Local brewery committed to quality and community

By:  Scott Whipple
New Britain Herald

BLOOMFIELD — Thomas Hooker Brewery has been named a “Murphy’s Monday Manufacturer,” an accolade originated by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy.

“Thomas Hooker Brewery has committed themselves [sic] to providing the highest-quality and freshest products,” said Murphy. “But, more important, the brewery is committed to a greater purpose — giving back to the community: whether they’re buying products from local small businesses, employing Connecticut’s hard workers, supporting charitable organizations or advocating to secure equal opportunities for all, the brewery is a Connecticut gem.”

Established over 10 years ago as the brewing arm of the Trout Brook Brew Pub, the company and its brands were purchased by the current investor group in 2006. Precipitated by the closure of the adjacent brew pub in mid-2003, Trout Brook Brewery became a manufacturing micro brewery with a new focus on distribution. The products were reintroduced to the market as Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers in August 2003.

The brewery markets its 16 beers to suppliers and restaurants in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition, the company produces beer for five other breweries located out of state and exports that beer to other markets.

Named for the founder of Hartford, Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers are handcrafted from the finest ingredients. The small batch brewing employed by Thomas Hooker allows for quality control and freshness, in line with Americans’ demand for local products with a focus on freshness and quality.

With broad business experience, and deep industry specific expertise, the current management team has assembled a group of individuals capable of taking Thomas Hooker to the next level. In fact, one year after acquiring Thomas Hooker, the company increased sales almost 100 percent, and relocated the brewery operations from approximately 2,000-square-feet of space in Hartford, to an 8,000-square-foot facility in Bloomfield and expanded distribution to other states.

The facility’s 21 floor-to-ceiling-sized brew tanks produce 13,000 barrels a year. The brewery employs a team of 15 full-time and 12 part-time state residents to keep up with production and maintain the facility’s gift shop and warehouse.

Recently, Hooker opened a test brewery at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville where new “test” beers are sampled to help the brewery stay competitive in the craft beer industry.

Murphy notes that the brewery has contributed a percentage of its profits to more than 50 organizations in Connecticut. The company employs 10 workers with disabilities and is a proponent of an integrated and diversified workforce.

In response to Murphy’s recognition, the brewery issued the following statement: “We appreciate Sen. Murphy’s recognition and support, not only helping to grow Connecticut manufacturing here at home, but in supporting national legislation that helps our local breweries. Senator Murphy’s attendance as part of the Democratic Senate Outreach Committee at last year’s meeting with small brewers from around the country shows his commitment to our industry.”