So long as we have been in business, the most frequent questions have been about when we will open to the public. Over the past few months as we have been focusing on alleging work permits and schedules to open the brewery – our responses have become a bit more specific no longer saying “spring 2016” but mid-late May… Unfortunately, the NW corner of Connecticut has looked like NW Washington recently and its rained every day for nearly two weeks putting a serious delay on our ability to finish the necessary site work to open our brewery. With market season approaching we decided to kick the season off right and release Blueberry vs Blackberry at the New Milford Farmers Market. And it was a huge success.
The market is a very important place for us. It’s where the ability to interact directly with so many of you has given us the opportunity to chat, answer questions, and allow many new faces to become familiar ones. Within the next few weeks (or month) the brewery will open, but so long as we have our farmstead, we will continue to have beer at the market in some capacity. Many of the other venders said you make their weekend and some went so far to say that we should have warned them there was such a crowd coming because they’d have brought you samples (hint, come back for some killer summer sausage from Happy Acres Farm)! For that, we have an extra sense of gratitude. You not only made our day, but you made our fellow farmers’ as well.
Over the next few weeks we’ll continue to debut new beers, some that will see distribution and some that may not at the market. We are always happy to answer questions about our operation, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit of exactly what the on farm brewery experience will be like when we finally open.
A quick background. Being on a farm creates many obstacles. We run our farm and brewery off of the same well. While our well provides us an abundant supply of beautiful brewing water, needs to be registered as a public water system with the State department of health for us to have commercial activity on farm. Dig trenches, change well caps, install a reducer. Check. Check. Check. Since the majority of the brewery staff lives on site, we received a waiver allowing us to use our personal bathrooms as “employee restrooms” and save on installing a septic system right off the bat. To have customers come to the farm, a septic system had to be installed on the farm and a bathroom plumbed into the brewery. CHECK! (We’re very excited about this one).
So what else could we possibly have to do? Install a handicap parking space and widen our driveway to allow two way traffic. And with a few days of uninterrupted sunshine coming our way Bruce is already back at work digging up the farm. Soon we’ll be able to put an exact date on our grand opening, and finally open our doors for you to visit!
And to answer a lot of questions that have been coming at us about what the experience will be like when we finally do open, I thought I would share them with you here. The experience will be similar to farmer’s market…
- pre packaged bottles available for sale
- focused on special releases – brewery only bottled IPAs, barrel aged beers, small batch projects… (distributed brands available as well)
- no growlers
- no samples
- no full pours
- no on site consumption
- farm store open on site
…only with a few improvements.
- increased allotments (9 liter/18 bottle limit per person at the brewery vs 5 liter/10 bottle limit at the farmers market)
- a wider selection of beer available
- longer hours and eventually multiple retail days per week
- self guided farm tours (walk through the hop yard, see animals…)
- seeing the brewery, ability to ask us about our setup etc…
A lot of thought and consideration has been put into these decisions and why we think it will be best for us, and for your experience. Our brewery is small and it is more than just a brewery. It is our home. We would rather a positive and more efficient limited experience that leaves us excited to reopen the following week, than taking on more than we can feasibly provide or jeopardizing the privacy and sanctity of “home” for those that live here. Additionally, serving alcohol on a farm/in a rural area is a risky proposition. Many of the roads, especially those beloved by Google Maps are windy, steep, and unpaved. It does not take much for a single incident to create a tremendous liability.
It is nearly impossible not to be traveling a long distance to get to our farm, and the last thing we want is for anyone to be unhappy with their experience. Starting off this way allows us to accommodate as many people as possible in hopes that you leave happier than you came, and want to return again soon.
As we get closer, we’ll share more details – best routes to get here, special requests for parking etc. But until then, we are happy to field any questions you may have about the opening, how it will work, or anything else Kent Falls/Camps Road Farm related that you may have. We are extremely excited about being able to invite you all to our brewery and farm, and hope that you are excited to visit. In the mean time – we’re looking forward to seeing you at the next market or some of our upcoming events!