Connecticut brewery unveils new look, flavors
After almost six years of brewing in the Nutmeg State, Charter Oak Brewing is reinventing the wheel for Southwestern Connecticut breweries.
On Monday, the Danbury brewery and taproom announced new flavors and designs for some of their most popular drinks including the Wadsworth IPA and Royal Charter Pale Ale. These changes come shortly after the unveiling of their taproom in June, which boasts a 10-tap pouring system, as well as a five and 20-barrel brewing production system.
Highlighting these changes for the brewery is their switch from bottles to cans, which has become an increasing trend for local breweries in their fight to better preserve their product while reducing pollution. For beer connoisseurs, cans are the perfect alternative as they block UV light and heat from permeating the packaging and ruining the alcohol inside. Additionally, according to The Beverage Journal, cans are sealed using nitrogen, which shuts the beer off from outside oxidation, resulting in a crisper, more full-bodied taste.
According to Phil Pappas, executive director of the CT Brewers Guild, can designs for craft brews are becoming the new norm for the market, with Charter Oak Brewery benefitting from this change in market. "The 16 oz. can is really taking over as a prime craft beer package, with priority being drafts," said Pappas. "It's a step in the right direction for them."
As for mother nature, aluminum is known to be more easily recyclable for recycling plants compared to their glass alternative. According to the EPA, glass has a recycle rate of 26.4% in the US whereas aluminum recycles at a higher rate of 36.4%, with 54.9% of recycled aluminum coming from beer and soda cans.
While three other Danbury area breweries exist, Redding Beer Co. in Georgetown, Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield and Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery in Bethel, Charter Oak Brewery is the first to shift the focus from bottles to cans. However, with the promise of two more Danbury area breweries by the end of the year as well as the opening of Connecticut's second kombucha taproom in Danbury this month, Charter Oak Brewery is using these renovations as a way to get a leg up on the competition.
Bottling, however, is what initially set Charter Oak Brewery aside from their competitors, with their neutral colors and airy label designs. "Charter Oak has been known for their bottling ever since their brand came to market," reminisced Pappas, who has been a fan of the brewery since their inception and even has gone on to add them to the CT Brewers Guild's CT Beer Trail Passport. Even though the switch has come quickly, Pappas is sure this will lead to growth for the Southwestern Connecticut brewery, and welcomes their switch from bottles to cans
Established in 2011 by former businessman and entrepreneur P. Scott Vallely, Charter Oak Brewing began production on their signature brews in 2012, which have grown to be featured in over 400 establishments throughout Connecticut. Currently, Vallely is producing seven different brews out of his Danbury location, with plans to introduce five more including a seasonal porter and their Sanford Tavern Extra Special Bitter. Charter Oak Brewery also boasts a selection of wine from Shelter Rock Winery in Danbury.
While Charter Oak Brewery does not serve food like most brewpubs, Charter Oak Brewery distinguishes itself with its BYOF policy, allowing anyone to bring food into the taproom. Vallely has also partnered with Vroom Service Now, a Brookfield food delivery service, allowing hungry patrons to simply order food on their phone and have it delivered to their location. Charter Oak Brewery's taproom is open Thursday through Sunday, with a revolving cast of new brews every week.