Murphy's annual walk takes him to New Britain

Published on Sunday, 8 July 2018 21:29


NEW BRITAIN - U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy stopped in at Avery’s Beverages on Saturday morning during his third annual Walk Across Connecticut.

Murphy began his walk Thursday in Hartford and was going through New Britain and Berlin to Meriden for a town hall-style meeting.

“So far so good,” said Murphy as he arrived at Avery’s. “It was pretty mild yesterday, but it was scorching Thursday.”

Dressed in shorts and a green T-shirt, Murphy said he had stopped to chat with state residents along his route.

“I met some pretty fascinating people and I stopped in to visit a lot of small business owners,” he said. “What I heard from a lot of people is that they are struggling to make ends meet. I spoke to one man who was working two jobs, 60 hours a week and he was still struggling to pay the rent. I also spoke to a New Britain woman who had a brain tumor and who had exhausted her savings paying for medical marijuana because it wasn’t covered under her provider.”

Murphy added that he had also spoken to several people who were “very emotional” about the handling of illegal immigrant children at the border.

Murphy said that he decided to stop at Avery’s because he had grown up drinking its soda as a child living in Wethersfield.

Once he stepped inside, he was greeted by General Manager Rob Metz, who showed Murphy that he had made soda bottles with “Walk Across Connecticut” labels.

“I feel like I’ve finally made it,” Murphy joked. “I don’t know if it can get any better than having your face on a soda bottle.”

Metz showed Murphy how the soda was bottled on an assembly line machine built in the 1950s. He explained that Avery’s make between 15 and 50 crates of soda at a time, which takes a half-hour to two hours. The bottles are then distributed all over the country.

“We’ve seen steady growth of about 10 to 15 percent a year,” said Metz. “Our biggest distributors are Stew Leonard’s in Newington and Gnazzo’s in Plainville.”

Murphy said that Avery’s, founded in 1904, is benefiting from the recent uptick in the popularity of craft beverages.

“It’s amazing that you’ve survived this long,” he said.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Sunday, 8 July 2018 21:29. Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2018 21:31.