Foxwoods, Stony Creek tap into brewpubs' appeal

Bartender Emilio Turner pours a beer form the tap during the Stony Creek Brewery at Foxwoods during the grand opening private party Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018.  Stony Creek opened to the public later in the evening.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Bartender Emilio Turner pours a beer form the tap during the Stony Creek Brewery at Foxwoods during the grand opening private party Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Stony Creek opened to the public later in the evening. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Mashantucket — In the tradition of Thrill Rides, a zip line, European-style go-kart racing and a host of other attractions aimed at playground-loving millennials, Foxwoods Resort Casino christened a new brewpub last week, drawing a crowd that included a teetotaler of a U.S. senator.

Richard Blumenthal’s attendance at Wednesday night’s grand opening of Stony Creek Brewery at Foxwoods spoke to the significance of the situation — a collaboration of two “iconic” Connecticut brands, the Mashantucket Pequot-owned casino and the Branford-based brewer.

“It’s a great partnership. It shows how both are pursuing the American dream, both deeply rooted in Connectiut,” Blumenthal said, adding that he's visited Stony Creek's operation in Branford, which has become something of a shoreline tourist spot.

The senator said he is not a drinker himself but that his four children are “big fans” of the state’s microbreweries.

“For Foxwoods, it’s a very vibrant and attractive addition because of craft brewing’s importance to our economy,” Blumenthal said. "I’d say that as they prepare for the MGM facility opening in Springfield, both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have strong foresight and management, as demonstrated by Stony Creek’s new presence at Foxwoods. They have recreational activities and attractions that the Springfield facility can’t come close to providing, or duplicating.”

Foxwoods and Stony Creek had announced in January that they planned to open the 7,100-square-foot, two-story brewpub in the casino’s so-called “Theater District,” displacing a video arcade. The brewpub is the third major addition to the district area since 2017, following the debuts of Sugar Factory and Play Arena, an interactive gaming experience.

Stony Creek had begun brewing “Foxwoods IPA,” an India Pale Ale, well before the announcement.

The brewpub’s ground floor is designed as “an ode to Stony Creek’s New England heritage,” according to a press release, and includes a spacious beer garden and a view into the five-barrel brewhouse, affording a glimpse of the beer-production process. The second floor features a Southern California-themed beer and cocktail bar, a stage for live entertainment and an elevated banquet table overlooking the property.

“Over the last year, we have forged a strong relationship with Foxwoods Resort Casino,” Stony Creek founder Ed Crowley Sr. said. “They have shown a genuine belief in the importance of supporting local craft beer, which made them the perfect partner for this endeavor.”

The brewery also is equipped with multiple high-definition TVs, family-style and communal seating, and a gift shop.

— Brian Hallenbeck

Stony Creek Brewery grand opening at Foxwoods Resort Casino Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. It's part of the tribe's effort to attract millennials. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Stony Creek Brewery grand opening at Foxwoods Resort Casino Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. It's part of the tribe's effort to attract millennials. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

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