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Two Roads Brewing Company opens in Connecticut.

Mr. Hittle said the facility was designed for energy efficiency from the ground up, with a radiant heat system, Muira low NOx boilers, a Rite-Hite fan which can generate a 4-mph breeze in the brewery during summer, and high-efficiency lighting.

Emily Sauter, social media liaison for Two Roads, noted that she just moved from Eugene, OR, where there are seven breweries, with a number in planning, in a city of only 140,000. "No one thinks about Connecticut as a craft brewing center," she said. "That's about to change!"

According to Two Roads brewmaster Phil Markowski, the company's physical plant, which he helped design, is his "dream" brewery. "Nothing here could be improved on," he says. "And the floor plan is very linear, it's all here in one view. Our 100-barrel Rolec brewhouse is capable of brewing 50barrel batches, and we have fermenters of various sizes, so we can do small batch one-offs and 300-barrel runs of higher volume products. We'll be more nimble than your typical 100-barrel brewery."

The brewery, located in a meticulously-renovated former machine tool factory building in Stratford, boasts a new Rolec 100-barrel brewhouse, a Kunzel four-row mill, a high-speed CFT/SBC bottling line, a PE labeler, and Comac keg line.


Former Pabst chief marketing officer Brad Hittle has his Two Roads Brewing Company up and running. Trucks from local distributors Star and Rogo were lined up at the Stratford, CT brewery's loading dock one morning last week, preparing to take on pallets of Two Roads Saison, White IPA and Double IPA.

Mr. Hittle said brewing operations in the first year will proceed on two tracks, with production of Two Roads branded beers for the local market, and craft contracts for wider distribution. "We'll be careful not to go too broad with Two Roads," he said. "In the first year, it will be epicenter marketing, Connecticut only. We'll sell maybe 3000 barrels of Two Roads. Contiguous states will the logical next step."

The company already has ten contract producers lined up to brew at the facility, which currently has 42,000 barrels of fermenting capacity, and 150,000-barrel total capacity, with expansion to 200,000-barrel capacity planned within the coming year.

Before the equipment was installed, however, there had been much to do. The factory, while operational until recently, had to be converted to a food-grade production plant, and that meant that every surface had to be cleaned, refinished, resurfaced or painted. Fortunately, the company found committed local contractors for the project. "The guy we selected started in late April," Mr. Hittle says, "and we were ready for flooring by the first week of June. One guy had told us it would take until December, or even February."

The Rolec equipment arrived in July. "We had a crew of 10-12 Germans here until November," Mr. Hittle says. "They were the most impressive workers I have ever seen. The seams are so beautifully welded, it's almost artistic. I would try to engage them in conversation, and they would say, 'Sorry, I'm too busy, I must work!'"


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