NORTH HAVEN — The new year brings new beer as Twelve Percent Beer Project officially opens.
The State Street brewery originally began as 12 Percent Imports over a decade ago, with founder Brian Ewing working with small brewers from across the globe, selling their product out of his car.
“At its core we find, what we think, are the best small brewers out there,” said Ewing. “Then what we do at the brewery is help market them, scale them up and expose them to a wider audience.”
Ewing’s partner, Alex Blank, who operates the brewery, likened the business model to that of an independent record label.
“We have these ‘artists’ which are our brewers and some of them have their own facilities, but the facilities they have are tiny and they can only make so much beer,” he said. “In that way, we’re supplementing production. Some don’t even have a brewery.”
Twelve Percent is currently working with about 15 brewers in the U.S. and overseas.
Ewing’s passion for brewing began before he started importing beer. According to Blank, the two shared an “obsession” for Belgian beer.
“The first beer he brought over was named Gaverhopke, which was from Belgium,” he said. “It had an alcohol content of 12% which is where we got the name from.”
Twelve Percent, 341 State St., is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. and features a tasting room for people to test the imports. While Twelve Percent is focused on tastings and beer manufacturing, Blank hopes to expand its offerings.
“We 100 percent plan to host events, we’re working on getting food trucks here on Saturdays and sell merchandise,” he said. “But right now we’re just trying to sell good beer.”
Previous events gave guests the chance to meet brewers and test out new beer.
Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA Take a look around the tasting room at Twelve Percent Beer Project. | Dave Zajac, Record-Journal
“Locals have a great thing in their backyard and I’m excited for them to see that,” Blank said.
For more information you can follow Twelve Percent Beer Project on social media or visit their website at www.12percentimports.com.