WALLINGFORD — The owner of a new downtown microbrewery is hoping to open sometime in late November or early December.
“It all depends on our licensure from the federal government as well as the state, but we’re sort of hoping for the end of the year — end of November, beginning of December,” said Peter Ford, a longtime town resident who has brewed beer at his home for about 30 years. “...It may be a little later than that. I doubt it will be earlier.”
Ford is opening Center Street Brewing Company in a 2,500-square-foot building at 24 Wallace Ave. behind Archie Moore’s. He plans to serve eight beers on tap along with a small selection of wine. Beer will be sold by the growler and by cans on a limited basis, Ford said.
The brewery is considered a microbrewery because it will produce less than 15,000 barrels annually. Ford said the brewery will have the capacity to produce 1,500 barrels per year. It will include a 1,500-square-foot tap room and 1,000 square feet for brewing.
The building was previously occupied by a music recording studio. Ford said some walls have been removed from the interior. He expects construction will start soon and will take about two to three months.
“Tentatively we’re looking at starting construction” Aug. 7, he said.
Ford has worked as a nurse practitioner for Hartford HealthCare for 20 years. He started thinking about opening a brewery about five years ago after he took a course in “advanced home brewing” at the American Brewers Guild in Middlebury, Vermont.
“That sort of made me realize this is something I’d like to do for a full-time job or as my retirement job,” Ford said.
He is starting the new business with his brother, Tim, who lives in Vermont and will oversee finances, and Cheshire resident Jake Degennaro, who has experience as a home brewer and will work alongside Ford as an assistant brewer.
Tim Ryan, the town’s economic development specialist, “continues to be excited about the prospect of (Ford) opening.”
“He knows his trade and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious,” Ryan said “I think it’s going to work very well for downtown.”
Ford’s brewery would join others that have opened in town in recent years, including Cliffside Brewing at 16b Center Street, Front Porch Brewing at 226 N. Plains Industrial Road Unit 4 and New England Cider Company at 110 N. Plains Industrial Road.
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