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Stratford Brewery Reaches $15K Crowdfunding Goal

Mike Borruso and Joe Bow made a blues-inspired video for their Kickstarter campaign, for Fairfield Craft Ales.
Mike Borruso and Joe Bow made a blues-inspired video for their Kickstarter campaign, for Fairfield Craft Ales. Photo Credit: Kickstarter

STRATFORD, Conn. -- Fairfield Craft Ales, a music-inspired nanobrewery under construction on Honeyspot Road, in Stratford, has raised $18,000 toward its startup costs through its Kickstarter campaign.

Its 30-day campaign launched March 10, and it took 19 days to reach its $15,000 goal. Under Kickstarter's all-or-nothing rules, if a campaign doesn't reach its goal, its gets none of the pledged funds.

Fairfield Craft Ales is owned by Fairfield residents Mike Borruso and Joe Bow. They're starting with a three-barrel brewing system, among the smallest in Connecticut. They want to expand as quickly as possible, but that will rely on generating revenue first.

Folks will be able to come in and have a pint in the tap room, or get a growler filled to take home. Of eight taps, three to five will pour year-round, flagship beers. "We have a few beers we think can qualify as flagships, but we want to follow our customers' tastes," Bow said. "If they like something a lot, we'll make more of it."

The rest will rotate through seasonal and specialty-ingredient brews. Their products are music-inspired -- like Peace Frog, a pale ale with blood orange and palm sugar, inspired by the song of that name by the Doors. The brewery will also distribute kegs to local bars and restaurants in the region.

The award-winning home brewers met when Bow coached their sons' baseball team. They started talking brewing when they met on a commute into New York City, and they hatched their plan. They checked out buildings throughout the region and settled on the Stratford property last fall.

The pair has invested over $100,000 of their own money. They're now acquiring equipment and building the brewery and tap room. They want to have their equipment hooked up by mid-April. But they still need government approval. "To quote Tom Petty, 'the waiting is the hardest part,'" said Borruso.

They filed for their federal brewer's permit in October. "We're hoping to get our approval in early April, start brewing immediately, and open in May. Then we can start serving our beer, which is the whole point."

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