Connecticut Magazine Interview

Recently, I was asked by Erik Ofgang of Connecticut Magazine to answer some question about CT Beer. My answers were to be a part of a much larger article, full of people that are a part of the CT Beer scene. I wanted to share the full interview for everyone to read.

When did you start CT Beer Drinkers? Also is it accurate to identify you as the founder/moderator of the group? 

I am co founder and started the group in the July of 2014, along with my brother David Flynn. We also have the help of 3 moderators, Jeff Roberts, Marc Forman, and Ryan Baldyga. My brother and I were very into the the local craft beer scene, but thought Connecticut was missing a forum on Facebook for people to talk about what was happening with local beer.

2. It seems like Connecticut beer drinkers are increasingly drawn to hard to find and unusual beers be they ultra-rare IPAs, sours etc. Can you talk a little bit about that trend if you’ve noticed it as well?
I’ve definitely seen an increasing trend of people wanting to get their hands on the hard to get beers. A lot of sought after beers are great tasting, but maybe are only available several times a year or have limited distribution, which causes people to really want to seek them out. People want to get their hands on what is hard to come by. Part of the draw is the gratification from the chase.
A lot of controversy amongst the community happens when people only seek out the hard to find beer. I feel there is a chain reaction when people only hunt down hard to find beer.
Ipas are what I see as most popular amongst Connecticut beer drinkers, but a lot more people are expanding their palates by trying sour beers. I think people like the complexity of the taste and variety that this style has to offer.

3. As more and more breweries open what is it these days that really separates one brewery from another? 
Producing quality and consistent tasting beer is number one for me. If you brew a great product, word will get around and you will stand out. Also being open and honest with your customer base goes a long way.
Marketing, branding, and image are almost as important as the quality. They play a big part in attracting and retaining customers.
I also really like when breweries have fun events and special releases. They really help to bring customers in and make it a fun way to try their beer.

4. Do you think offering unique beer or less common beer styles helps new breweries establish themselves? 
People like variety and trying something different. Perfect example of a newer brewery in Connecticut producing something different is Kent Falls Brewing Co. They are making some amazing farmhouse ales and brett ipas that are not common place in the Connecticut beer scene. I feel that really sets them apart from many of the other newer breweries.

5. Any thoughts on how the beer scene in Connecticut has changed in recent years? 

First thing would be the amount of breweries that have and will be opening up in the state. There are more breweries than ever in our state for people to try. I’ve also noticed that most restaurants and bars have several beer taps dedicated to local craft beer. The support from customers, package stores, and food/beverage people has been tremendous. There is a big sense of community and pride to what is happening with Connecticut’s beer scene. Everyone seems excited to try new beers and share their experience. People also enjoy helping others to find and try new beers, which is my favorite part of running the group.

6. Connecticut was behind surrounding states in terms of craft beer development but it seems like we’re catching up. Any thoughts on Connecticut beer’s standing in the larger craft beer movement? In other words how does CT beer matchup with other New England and East Coast brews? 
Connecticut was definitely behind to other states, but has quickly caught up. There are new breweries popping up by the hand full. Where Connecticut is still behind is in distribution outside of the state, or even within it’s own borders. Many breweries only sell their beer at the brewery itself or distribute to restaurants.

I also think CT is brewing some of the best beers in the northeast, especially when it comes to ipas. We have come a long way in just a few short years. I’m really excited to see what is in store for the future.

7. Anything else you’d like to add? 
I’m really excited to see where Connecticut goes with the craft beer boom. There are more options than ever. My hope is that all these breweries can achieve success in a small state.
Our plan for the rest year for the Connecticut Beer Drinkers Facebook group is to keep expanding our member base. We want to be able to give access to as much CT beer information as we can and provide a great forum for people to discuss all thelocal happenings.
There are some events on the horizon for the group that are being discussed and we look forward to putting together gatherings for our group members. If you would like to follow us, you can join the group at facebook.com/groups/ctbeerdrinkers or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Untappd by following us @ CTBeerDrinkers

To Read the full article, please follow the link.  The New Frontier of Connecticut Beer

Chris Flynn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *