My name is Ben Braddock - Founder, Owner and Brewer of Hog River Brewing Co. Thank you for taking the time to check us out. My craft beer story started more than 7 years ago when I was working my insurance gig in Hartford, CT. I was fed up trying to climb the corporate ladder and without a vetted plan, I walked into my boss' office and gave my two weeks notice. The goal - find a job, any job in the craft beer industry.
With no money and no job, I cancelled the car insurance and cable and contacted every brewery along the east coast looking to volunteer my time.
Craft Beer Experience:
Enter Thomas Hooker Brewing Company in Bloomfield, CT. I worked for free cleaning kegs for a few months until I was brought on full-time to work the bottling line and manage orders. A few months later I was on the brew deck and sent to Siebel Institute in Chicago to hone my craft.
After 3+ years in a production setting it was time for a change. For the past 5 years I've been brewing some of the best beers in CT at Willimantic Brewing Company with my friend and mentor, David Wollner. Along the way, friendships in the craft beer community have formed, industry connections made, and many beers brewed and consumed. It's time to branch out on my own - and create the craft beer taproom Hartford needs.
Our vision for Hog River Brewing Co. is to be deeply entrenched in the Hartford community. We want to celebrate what is great about this city then and now, and bring some of the city's history to life. Starting with our name - a nod to the river that once flowed through the city and was buried in tunnels in the 1940s. Hog River is the slang name, as it's also known as the Park River.
We've settled on a 4,000 square foot unit at 1429 Park Street, Hartford, CT. Those of you who have been around CT beer for a while might remember the old Troutbrook Brewing Company. Our location is a stones throw away from that location, in the first floor of the former Hartford Rubber Works plant, also known as the Barridon Building. The lease was signed in April and equipment is scheduled to arrive in December. We hope to brew some beer come Spring, 2016. The brewery is conveniently located off Exit 44 on I-84. We offer free, well-lit and safe parking. Driving not your thing? The Parkville CT Fastrak stop is at the end of the street.
Our unique space is loaded with character and is home to our 7 barrel brewery and taproom. We'll have seating and standing room for upwards of 100 customers. The decor is rustic industrial with modern touches. We are striving to make Hog River a home-away-from-home for those seeking high quality craft beer and prefer a relaxed environment and good conversation.
Food...we're not in the business of running a restaurant. You know the drill by now - food trucks, BYOF and take-out. Feeling lazy about it? We've got that covered as well. There is a restaurant 20 paces down the hall.
I suppose by now you're wondering about the beer. We have high standards and a low threshold for imperfection. We plan to have one house beer - a German-style Kolsch Ale - conditioned in it's own tank until ready to serve. The rest of our beers will constantly rotate throughout the year ranging in style from classic to innovative to funky and barrel-aged. If a beer runs out on draught, we'll have a selection of bombers and 750s to drink in-house or take home for your enjoyment. We hope to fill our 16 draught lines with our house made beer but we want to make non-beer drinkers happy as well. We'll offer 1-2 craft ciders, wine and locally-crafted soda.
Your Generous Contribution:
Opening a brewery and taproom in Hartford is what we're passionate about - we've been working towards this goal for years, gathering the required capital to open the doors. But we still have work to do to get this off the ground. The funds raised in this campaign will be used to build out our taproom. You will see your money at work the second you walk into the taproom. The bar will be made from reclaimed wood, the stools from industrial piping and the historic manufacturing equipment in our space will shine like the day it was installed over a 100 years ago. When you enjoy a beer in our taproom you'll feel like it's yours - and you'll know that you helped it come to life.
I hope we have you on board! Either way, come on in for a beer and chat for a bit. I think you'll enjoy it!
Risks and challenges
Opening a brewery comes with some risks. We don't think we'll encounter too many game changing issues, but we would like to make you aware of potential pit falls.
1) Licensing -
We are required to obtain Federal and State licensing to make and sell beer. This is a very lengthy process and we are waiting for our approvals. It is extremely unlikely that we'll be denied but a delay could occur if errors are found in our application. In this case, we correct them, send the corrections back and wait a little longer.
We have hired an attorney who specializes in brewery licensing to expedite the process.
2) Buildout -
Our lease is signed and we've initiated our build. Like any build, we are at the mercy of building inspectors. We don't anticipate any issues but there is always a risk that we are delayed while we get construction, plumbing and electrical inspected.
Please note that the $250, $500, $750 and $1,000 donation levels require Hog River to be up and running. We have put tentative delivery dates in each category, but please note that these dates are subject to change. We'll keep you posted at every turn along the way. We'll be sure to send out the lower level rewards by the dates set forth in their corresponding categories.
As you area aware, there are risks associated with opening any business. We are doing our due diligence to open and operate a successful business. Regardless of the risk and challenges we come across, we're moving forward. Your generous contributions will be used solely for the purpose of opening Hog River Brewing Co.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)