All the Zoning and Conservation approvals have been issued, the land ownership has transferred, and new construction in Mach One Industrial Park on South Street is expected to start in a week or two. Broad Brook Brewery is coming to Suffield. First Selectman Melissa Mack has been quoted as commenting, “This is exactly the type of industry we want to increase our commercial tax base.” The business hopes to open here this fall.
Unable to expand in their constricted location behind a pool hall hidden in back of Sofia’s Plaza in East Windsor, the four-year-old company chose the awkward two-acre, partially wetland parcel next to Kelly Freezer on South Street, whose sloping site was nicely compatible with the brewery’s two-story building being set into the hillside. Inside in front, a balcony and offices will look down on the high-ceilinged brewing works with its big, gleamingly clean tanks. A tap room, a.k.a. brew pub, will complete the south end of the building, with deck seating on a terrace where patrons can watch aircraft operations at Bradley.
Architect Peter Armara, of Armara Associates in Middlebury, has designed a building that will fit well in Suffield, “the Town of Farms.”
Proprietor Eric Mance of Enfield, who shares the business with partner Tom Rossing of Broad Brook, showed this reporter around the old facility and shared their story. Tom is the brewer, Eric handles the business.
In their present 15-barrel batch system, they’ve been producing about 5,000 barrels a year. (A beer barrel holds 31 gallons.) In Suffield they will have a 30-barrel system capable of brewing 12,000 a year. They also plan to install a three-barrel system for testing new varieties. A new canning machine will handle the increased volume.
Eric said the Suffield tap room will be somewhat bigger than now, but will retain the same comfortable décor. There will be a small kitchen with a limited menu.
As for brews, Eric said they offer four core varieties regularly, two seasonals, and about two dozen more – all of them ales. Eric and Tom have chosen not to include lager beer.
Broad Brook Brewery supplies its product to outlets throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts through several distributors, and as they ramp up production they expect to include Central Massachusetts as well.