New Brewery to Open in Stratford in 2012

A craft brewery will soon move into the former U.S. Baird site on Stratford Avenue.

A craft brewery will soon breathe new life -- and new jobs -- into the former U.S. Baird property on Stratford Avenue.

Two Roads Brewing Company announced Monday its plans to purchase and revitalize the former manufacturing building at 1700 Stratford Ave. Two Roads Brewery has raised $18 million for the project and hopes to open in September 2012.

"Connecticut towns have so many beautiful old buildings that beg to be used for productive purposes and for job creation," company co-founder Brad Hittle said in a statement.  

"This particular building is perfectly suited for a brewery because it is so solidly built, it has a high-bay center that can accommodate tall fermenting tanks, and it has ample room for us to grow into," Hittle added.


It's expected that the brewery will create 15 new jobs within a year and 70 jobs overall.

"Stratford Mayor John Harkins and his staff have been huge supporters of this project, recognizing that Two Roads Brewery will be a beacon of growth and opportunity in Connecticut," Hittle said.

"We couldn't be more pleased that Two Roads will be finding a home in Stratford," Harkins said in the statement. "We look forward to the opening day with great anticipation."


Hittle said the brewery will be a "state-of-the-art" facility with a Rolec 100 barrel brew house; high-speed bottling, canning and kegging equipment; an expansive tasting room that overlooks the brew house; and space for outdoor events.

The 6.6-acre property will provide a large parking area for patrons, he added.

"We want to take a unique and differentiated approach to everything we do to delight our consumers, our community and our employees," Hittle said. "That includes our beers, our culture and our location."

Two Roads Brewery gets its name from the popular Robert Frost poem, "The Road Not Taken." In the coming weeks, the brewery will launch its website, www.tworoadsbrewery.com.

