Bloomfield, CT-based Back East Brewery Co. is having quite a year. The startup brewery celebrated its five-year anniversary August 2017 and continues to be a key player Connecticut’s growing craft brewery scene.
The September issue of Connecticut Magazine “Best of Connecticut 2017” poll named Back East Brewery the best brewery in Connecticut.
“Craft beer in Connecticut has come so far since we first opened our doors in 2012,” says Back East Brewery Co-Founder Tony Karlowicz. “We’re delighted to be ranked among the state’s best.”
According to the magazine, “There are an ever-increasing number of excellent breweries in our state, but none have had the year Back East did.”
- Earlier this summer, Draft Magazine ranked three of Back East Brewery’s IPAs among the top 50 in the United States: Ice Cream Man IPA #5, Intergalactic Lupulinary #16, and Rakautra IPA #21.
- During September the brewery featured the “Taproom Takeover Against Cancer”— donating $1 for every pint or flight sold from guest taps that featured eight Connecticut breweries. Back East raised almost $1,500 for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in its ongoing fight against pediatric cancer.
- In September Back East also raised more than $800 for the Houston Food Bank through its #reliefbeers fundraiser. A portion of pints sold at the brewery were donated with the goal of helping with recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey.
- Back East was the Connecticut featured brewery in the Connecticut beer tent at The Big E on Connecticut Day, September 20.
- Back East’s Porter recently earned a gold medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. The GABF is the world’s largest commercial beer competition. Last year, Back East’s Porter earned a bronze medal at the competition, marking the first time since 2009 that a Connecticut brewery has earned a GABF medal.
- On Friday, October 13, Back East will be donating 100% of pint sales to Direct Relief, which will send funds to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria recovery.
He adds, “We don’t define success by how many barrels of beer we brew or how much money we make (though those are important metrics). Instead, we define success by brewing high-quality beer, taking care of our employees, providing our customers with a brand they can stand behind and support, and making a positive impact in our community.”
With an eye toward the future, Tony says Back East is working on an expansion, which he hopes to kick off in early 2018 and complete by mid-2018.
“This will more than double our capacity. We’re hoping to get more of our canned beer out into stores—right now we brew certain styles that are limited due to production capacity, but they are very popular,” he notes.
“Stores ask all the time for more variety and hopefully this added capacity will help us get more of our beers out to package stores and restaurants,” explains Tony. “Also, we may possibly expand our distribution geography beyond Connecticut and Western Massachusetts—but that remains to be seen, since we want to keep local and we know there is a lot of demand for our beer right here in Connecticut.”
Interested in Learning More?
- Find out more about Connecticut’s Craft Brewery Scene
- Read our feature story about Back East Brewery
- Listen to a MetroHartford Alliance Pulse of the Region radio show about “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Innovation” featuring Back East Brewery Co-Founder Tony Karlowicz
- Visit backeastbrewing.com or follow on Facebook or Twitter @BackEastBrewery