NEW BRITAIN - Nestled in the industrial park is the city‚Äôs newest retreat - Alvarium Beer Co., opening this weekend.
It is the first brewery to operate in New Britain since the closing of the Cremo Brewing Co. 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
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 brewmaster and assistant brewer at the Cambridge House Brewpub in Granby and City Steam in Hartford. He 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 holds a degree from the University of Hartford‚Äôs Barney School of Business, brings experience from a software company, having masterminded the company‚Äôs marketing.
In March, the three began a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $15,000. Within nine hours, they met their goal. A few weeks later, more than$35,300 had been raised.
What makes the brewery unique, Larson said, is that the bar sits on 10,000 pounds of steel - all reclaimed. The bar itself is made of reclaimed red oak.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs something no one notices until they take a step back and see how this stuff was actually made,‚ÄĚ he said.
Alvarium will have 13 taps, two of which will of which will dispense nitrogen-carbonated beverages. One will offer cold-brewed coffee, the other a rotating selection of ‚Äúnitro‚ÄĚ brews.
Cider from the New England Cider Co. in Wallingford will come from another spigot, while the remaining offerings will be home-brewed Alvarium beers.
The trio said they will cater to trending styles, but also try others.
‚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‚Äėsaid DeGasero.
The 5,000 square feet of brewing space and tap room feature 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 soft drinks from Avery‚Äôs Soda of New Britain.
Guests are welcome to bring their own food.
The brewery also plans to host food trucks and other special events, including a dog adoption event in the fall and an upcoming fundraiser for the New Britain High School band.
‚ÄúWe want to show support for our community and do anything in that regard,‚ÄĚ said DeGasero.
Mayor Erin Stewart will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
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 on Twitter @alvariumbeer.