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November 15, 2019

Steady Habit Brewing to takeover vacant Higganum building

Photo | Steady Habit Brewing Co. Steady Habit Brewing's new home on Saybrook Road in the Higganum section of Haddam.

Higganum’s Steady Habit Brewing Co. is expanding into a vacant 6,000-square-foot building in town that was originally marketed for several retail tenants.

Its move seven miles north from 95 Bridge Road to 201 Saybrook Road will bring the brewery much closer to Middletown, a city co-owner Jim Venditti said he hopes to tap into when the business reopens in mid-December. The brewery temporarily closed in early July to focus on its relocation efforts.

The Saybrook Road building was constructed in 2015 with the intent of luring up to four retail tenants to the site. But the owner was unable to find suitable tenants for the space, Venditti said.

“It wasn’t built to be a brewery, but the space is actually a perfect spot for us,” he said Thursday after a press conference announcing that the business has started its final phase of renovations on-site.

The brewery’s ownership group -- including Venditti and his wife, Amy, and head brewer Scott Cross -- is investing approximately $500,000 to move the operation to Saybrook Road.

Venditti said the group has only needed to make a few renovations at the building in recent months, including adjustments to exterior doors and moving interior walls, among other upgrades. 

Upon completion next month, the brewery will have increased its capacity from 3,800 square feet to 6,000 square feet. The building will be broken into two parts: 3,200 square feet for a taproom; and the remaining 2,800 square feet for a 15-barrel brewing system. It will also include outdoor seating.

The significantly larger production facility will increase its production from 125 barrels to 700 barrels a year. A barrel typically equals 31 gallons.

Its workforce will also spike from its current level of two full-time and seven part-time staffers to eight full-time and 12-part-time positions.

Steady Habit Brewing directly distributes to 200 liquor stores and bars/restaurants throughout Connecticut. Washington-based beer distributor Tavour also helps the Higganum brewery sell its dozen or so beers in California, Texas, Florida and 13 others states.

Venditti said the brewery is looking to begin direct distribution in nearby states such as New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Steady Habit Brewing is just one of many Connecticut beer makers expanding on the heels of recently passed legislation that some industry experts consider the most significant liquor reforms since the Prohibition era.

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