the 10,000 square foot building by the owners for over a year. The name came about because if you are looking out the window you can see five steeples.
Building owner Peter Lemnotis said his son Phil loves beer and they had a big empty space so they decided to do something with it.
“I brewed beer on a small scale and I have always had a passion for craft brews,” said Phil Lemnotis. “So we were talking about this space. It is huge and untapped, and I said lets put a brewery in here.”
He said he had ideas of what worked and didn’t. Since he only brewed on a small scale and had big equipment, he enlisted Austin Japs from New England Brewery. A lot of people from across the country applied to be the brewer.
“He had the opportunity to use his own recipes and create Austin’s wonderland,” said Lemnotis. “As we go we will have more variety.”
Mike Barillaro runs the food area which features wood fired pizza from a 900 degree oven.
“That is clutch because you can’t always rely on a food truck. They cannot show up and it is important because we are on the second floor not to inconvenience patrons to go downstairs,” said Peter Lemnotis. “Having food here you just wait for your number to get called and you can have it at your table.”
Barillaro said it takes 90 seconds to make a pizza.
“The turnover rate is pretty good,” said Barillaro. “We can feed all these hungry people.”
The brewery will initially offer six beers: One Wing (a single IPA); Pew Pew (IPA); Steeple People (Double IPA); Amberlance (Amber); Lil’ Stouty (stout); and Weerder w/ Guava (gluten friendly). In time, the brewery will have a dozen styles of beer on tap.
The brewery will employ 15 workers.
Customer Margo Sklavouris said on Friday that she likes the Weerder with guava.
“I am not a beer drinker but I love that one,” said Sklavouris, “It is phenomenal.”
“Thank you to all the principals involved. It is an absolutely beautiful place. It goes far in bringing back Arch St.,” said Bill Carroll, economic development director. “I think we are on our way.”
Parking is available at 193 Arch St., along Arch Street, a municipal lot at 140 Arch St., and several other surrounding locations (for a detailed map visit www.facebook.com/FiveChurchesBrewing.)