- Associated Press - Monday, March 26, 2018

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) - Milford residents won’t have to wait long for locally sourced beer as Milford Point Brewing Co. gears up for its grand opening in just a few weeks.

Owners Chris Willett and Jerry Candido are preparing to debut their nanobrewery at 230 Woodmont Road on April 7, bringing a trove of locally inspired beers to residents and bars in the area.

“We don’t want to serve just one side of town - we’re going to serve the whole town and surrounding areas,” Willett said.

With a love for craft beer, Willett, who will serve as the head brewer, got his start making his own beer about five years ago in his basement.

“I have really always liked craft beers,” Willett said. “At the same time, going to the liquor store, wherever that may be, even back then, you were spending $12 on a six-pack, and I thought to myself, I love this beer, I’m going to try and make it myself so I can make something that I can enjoy myself but also have something that was more economical in the grander scheme of things.”

As he honed his craft, Willett began building interest in his beer early on, handing out samples to parents and coaches of his daughter’s softball team.

This led him to partner with Candido, who coached and had a daughter on the team, as well. Candido, an electrician, has worked with other brewers across the state, setting up their spaces.

While he started brewing as a hobby, Willett said he reached a turning point two years ago when entered and won a brewing contest in Stamford.

“I had always believed that (my) beer was good, and I knew my friends were saying this, but when I ended up beating out 40 other contestants. . I kind of realized that I was on to something as far as the flavor and taste.”

Interested in turning his hobby into a business, Willett began canvasing local bars and saw the market potential in Milford for local beer.

“The thought is having beers in town with names that people can relate to,” Willett said.

The brewery is to feature a small taste room and growler-filling room in the front where customers can sample and buy beer for off-site consumption. It will also sell and deliver kegs of beer to bars, which Willett said was part of his original business concept.

Developing a motto of being local for locals, Milford Point’s beers are named after points of interest in town, with selections like Silver Sands IPA, Devon Wheat, Pond Point Lager and West Shore Double IPA.

According to Candido, while they are not able to sell by the glass yet, they plan to expand the business and bring in a full-service taste room for customers to enjoy a pint on the premises as things progress.

It’s part of a wave of beer establishments on the way into the city. While Tribus Beer Co. is still being developed and Dockside Brewery awaits official approval to begin building in Devon, Milford Point Brewing is on track to be the first brewery to open in the city.

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Online: https://bit.ly/2GuXf7d

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Information from: New Haven Register, http://www.nhregister.com


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