OldManTeenager December 20, 2011 at 07:27 PM
I believe this to be one of the best things to happen to Stratford in quite some time. Not only the jobs that are created, but as a possible draw for people to visit the town.
12345 December 20, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Awesome! The new liquor store can sell it!
George E. Mulligan December 20, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Hic! Boon for DUI! Les us opun a CRACK house for gitten stoned n drunk? Hic! We kin hab tours for da kids. Kin we arrange for discounts for liver disease n hab smokin pay fur lung kancir? Will der be money set aside for domestic violence, if there is proveable causation? - In the past brackish water prevented water from being healthy after a period of time. Who knew that humans had to develope fermentation of alcohol to be able to preserve healthy drinking fluids and also to transport it. Amazing, part of the DARWIN CONCEPT over looked, is that it may not have been survival of the fittest ... but survival of the most drunk?
Mike Reynolds December 20, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Typical Stratford BS. Here we have a piece of property that would have otherwise sat vacant and someone wants to do something productive with it. How about being glad that someone is willing to take a chance in Stratford that might create a few jobs and add to the Grand List? Instead all the "know it alls" in Stratford are going to voice their self-inflated opinion and criticize this. I didn't grow up in Stratford. My family moved here 15 years ago. After seeing the absolute BS that goes on in this town I have finally figured it out. Life long residents feel they are owed something. Maybe it's because of Raymark or the airport or being next to Bridgeport. But too many people look down an just about anything that isn't the proverbial "Golden Ticket". Hey folks...wake up. Be glad someone is willing to start a business in Stratford because let's be honest, this town doesn't have a lot to offer.
Rich Tomas December 20, 2011 at 10:37 PM
I think this is great idea! The building looks like it would suit it well!
Loren December 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM
This building is perfectly suited to a large brewery with its high ceiling elevations and provisions for manufacturing. Know of any other manufacturing sectors that are thriving as well as breweries nowadays? Not many. And this is a craft brewery not a Bud-Miller-Coors type brewery. What this $18 million company will bring to the south end of Stratford will be a much needed shot in the arm the area has needed for decades. I grew up on Dewey Street and to this day never imagined such an accomplishment of this magnitude would come to our town. Embrace it and welcome them with open arms, even if you don't consume alcoholic beverages. BTW, here's a video tour of the property, inside and out. http://www.angelcommercial.com/video_tour.asp?ID=42 Cheers!
Jennifer Reiley Young December 21, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Robert-That's funny! But, no, they can't.
Helene E. Logan December 21, 2011 at 02:34 PM
@Mike Reynolds--I think a lot of people in town assume manufacturing is going to 'come back', which (of course) it isn't. I've lived here for nearly 20 years and have watched 'the donut town' dissuade numerous good ideas all in some naive nostalgic view that Stratford can be as it was in the 50's and 60's--booming defense industries and Raybestos (and that turned out well, didn't it?). While other towns that can't claim ease of transportation or a beachfront or numerous lovely parks embraced OTHER businesses (think Shelton/Trumbull), Stratford clung to the concept of being a manufacturing mecca. I worked in manufacturing for @25 years--so I certainly identify with the mindset, but for the most part, fabrication and assembly on a grand scale is over in the Northeast, not to mention the US; that's just the way of the global economy. No amount of reminiscing is going to bring it back. A town with a thriving restaurant scene, a brewery, an arts & drama school on the Shakespeare grounds, a true commitment to education--why can't these happen here? We remain a diamond in the rough, badly in need of fresh thinking and a little polishing up. The brewery sounds like a great plan; let's hope the powers that be AND the citizenry don't muck it up.
Common Sense Moderate December 21, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Can the cynics just please shut up about this? It's a good thing and most intelligent Stratfordians will support it. George M - I am your neighbor in the neighborhood, and I've tolerated about as much as I can - just shut up about it. You and others only know how to whine about things. Your comments are rarely productive, and usually make no sense at all. Shut Your Hole.
OldManTeenager December 21, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Tom December 21, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Second!...or maybe a third??? all in favor?
Kip Steele December 21, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I'm excited for this to come to the area. CT is one of, if not the hardest places to sell beer in because of the many restrictions the state imposes. By building something where the restrictions are so high , it's not the easiest of ways but makes sense given the geographic density of the tri state area.
Common Sense Moderate December 21, 2011 at 05:47 PM
I know that George M's heart is usually in the right place, but people in this town, and Bridgeport, need to start taking pride in the places they live, support local initiatives and stop whining about how much everything sucks around here. We all know the challenges - let's put in context and start talking about possibilities.
George E. Mulligan December 21, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Pjoe, Same people sabotaging Stratford since 1980s, to present are the ones who'll profit from bad local economic initiatives. A segment of future economics: Fantastic video on the progression of information technology, researched by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman, remixed. www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY I am proud of Stratford and care about it being LOOTED and turned into a mirror image of degenerated, comfort station, Bridgeport. Instead of relying on former Mafia Cash Cows and perpetuating the same dependencies, why not think forward, instead of backward? Why not EXPAND the CONTEXT and TURN POSSIBILITIES into REALITY?
Jim Ravis December 21, 2011 at 08:44 PM
I am very happy that such a business is coming to Stratford, and I look forward to trying out their handcrafted brews. In the meantime, can I count on the first few batches NOT being named Bluefish (something)? What could we name the first few batches (for Stratford)? Please do not even suggest names like Catoberfest or Purrrfection!
Grace Arpie December 21, 2011 at 09:57 PM
I think this is awesome! Stratford needs jobs, and we shouldn't let our old buildings go to waste. Otherwise, what would happen with this building? One of two things- it would sit and rot, or someone would buy it and turn it into another ugly, unnecessary strip mall or chain store. Do we really need more of those? I love microbrews, so I am looking forward to trying whatever they have to offer. Also, "boon for DUI" is this a joke? It's a BREWERY, not a bar or liquor store. You don't go in the brewery and come out drunk off your ass. Seriously, so tired of reading these nonsense comments on here and in the Star every week, learn how to form a coherent sentence.
Carole Bourne December 21, 2011 at 11:13 PM
I worked just inside the front door of this company for 28 yrs as the Telephone/Receptionist and hoped I would retire from there ,but it was not to be as I was laid off at the time with 22 of my fellow employees in 2002 ,,bringing our workforce down to a mere trickle of whom were there when I started in 1974 Having to drive past the building when I am in the area brings back many memories some good some bad {the way some of us were let go} We always thought of ourselves as a "family" company so I hope this new venture breathes life back into that small corner of my town and that they make a go of it,now if ONLY they could breathe some new air back into the Theater ,we would have more places to boast about. Regards naming one of the brews something "Bluefish" why would we want to do that , obviously the writer confuses Stratford with Bridgeport .. Times change and I guess we all have to in the end ... Good luck therefore Carole Bourne Ex employee of the U.S Baird Corp
Carole Bourne December 21, 2011 at 11:17 PM
If the Brewery has 19 million in funds for the project how much is the property being sold for and what happens to the Norwalk Valve company who occupy part of the building as I believe they had a long term lease
Rich Tomas December 22, 2011 at 01:26 AM
I think it would also be great if they were able to name some of the micro-brews after some of the big business' that used to be in town!!
Loren December 22, 2011 at 01:38 AM
It's Norwalk Compressor and their lease is in tact with this transaction. Two Roads will not occupy the entire building. Also, UI has a sublet on part of the land to the West which is in progress as of now.
re26 December 22, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Since Daniel Street in Milford is closing, Brad H., may look into resurrecting that model (potentially with the same name if Rich Conine and he can reach an agreement) and incorporating into the venture. As a veteran marketing exec., I'm confident Brad will find a way to create additionally buzz around the project which could ultimately translate to long term foot traffic gains.
Rusty Nail2 December 22, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Congratualations to the Mayor and his team on this economic development! This will truely be a worthy ribbon cutting. The town gets and old building up and running again, jobs for the area, and a chance to market Stratford if the brewery is successful. Best of luck to the new business and owners and lets support this entity by visiting and purchasing the product. Nice job Mayor!


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