Hamilton brewery hopes new tent, award-winning seltzer help winter business

Municipal Brew Works hopes its new heated tent and award-winning hard seltzer will be key to attracting customers during the cold winter months. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Municipal Brew Works hopes its new heated tent and award-winning hard seltzer will be key to attracting customers during the cold winter months. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Municipal Brew Works hopes its new heated tent and award-winning hard seltzer will be key to attracting customers during the cold winter months.

“It’s anchored to the ground, so it’s a pretty stable structure,” said Jim Goodman, one of the Municipal Brew Works owners, about the tent. “Due to COVID and social distancing, we really needed to increase the covered and heated space that we have available. So this tent fits the bill.”

The company that operates from the back of Hamilton’s former municipal building at 20 High St. plans to have the tent up until March.

Other drinks that have attracted customers to Municipal Brew Works and Swine City Brewing in Fairfield, lately have been hard seltzers they developed during the pandemic.

“Our hard seltzer, we came out with it in May, and it’s become one of our leading sellers,” Goodman said. “It’s been wonderful because it’s bringing us a new crowd of people — primarily people who are looking for a gluten-free option, or people who don’t particularly enjoy the taste of beer.”

Municipal Brew Works’ P.O.G. (a blend of passion-fruit, orange and guava purees) earned a gold medal at the U.S. Open Beverage Championships, where the awards were announced Thanksgiving Eve.

Also winning medals were Swine City, which had its Blackhoof Grape win a silver; and Sycamore Township’s March First Brewing and Distilling, which won gold for its “Asta Bomb Pop” berry flavor.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Daniel Ebben, who owns Swine City with his wife, Deborah. “A seltzer for us wasn’t really ever a plan that we wanted to work on” but it was something they perfected during the first coronavirus lockdown.

“The traditional beer crowd doesn’t really love them, but when they realize that they’re not White Claw — hence, the joke and the name, Black Hoof. It’s less carbonated and more flavorful than White Claw,” Ebben said.

“Some people believe that seltzers are more of a health or a fitness drink, but it’s alcohol still, so it’s not really the bastion of health that some people think it is,” he said. On the other hand, it is a gluten-free option to beer.

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