After more than 20 years of running a homebrew supplies store in Monroe and sharing their expertise by writing books, Mark and Tess Szamatulski said they were ready to take the next hop in their business and build a brewery.
“We decided we’ve been doing this for so long, we might as well just do it on a larger scale,” Tess Szamatulski said.
In June, the couple opened Veracious Brewing Co., a taproom and brewery, on Main Street in Monroe.
The Szamatulskis, of Trumbull, have written two homebrew recipe books and have served their beer at festivals and at their store, Maltose Express. They said they always wanted to open a brewery but that it did not make sense prior to three years ago.
That was when the Ace Hardware next to their store closed, giving them the space to expand, Mark retired from his post as an engineer at defense company Northrop Grumman in Norwalk, and the state became friendlier toward breweries.
Mark Szamatulski said up until two years ago, Connecticut sold the least amount of craft beer in the U.S. He credited the founders of Two Roads Brewing Co., which opened in 2012 in Stratford, with introducing more people to craft beer and pushing legislators to update the state’s alcohol laws that previously limited what breweries could sell. Now, breweries can self-distribute and sell pints, cases of 24 beers and growlers to go.
“For us it made it affordable,” he said. “We actually were able to start a brewery and we could make money at it. That was a big thing.”