NEW BRITAIN - Nestled in the industrial park is the city‚Äôs newest retreat - Alvarium Beer Company, opening this weekend.
Located at 365 John Downey Drive, it is the first brewery to operate in New Britain since the closing of the Cremo Brewing Company in the 1950s.
In Latin, ‚ÄúAlvarium‚ÄĚ means ‚Äúbeehive,‚ÄĚ a homage to the City of New Britain‚Äôs motto: ‚ÄúIndustry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.‚ÄĚ
Owners Mike Larson, Chris DeGasero and Brian Bugnacki founded the company in 2016. Each brings a different skill and expertise to the partnership.
DeGasero is no stranger to brewing, having worked as a brew master and assistant brewer at the Cambridge House Brewpub in Granby and at City Steam in Hartford. He also apprenticed at 508 Gastropub and Brewery and Chelsea Brewing in New York.
Larson has a mechanical engineering degree and more than a decade of experience working in operations.
Bugnacki, who has a degree from the University of Hartford‚Äôs Barney School of Business, serves as the brains behind the company‚Äôs marketing.
In March, they began a Kickstarter campaign with the goal to raise $15,000. Within nine hours of starting the campaign they met their goal. Just a few weeks later they more than doubled that amount with $35,300.
What makes the brewery unique, Larson said, is that the bar sits on 10,000 pounds of steel all reclaimed and the bar itself is made of reclaimed red oak.
Alvarium will have 13 different taps, two will be specifically devoted to nitro - one which will have cold brew coffee and the other will be on a rotating basis. Another tap will be cider from New England Cider Company in Wallingford, and the rest will be beer brewed in-house.
The trio said they will cater to styles that are trending, but also try other things.
‚ÄúThe most exciting part is trying a style you‚Äôve never had before and it opens your eyes and makes you even more excited to say: ‚ÄėHey, what else is out there that I haven‚Äôt tried before?‚Äô We want to have that experience for our customers,‚ÄĚ said DeGasero.
The 5,000 square feet of brewing space and tap room features a rustic setting for socializing, an outdoor patio, custom honeycomb lighting, games, a digital menu system that shows customers the current beers on tap, hot (and to-go) local kielbasa from Brian‚Äôs father, Dennis, owner of Bugnacki‚Äôs Specialty meats, fresh Bavarian pretzels from Pretzel Haus of West Hartford and Avery‚Äôs Soda of New Britain. Guests are welcomed to bring their own food too.
The brewery also plans to have food trucks from the area and other special events like a dog adoption event in the fall and an upcoming fundraiser for the New Britain High School Band.
A public grand opening celebration will be held Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 7 p.m. at 365 John Downey Drive, Suite B.
The owners urge the public to follow Alvarium on social media or check the company‚Äôs website for an updated daily list of what‚Äôs on tap, Alvariumbeer.com or @alvariumbeer.