Branford brewery to open brewpub at Foxwoods

Mashantucket — First you name one of your craft beers for the place. Then you move in.

Branford’s Stony Creek Brewery and Foxwoods Resort Casino announced Tuesday that by summer they expect to open Stony Creek Brewery at Foxwoods, a 7,100-square-foot, two-story brewpub in the casino’s so-called “Theater District.”

A little more than a year ago, Stony Creek introduced a Foxwoods IPA (India Pale Ale).

“We’ve probably spent the last year and a half developing a relationship with Foxwoods,” Andy Schwartz, Stony Creek’s brewmaster, said in a phone interview. “We’ve been selling a Foxwoods IPA up there. They’ve always sold our beer there, and we started to realize these guys are looking to do things differently.”

“It was a fit,” he said.

Foxwoods will make way for the brewpub by relocating the Tree House Arcade, an area stocked with video games. The brewpub site is opposite the Sugar Factory restaurant and The Scorpion Bar, near the Fox Theater and the newly renovated Great Cedar Casino, a high-traffic area more suited to a food-and-beverage outlet than an arcade, according to Jason Guyot, Foxwoods’ vice president of resort operations and development.

“This is a first for us,” said Guyot, who’s been overseeing Foxwoods’ focus on amenities aimed at millennials. “Breweries, microbreweries have been trending for years. It’s what beer connoisseurs want. It’s a market we don’t currently reach out to, a younger market but one that crosses all demographics. I read somewhere that 60 percent of their (brewpubs’) clientele is female.”

“It’s going to be one of the coolest hangout spots on the property,” he said. 

The brewpub’s ground floor will feature New England-style décor, a spacious beer garden and communal areas while the upstairs will seek to capture the “aggressively laid back” style of Stony Creek, a section of Branford, a shoreline town east of New Haven.

Wine and liquor will be served in addition to beer, Schwartz said, while food will be provided by other establishments at Foxwoods.

But, he said, “The beer is the most important thing. It’s what we do.”

A Branford couple, Ed and Peggy Crowley, and their son Ed Crowley Jr. founded and own Stony Creek Brewery, which began selling beer in 2015. Built on a former industrial site along the Branford River, the brewery employs 50 to 60 people, about half of them full-timers, according to Schwartz.

The brewery's logo features a likeness of a great blue heron, a bird indigenous to coastal North America.

The Brew Pub at Mohegan Sun operated for several years in Mohegan Sun's Race Book, yielding the space to the Thomas Hooker Brewery in 2014. The New Belgium Taproom opened in the space last year, serving beers brewed off site.


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