Four years after Conor Horrigan decided to make the leap from regular working stiff to found his own brewery, the dream becomes a reality this weekend in Stamford. Half Full Brewery will be open for tastings and tours tomorrow, September 8 from 12 – 2p.m. Tours of Fairfield County’s newest brewery commence at 12:30 and 1:30, and visitors will have the option to buy filled growlers and take home a generous portion of Half Full’s signature brew: Bright Ale.
The crew at Half Full describe their venture thusly:
The Half Full Brewery is a “lifestyle” brewery that came to life after Conor decided to quit his day job and travel Europe and the concept behind our brewery is as simple as its name and motto sounds: whether your glass is literally or figuratively “Half Full”, you can “look forward to more…”
Conor developed his brewing chops under New England Brewing’s Rob Leonard, and I first met Conor and brewmaster/Chief Beer Artist Jennifer Muckerman at an early tasting event they held at Coalhouse Pizza. He described his desire to make an ale that was easy drinking, and something those new to the craft beer scene wouldn’t shy away from, but a beer that hop heads would also appreciate.
Muckerman moved to Fairfield Co. sight unseen from her hometown of St. Louis, where she was a third generation brewer as granddaughter of a brewer at Falstaff Brewery. She was previously the head brewer at the Trailhead Brewing brewpub for 10 years, and the head brewer at Marble City Brewing.
Bright Ale is a blonde pale ale with a light head and a fresh, floral, hop aroma. The hops are just a bitter nip on the tongue at first sip, and are quickly overtaken by a yeasty flavor and aroma, followed by a slight malt sweetness.
Beer styles are going all over the place: black beers, fruit additions, ancient style revivals and blends of new styles. It’s easy for brewmasters to get carried away in the current craft beer boom, and breweries need staple beers like Bright Ale to anchor the business and generate the volume needed make the more niche offerings. Bright Ale is thus the desired “easy drinking” fridge beer, and is perfectly sessionable at 5.2%.
Half Full Brewery is located at 43 Homestead Avenue in Stamford, uphill from The Crab Shell.