Alvarium brewery to open this weekend

Published on Thursday, 22 June 2017 20:55
Written by Angie DeRosa

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN - Nestled in the industrial park is the city’s 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, “Alvarium” means “beehive,” a homage to the City of New Britain’s motto: “Industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.”

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’s Barney School of Business, serves as the brains behind the company’s 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.

“The most exciting part is trying a style you’ve never had before and it opens your eyes and makes you even more excited to say: ‘Hey, what else is out there that I haven’t tried before?’ We want to have that experience for our customers,” 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’s father, Dennis, owner of Bugnacki’s Specialty meats, fresh Bavarian pretzels from Pretzel Haus of West Hartford and Avery’s 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’s website for an updated daily list of what’s on tap, or @alvariumbeer.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Arts, General News on Thursday, 22 June 2017 20:55. Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2017 20:58.