Stony Creek Brewery’s ambition is to make the best, highest-quality beer in the region and introduce craft beer drinkers to familiar and new flavors. Located on the Branford River waterfront, it’s a popular destination spot for tastings, tours and special events.
The Business Situation
The Crowley family founded Stony Creek Brewery in 2010 by creating their own original recipes and outsourcing the manufacturing to a contract brewer. In 2013 they decided to build their own totally new facility. They selected Pat Munger Construction to help them select a location, address site issues and work with architect, Joseph T. Sepot, to create a world class brewery.
An ideal location was available on the Branford River waterfront, but due diligence was required to address this Brownfield property’s environmental issues along with overcoming challenging site obstacles prior to construction.
It took 4 months to remediate contaminated soils. Safety played a major role in the project including HAZWOPER training for workers and protecting them with continuous airborne dust monitoring throughout the site.
Since the site was zoned as a flood plain area, a pre-cast concrete floor was elevated 5 feet on steel piles to allow storm water to flow through flood vents under the building. Storm water was controlled in the parking area by a sub-grade water management system consisting of 6 large holding tanks from which storm water is collected and then transferred to a detention pond.
To begin brewing Stony Creek recipes and open the facility to the public in ten months from the start of construction.
In less than ten months this modern 34,000 sq. ft. brewery was in full operation. A two story hybrid building with conventional framing, structural steel, planking, masonry and a 30 foot wall length of windows looking in on the bottling line is home to the ground floor tap room and second floor celebration room. Expansive open air decks on both levels offer a waterfront view. Along with dock access, visitors can socialize in an outdoor area that features fireplaces, game boards and seating. A 14,7000 sq. ft. Varco Pruden pre-engineered steel building is aesthetically integrated into the overall hybrid design. It houses a state-of-the-art brewing area with a clerestory for natural day-lighting and 24 foot ceiling heights needed for fermentation tanks.
Facility Is The Hub Of An Innovative Business Model
The company’s mission is to be a great community citizen. It remediated a Brownfield property and hired local subcontractors and vendors, and used Stony Creek granite. The facility is a family friendly social destination.
Building a new best-in-class facility with first class equipment attracts a great team of experienced brewers, bartenders, sales people and managers. Everything is new and easy to maintain for a spotless presentation to the 5,000 weekly visitors who are in search of a great experience. Many share photos with their online communities. When visiting this destination spot, people get to know Stony Creek beers and ask for them when they return to their local package store or favorite restaurant.
The business plan projected additional brewery equipment in the third year, however the need for this was reached by the third month. Stony Creek Brewery quickly earned a strong brand identity for brewing its own beer proven by the need to schedule the installation of additional brewery equipment only ten months after the grand opening. The facility’s design flexibility enables quick response to rapid growth. 24-inch thick brewery floors were built to accommodate additional equipment for up to a five-fold increase in production.
Teamwork Essential For 10 Month Project Accomplishment
“Munger operates a very professional construction site and is easy to do business with,” said Ed Crowley Sr., Stony Creek Brewery founder. “I would periodically schedule time with David DeMaio, Munger president, to discuss issues needing resolution. For the most part we never needed to talk about the building because the punch list was taken care of by Munger’s process. All subcontractors and vendors were aligned with our goal. John DeSarbo, Munger’s field superintendent, lived and breathed our building every day. Whenever a Munger employee enters our site, we know that they’re here on a mission to help us with something.”
Along with John DeSarbo – Field superintendent, Dominic Maturo – Safety Coordinator, Steve Mansfield – Chief estimator and project manager, and Shawn Ladd – Assistant project manager, Munger employees performed interior carpentry, millwork installation and project management. An excellent team of sub-contractors united to achieve the 10-month project completion goal:
Criscuolo Engineering- civil engineering design, Quality Associates– site work and excavation, First Choice Builders– steel building erection, Controlled Air– HVAC Marino Mechanical– plumbing systems, M.N. Reale Construction- exterior carpentry, ProFloors- tile and carpeting, Massey’s Glass- exterior glass and glazing systems, ECS- environmental compliance and protection, Gargiulo Construction- concrete work, All-Brite Electric- electrical work, Mack Fire Protection- fire sprinkler systems, Empire Drywall- metal studs and sheetrock, K.J. LaPier Painting Co.- painting, Triplett Brewing– brewing & packaging systems
While running a major beer distributorship prior to launching Stony Creek Brewery, I had hired Munger to perform a variety of maintenance, renovation, and add-on projects. It all started on a Good Friday when I called Munger after our forklift operator knocked down a wall into the beer inventory. Munger responded immediately and worked until midnight to bolster the wall so deliveries could be made. Munger has been my go-to guy ever since and that’s why we selected them to manage the brewery project for us.
Ed Crowley, Sr. Stony Creek Brewery Founder
Munger operates a very professional construction site and is easy to do business with. I would periodically schedule time with David DeMaio, Munger president, to discuss issues needing resolution. For the most part we never needed to talk about the building because the punch list was taken care of by Munger’s process. All subcontractors and vendors were aligned with our goal. John DeSarbo, Munger’s field superintendent, lived and breathed our building every day. Whenever a Munger employee enters our site we know that they’re here on a mission to help us with something
Ed Crowley, Sr. Stony Creek Brewery Founder