#108 – Relic Brewing Co in Plainville, CT

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(1) OUR EXPERIENCE

After getting in touch with Mark, the owner/ head brewer/ sole-operator of Relic Brewing, we visited with him on a rainy Tuesday morning. The brewery was not open to the public that day, so we talked with him while he kept himself busy brewing away. Mark is very well traveled and has been to over 50 countries across the world, so we first spent some time talking about our travel experiences. He ended up ordering a pizza later on, so we all indulged while tasting some of his unique, delicious, small-batch beers and talked about which breweries we need to visit later in our trip. If we weren’t on such a tight budget, I would have definitely walked out of there with some of the artwork hung in the taproom for sale, but alas, we are, so we said our goodbyes and ran out to the van in the rain.

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(2) VITAL INFORMATION

Date of our visit: Tuesday, 4/15/14
Open since: February 2012
Approx. Barrel (bbl) Output 2013: 275
Projected bbl Output 2014: 300-350
Brewhouse size: 3bbl
Owner(s): Mark Sigman
Head Brewer: Mark Sigman
Packaging: Kegs/ large bottles
Distribution: CT only

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Other things we learned:
* First small brewery of its kind to open in CT
* For the most part, Mark does everything, but he does have a few volunteers who help out
* About 7 consistent locations to find them on draft; around 10 locations where you can find their bottles
* Had a beer dinner on May 1st at The Corner in downtown Litchfield that was focused around Bison

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(3) BEERS WE TASTED DURING OUR VISIT

* Transatlantic Belgian IPA
* Clockwork Citra Pale Ale
* Ryddle Funky Farmhouse Rye Saison
* Complete listing of beers

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Other notes about their beer:

* Usually pick 3-4 brews to have pretty available during a season
* Have another 4-5 one-offs for each season
* Have 3-4 more returning/ popular recipes each season
* Ryddle was the first bret beer they did
* Brewed an Earl Grey & Lemon Saison recently
* Brewed a beer called Ryepocolypse (Imperial Rye Stout) for their anniversary
* Antiquity, an old ale with molasses, was the first beer they released
* Make more Belgians than any other style
* Transatlantic got its name based on the fact that the ingredients in it are found globally; closest thing to a core beer
* Did a collaboration with Beer’d called Nano-A-Nano
* Have done a few beers where they throw wood spirals into the kegs and let them sit 2-3 months

(4) EXPANSION PLANS

* Plan to send some of their more popular recipes to another brewery to make bigger batches (40bbl) then package them, which will open up the 3bbl system for more experimental one-offs; hope to do this as soon as June 2014

* Eventually swap out some of the current smaller fermenters for larger ones

(5) BACKGROUND OF PEOPLE WE SPOKE TO

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[Haggis, Mark, Me]

Name: Mark Sigman
Title: Owner/ Head Brewer
Been with company since: 2012
Previous Brewing Experience: Homebrewer since 1994
Previous Occupation(s): IT Field – has Masters in Computer Science
Favorite Superhero: Batman

(6) MORE LINKS ABOUT BREWERY

* Main Website – What’s on Tap, Where to Find, Location
* Youtube Interview

(7) You can find the rest of our photos here

Author: Michael Roberts

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