By Bailey Wright
SOUTHINGTON — On a Friday night at any independent brewery in New England, you’re likely to find a food truck or two outside.
At Kinsmen Brewing Co. on Canal Street things are different. Instead of a rotating food trucks, Kinsmen added a kitchen in the back of its main hall and Sauced was born.
When the brewery opened in April 2017 it used food trucks for almost a year. Sauced opened in January 2018.
Bruce Staebler, co-owner of the brewery and Sauced, said the switch was for consistency. Food trucks sometimes wouldn’t show up, or people wouldn’t like the food, or the truck would run out of food.
“Our experience is a 360 experience, so food was a big part of it and we wanted to make sure there was a quality that we could control,” Staebler said.
Sauced co-owners Mike Annenberg, Vin Crudele and Rick Trocchi also co-own Domenic’s and Vinnie’s Pizza, with locations in Southington, Middlebury and Waterbury. They partnered with Staebler, owner of the building and a lifelong customer of Domenic’s and Vinnie’s Pizza, to start Sauced.
The partners knew Sauced would be different than their other restaurants because it’s inside a brewery and the customers are younger and often in groups. To accommodate, they decided to stick to 12-inch pizzas, and offer more modern, artisanal pizzas.
“It was a completely different concept from Domenic’s and Vinnie’s,” Trocchi said.
The pizzas include the “Por-U-Pine” with mozzarella, prosciutto, shaved parmigiano, arugula and an option for balsamic glaze. “The Farmer” has farm-fresh mozzarella, spinach, red onions, green peppers, roasted red peppers and mushrooms.
Sauced serves around 600 pizzas on a busy night.
“It’s definitely exceeded expectations,” Annenberg said. “We needed to add another oven...”
The Sauced and Kinsmen Brewing partnership has been so successful the owners are planning a new brewery location in a former factory in Clinton. Staebler said they hope to have it running this summer.
Sauced’s most popular pizzas have been the margherita, with fresh mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil; the “Hot Lips” with mozzarella, hot soppressata and honey; and the “McGinty” with mozzarella, mashed potatoes, bacon and chives.
"It’s definitely exceeded expectations. We needed to add another oven..."
-Co-owner Mike Annenberg
Staebler suggests pairing the McGinty pizza with Kinsmen’s coffee roast brew and the Hot Lips with the Milldale Lite. If you’re trying “The Macho Taco” nacho pizza, he suggests pairing it with the Fiesta Ombre Mexican lager.
Sauced also offers a gluten-free crust pizza and sandwiches, pretzels, salads, bread bowl sliders and cookie pie desserts.
Kinsmen Brewing is open Monday through Wednesday 3 to 11 p.m., Thursday from noon to 11 p.m., Friday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Sauced is open Monday 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday 4 to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Pizza prices range from $11 to $17. Sandwiches are about $9 each and most appetizers and salads are about $8.