WOODBURY – In the back of Middle Quarter Mall, almost up against South Pomperaug Ave., Allan Cetrone and his friends are building his dream. Cetrone’s dream is Woodbury Brewing Company, and the soon-to-open gathering spot is getting a lot of support from Woodbury and beyond.
“Everyone is talking about it,” said Nicole Perez, co-owner of Maison St. Germain, which is two doors down from Woodbury Brewing Company. “People ask us what’s going on over there and when is it going to open. They are going to be a terrific addition to the town.”
How excited are people for Woodbury Brewing Company to open its doors? So excited that a lot of people have inquired about using the space while it’s not open for business. Cetrone said someone would like to have it host Yoga classes in the morning. Another local businessman would like to have it host a music camp. And a couple has already asked to book their wedding there.
Cetrone and his business partners – Taylor D’Alexander, Ken Mair and Tim Budrewicz – have been brewing craft beer together in a Woodbury barn for some time. Last August, they started looking for a location to turn their hobby into a gathering place that would have something for everyone.
“We are going to provide something that is desperately needed in this area,” Cetrone said. “Woodbury has become such a destination for dining. We kid about the sidewalks being rolled up by 9 p.m. But when people are through eating, there’s nothing keeping them in town.”
Something for Everyone
It’s not just going to be all about the beer, Cetrone said. Woodbury Brewing Company will be a family-friendly place to eat by day, and have live entertainment at night – starting early, at about 7:30 p.m. Cetrone plans on the doors opening from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Since signing their lease, they have made substantial renovations at the location, which is the former home of New Morning Market. And based on Cetrone’s timeline, he anticipates a grand opening event to take place in October.
Cetrone hopes Woodbury Brewing Company will become well-known as a live entertainment venue. He has enlisted the help of several professional musicians, who have helped design the stage and sound system with musicians in mind.
The entertainment will go beyond live music acts. Cetrone wants to be able to provide a unique and fun experience that will keep patrons coming back.
Cetrone said video games such as Golden Tee will be available, as will darts and cornhole. He’s even thinking about putting together a cornhole league. Woodbury Brewing Company will also host trivia nights and open mic nights, but no mention was made of karaoke nights.
Woodbury Brewing Company will also have a 100” television, and 18’X18’X18’ bar with exposed wood, and exposed serving tanks so customer can see the brewing in action.
What’s On Tap at Woodbury Brewing Company?
Cetrone and his friends started Woodbury Brewing Company because of their mutual love for brewing craft beer.
Although they plan to invest heavily in the right brew tanks to brew their own beer in-house, their own beer won’t be available on-tap when they open. That’s because federal regulations prohibit them from brewing on the premises until they receive their federal permit. That could take anywhere from six to nine months.
However, craft beer made by local brewers will flow from the 16 taps. Woodbury Brewing Company will also serve spirits, and carry wine from local vineyards – which Cetrone said could lead to cross-promotion opportunities.
Don’t drink? Soft drinks, coffee and tea will also be available.
Woodbury Brewing Company will not have a kitchen, but there will be food options pre-packaged foods available. They are also looking at three other options for dining in: First, patrons will be allowed to bring their own food. Second, they will look to offer delivery from outside restaurants. And third, the possibility of food truck events.
Help from Everyone
Cetrone had been a registered nurse, and specialized in oncology. He used that experience to transition into the sale of medical devices. But Cetrone wanted to do something that made people happy, and left his career last June to persue his dream.
“I think people like the story, and they can connect with it,” Cetrone said. “I left my career for all the right reasons and I’m following my passion.”
Cetrone is amazed by the interest, and outpour of support he’s received so far. He’s had musicians come by to lend their advice about the music system. He has had carpenters help him design certain elements of the bar. He’s had complete strangers offer to help paint and build because they love Cetrone’s story.
To learn how to go from small-batch to big-batch brewing, Cetrone even took an unpaid internship with Tyler Jones, the brew master at Black Hog Brewing in Oxford. Cetrone told Jones about his dream, and Jones invited Cetrone to learn from him.
Cetrone also joined the Independent Craft Brewers Association and immersed himself in books and podcasts to learn everything he could about the business.
Cetrone has also solicited a few Woodbury restaurants for advice, including Marketplace Café, Woodbury Pizza and Annoula’s Diner, and has received a lot of business advice and public exposure from Joe Donato at Woodbury Farm Market.
“We’re a compliment to all the other businesses in this town,” Cetrone said. “Businesses around here all want to see each other succeed because we can all feed off each other’s success.”
Like a Good Neighbor
Cetrone did not grow up in Woodbury, but is a resident with deep ties to the town. His grandfather 10-times, Lt. Thomas Wheeler, made the first purchase of the land that encompasses Woodbury and several surrounding towns in 1659. In 1673, Wheeler’s son, John, and 14 additional families formed the town and wrote the Fundamental Articles of Woodbury.
Cetrone’s great great great grandfather is W.H. Munson, a Woodbury postmaster around 1900 and founded a agraculture and steam plumbing supply store behind Canfield Corner. W.H. Munson’s son was founder of what is now that Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home, and his wife, Ida Norton Munson, was the first Kindergarten teacher when Mitchell Elementary School opened its doors.
Another great grandfater three-times, George Munson, left Woodbury at one point to become a bottler in Philadelphia.
Cetrone wears those Woodbury roots on his sleeve, literally. Cetrone has a tattoo of the sycamore tree that stands tall across the street from Glebe House that starts around his left shoulder, and its roots extend to his left bicep. The year 1659 is inked on the trunk (It is also Woodbury Brewing Company’s logo).
But those roots to Woodbury is also why Cetrone wants to be a good neighbor. He’s gone above and beyond by installing a new septic system, and soundproofing the building so he won’t break any noise ordinances.
And with an opening night lineup that’s still being kept under wraps, Cetrone said he’s making the grand opening party a ticket-only event to please the Fire Marshall.
There’s so much detail that has gone into the planning of this,” Cetrone said. “It’s taken a lot of individuals who have been in the business or in the process of building a business.”