A craft brewery will soon breathe new life -- and new jobs -- into the former U.S. Baird property on Stratford Avenue.
Two Roads Brewing Company announced Monday its plans to purchase and revitalize the former manufacturing building at 1700 Stratford Ave. Two Roads Brewery has raised $18 million for the project and hopes to open in September 2012.
"Connecticut towns have so many beautiful old buildings that beg to be used for productive purposes and for job creation," company co-founder Brad Hittle said in a statement.
"This particular building is perfectly suited for a brewery because it is so solidly built, it has a high-bay center that can accommodate tall fermenting tanks, and it has ample room for us to grow into," Hittle added.
It's expected that the brewery will create 15 new jobs within a year and 70 jobs overall.
"Stratford Mayor John Harkins and his staff have been huge supporters of this project, recognizing that Two Roads Brewery will be a beacon of growth and opportunity in Connecticut," Hittle said.
"We couldn't be more pleased that Two Roads will be finding a home in Stratford," Harkins said in the statement. "We look forward to the opening day with great anticipation."
Hittle said the brewery will be a "state-of-the-art" facility with a Rolec 100 barrel brew house; high-speed bottling, canning and kegging equipment; an expansive tasting room that overlooks the brew house; and space for outdoor events.
The 6.6-acre property will provide a large parking area for patrons, he added.
"We want to take a unique and differentiated approach to everything we do to delight our consumers, our community and our employees," Hittle said. "That includes our beers, our culture and our location."
Two Roads Brewery gets its name from the popular Robert Frost poem, "The Road Not Taken." In the coming weeks, the brewery will launch its website, www.tworoadsbrewery.com.