Re-posted from my blog: Malted Musings.
If you're a craft beer fan like me then maybe you were equally as shocked when, a few years back, Two Roads Brewing Company suddenly materialized on every store shelf as if by magic (and if you aren't a craft beer fan then I'm pleased, but curious as to why you're on my blog)! At the fantastic NoRA's First Thursday even a few days back I had a chance to hang out with Two Roads Sales Manager Bill McAvoy at Eli Cannon's Tap Room as he answered some questions about one of the younger (yet also one of the biggest) breweries in Connecticut!
Two Roads set up shop precisely in December 2012. Since then they've expanded into the Rhode Island Market last year, into the New York Market last month, and they're pushing into Massachusetts next month! To unlock the mystery of how Two Roads entered the market with such a splash, Bill tells me that it was all very much intentional. Two Roads went all out to open as a huge production brewery, and started contract brewing immediately. At this point in time, according to Bill, Two Roads is one of the two biggest breweries in Connecticut.
This massive brewery has four founders, who have been brewing for around 25 years. Among the founders there's Phil Markowski who is a multiple gold medal winning brewmaster and acclaimed beer author, Brad Hittle who worked as a Chief Marketing Officer for major macro labels for many years, Clement Pellani who started as an engineer and then also moved into marketing major macro brands, and Peter Doering who worked as a CFO for a major shipyard and has an MBA from Harvard. The founder's lineup reads like a dream team of "people who I'd like to open a brewery with," and it's due to that experience, passion, and capital that Two Roads has leapt from nothing firmly into the spotlight.
Bill tells me that the philosophy of Two Roads makes it very unique. Their motto is "The Road Less Traveled," which explains many things about the brand: from the career aspirations of the founders, to the tasting notes of their beer, the whole company is founded on the idea of not doing the usual, but rather doing the unusual and doing it well. A great example of this, as Bill told me, is their Saison. Their Workers Comp Saison defies tradition (or maybe hearkens back to it) by being brewed with four different grains: oats, wheat, rye, and barley. This calls back to a time when farmers (for whom the Saison is named) would basically brew with whatever they had on hand, sometimes mixing multiple grains!
Though the road less traveled is an oft (even cliche) used expression, Bill firmly believes that the brewery lives out their motto on a day to day basis. By focusing on what is tasty (and not necessarily easy), Two Roads will take a traditional recipe and then change it around until it is something entirely new and even better tasting. Also, Bill was quick to point out that a great part of Two Roads is that the consumer gets the best of both worlds; it's a local brewery that is already fully established and fully capable of putting out around 7- 8 beers at any given time!
The most recent beer (besides those on First Thursday) I had from Two Roads was their Rye 95. It was the first one of theirs that really jumped out and shook me (in the best way possible), so I for one look forward to seeing what else lies down the road less traveled! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and G+ for more tasting notes and brewery snapshots!