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October 21, 2019

Back East Brewing eyes $500K Bloomfield expansion

Photo | Contributed Back East Brewery co-founders Tony Karlowicz and Edward Fabrycki Jr.

One of Connecticut’s largest breweries is significantly increasing its footprint at a cost of more than $500,000.

Bloomfield’s Back East Brewing Co. plans to close its current taproom and build another one spanning over 3,953 square feet, according to co-founder Tony Karlowicz. 

Development of a new taproom will also coincide with the addition of a new outdoor patio space to accommodate larger crowds and live music when the expansion is completed by April 2020, he said.

The plans were approved in recent weeks by Bloomfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

Upon completion, town records show Back East’s manufacturing and taproom space will increase from 11,485 square feet to 18,000 square feet.

Photo | Back East Brewing
Back East Brewing in Bloomfield plans to replace its current taproom with another 3,953-square-foot space.

Karlowicz said the new 120-seat taproom will have a total capacity of 250, and the outdoor patio will seat 55. Back East will not serve food, but will regularly have food trucks on site.

The added space means Back East will be hiring another five or so workers to serve in management and bartending roles. It currently has 13 full-time and two part-time staffers.

It will also increase production from 6,000 barrels (typically 31 gallons) in 2019 to 8,000 barrels in 2020. Back East has said it more than tripled its brewing capacity in 2018.

Meantime, Back East’s taproom in April will also more than double its hours of operation to 30 hours a week between Wednesday and Sunday, instead of its current Thursday-Saturday setup.

“We have quickly outgrown our current space,” Karlowicz said. “Given the market, how much people like coming to breweries, we’ve been thinking about this for a couple years.”

Karlowicz and co-founder Edward Fabrycki, two cousins who grew up in the Hartford area, lease the facility owned by FJS Properties LLC at 1296 Blue Hills Ave.

As of Sept. 2018, Back East ranked as the state’s 10th largest brewer in terms of number of employees, according to Hartford Business Journal’s 2019 Book of Lists.

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October 22, 2019

A great brewery, with great beer, and run by great people. Go Back East!

October 21, 2019

Back east is one of the best breweries in CT, no wonder they are expanding. I love going there, and can't wait to have a cold Unicorn Farm on the patio next spring!

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