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Monday, November 20 Business

Charter Oak Brewing coming to Danbury; plans to open in early 2018

Danbury is slated to have its own brewery in early 2018.

Charter Oak Brewing continues to receive the necessary approvals, permits and zoning amendments to open a brewery and tap room at 39 Shelter Rock Road. Last week, a representative from the engineering firm designing the building spoke to the Danbury Zoning Commission as the brewery sought a special permit as the use includes the sale of alcohol.

“It will not create any nuisances and won’t have any noise, smoke or emissions, or anything of that nature,” Dainius Virbickas, a professional engineer with Artel Engineering Group of Brookfield, told the commission. “It fits in with the traffic.”

Charter Oak Brewing was founded in April 2011 by P. Scott Vallely of New Canaan. It introduced its first beer about a year later and its bottles are now sold in liquor stores throughout the state. It is also featured on tap at several bars and restaurants in the state.

Danbury Common Council member John Esposito III spoke in favor of the brewery during the public hearing portion of the zoning meeting last week. “It will create an attraction for the public, which will bring in revenue to our city and, most importantly, create some jobs,” he said.

Esposito told the committee that fellow member Thomas Saadi also favored the brewery.

No one spoke in opposition. Danbury’s Zoning Commission earlier this year approved amendments and site plans for the brewery.

A chain link fence near the street at 39 Shelter Rock Road features a large “Charter Oak Brewing … Coming Soon” sign. Similar signs hang on the building at the back of the lot, where the brewery and tap house will be located. A flyer in one of the windows reads in part: “Coming Soon to Danbury. New brewery with tap house for sampling, tours and growler fills.”

Virbickas said the building is approximately 10,000 square feet, of which 1,010 will be used for the tap house. The remainder of the building will be used for office space, restrooms and manufacturing (brewing). He said the brewery plans to operate seven days a week, but the tap house will be open only afternoons and evenings from Thursday through Sunday.

The current configuration of the 2.8-acre lot has room for 64 parking spots, but Charter Oak Brewing will add landscaping to bring the number of parking spaces down to 56.

A Charter Oak Brewing newsletter emailed over the weekend celebrated the zoning approvals. It included the line: “All the equipment has been ordered, our Danbury Brewery and tap room coming in early 2018!”

Charter Oak is a micro-brewery that brews its beers in batches of about 250 to 280 cases. It includes India pale ale, extra special bitter, brown ale, pale ale, porter, stout, kolsh and dubbel.

Charter Oak Brewing will have company in the region when it opens early next year. Redding Beer Co. is scheduled to open Oct. 14 in Georgetown, Nod Hill Brewing will open this week in Ridgefield, Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery will open soon in Bethel, and multiple breweries are expected to open in New Milford.

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cbosak@hearstmediact.com; 203-731-3338

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