Farmhouse brewery meets resistance
Dan Moss. Photo from

A local Planning and Zoning meeting about the future of a possible brewery sounds boring.

The one I attended recently was certainly not.

The nascent, currently named Food Cycle Farm in Kent, Conn. is hoping to erect and run the first farmhouse brewery in the state. So far, it’s been able to help create the designation of a farmhouse brewery, but on this cold Thursday night, its founders needed to gain the special permit necessary from the commission to keep the arduous process of building and operating the brewery.

Not everyone at the public hearing, however, was a fan of the idea. Continue reading “Farmhouse brewery meets resistance”

Taking Risks, Making Beer

Mike Smith and Tony Karlowicz of Back East Brewing.

(The following column was originally published on July 4, 2012, in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American.)

By Will Siss

There were these cousins – Ed and Tony – and they hadn’t seen each other in a while, maybe a decade.

“It was a little awkward because we hadn’t seen each other in a long time,” Ed told me. “Then [Tony’s] wife said he wanted to start a brewery and we both just looked up.”

Once Edward Fabrycki Jr. and Tony Karlowicz discovered that they shared the same dream, it was only a matter of how hard they wanted to work to achieve it. As it turned out, they’d have to work extremely hard to make their Back East Brewing Co. a reality. Continue reading “Taking Risks, Making Beer”

Occupy Northampton

The deck bar at Northampton Brewery, Northampton, Mass.

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American on Oct. 12, 2011.)

By Will Siss

Northampton, Mass. is one of those college towns that either make you feel optimistic or pessimistic, depending on your political leanings.

The home of Smith College, this small city off of Interstate 91 boasts a store called Hempest that sells organic hemp clothing and buskers singing about and collecting donations for something called “peace.” Continue reading “Occupy Northampton”