Experimental beers being served in Stratford at new Two Roads brewery

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Welcome to Area Two.

The $15 million facility just opened Monday in Stratford and it is part of a booming craft brewery industry in Connecticut.

And the beer is far from your average IPA.

“Here, we’re doing experimental beers, we’re doing barrel-aged beers. We’re doing a lot of souring,” explained Brad Hittle, CEO/partner of Area Two at Two Roads Brewing Company

The company is using tricks like age-old natural fermenting techniques that utilize natural bacteria in the “Cool Ship.”

This $15 million facility is all about experimental brewing.

Two Roads is already one of the largest craft beer brands in the country, but Area Two will produce smaller batches that take longer to ferment.

Related Content: Business of craft brewing explodes here in Connecticut

“Beer that’s brewed over at Two Roads, we have a pipeline, a 900-foot pipeline. It comes over here to these tanks. It gets fermented and that’s where the art comes in,” Hittle said.

That art was specialized by Master Brewer Phil Markowski. 

In some ways, Area Two is going to be a bit more like a winery than a brewery. They’ll be aging in barrels and take years to be ready to drink,” he explained.

Sour beers. Barrel aged beers. Mixed fermentation. All things that require separate yeast and bacteria and can’t be made at Two Roads. 

The craft brewery scene has exploded in Connecticut over the past seven years after legislation was enacted to allow breweries to sell over the bar. Previously, they were only allowed to give tours and samples.

There are now over 85 craft breweries in the state, up from just 16 in 2011. They are estimated to have a $718 million economic impact. 

This industry is still growing. There are 85 tap rooms in Connecticut, but there are others still in the permit process.

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