NEW BRITAIN - What does a summer day taste like at Alvarium Beer Co.? It tastes like a Bomb Pop, the brewery’s most recent release, a cherry-lime-and-raspberry-flavored sour brew that was sold 200 times on Wednesday, the night it was released.
But the release of a new beer was not the only recent success for the brewery said co-founders Brian Bugnacki and Mike Larson.
The pair, along with fellow co-founder Chris DeGasero, have bought a production canning machine line that fills about 30 cans a minute.
“The machine fills about 5,000 cans in six hours,” Larson said. “That allowed us to outreach our product to different parts of Connecticut.”
Alvarium distributes its beer to 225 establishments in Connecticut, including bars, restaurants and liquor stores. The company has also collaborated with a brewery in Boston.
The canning line allows the brewery more production capacity.
“We added more tanks,” Larson said. “We went from 60 barrels of capacity to 180 barrels of capacity. We are actually adding another 1,000-gallon carbonation tank probably in about two weeks.”
The carbonation tank carbonates the beer to correct the volume of carbonation.
The brewery also has grown to nine total tanks.
Alvarium makes 130 cases of one beer at a time. A case consists of 24 16-ounce cans. Of those 130 cases, 90 to 100 are sent to the businesses Alvarium collaborates with.
Alvarium has also expanded its workforce and now employs seven full-time employees and 13 part-timers. They serve as brewers, production assistants, tap room managers, sales representatives, “beertenders” and bookkeepers.
But the expansion of the business has not been completed yet. The owners said they are planning on expanding the tap room and adding an event area.
The space they are in now is 5,500 square feet. The space they are looking at for their expansion, which is in the same building, would add 4,500 square feet.
The goal is to have a 15-barrel, four-vessel brew house, Larson said.
“We are going to be adding more fermentation capacity, more tanks, stuff like that,” Larson added.
This year alone, the brewery is on its way to making around 2,000 barrels of production capacity, Larson said.
“For 2020, if everything goes as planned we should be hitting about 5 (thousand) to 6,000 barrels,” Larson said.
June 24 was Alvarium’s anniversary, and to celebrate that, on June 22, the brewery held a party that attracted 1,500 people throughout the day. The brewery featured an outdoor bar, a raffle, food trucks and an expanded patio.
In addition, 14,000 cans went out to market for distribution the week of July 4.
One of the goals of Alvarium’s owners is to raise awareness about the local craft product and to try to capture the market against the big brands like Corona and Bud Light, they said.
Alvarium is located at 365 John Downey Dr., B. To learn more about Alvarium, call 860-357-2039 or visit alvariumbeer.com.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.