“I hope that it’ll be something really exciting that people look forward to — to just escape and feel something new,” said Kristen Daniels, a Brewery Collective marketing specialist. “Everything is going to be a little experimental and fun.”
The Brewery Collective is an "assemblage" of four breweries across Connecticut and Rhode Island, including Foolproof Brewing in Pawtucket, RI, and the Black Horse Garage Brewing Company, which will open in Bridgeport in 2022.
This new brewery will feature 1960s-style furniture and decorations, plus audio and visual homages to the era including counterculture tunes playing throughout the taproom and shows like “The Twilight Zone” playing on TV.
Velvet Libations will be taking over the former home of Shebeen Brewing, a fellow Brewery Collective member that closed its taproom in January to focus on its distribution efforts.
“They do very, very well at distribution but we had noticed that the actual taproom culture wasn’t necessarily there,” Daniels said.
While Shebeen Brewing focuses on dessert beers and other culinary twists, Velvet Libations will specialize in sour lines and barrel-aged beer styles.
The brewery’s three flagship beers are “The Chaser,” a Belgian Style Dubbel “aged in oloroso and port barrels;” “A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain,” a Berliner Weisse and “Queen of the Nile,” a Grisette IPA.
Those names should sound familiar to “The Twilight Zone” fans — they're all episode titles.
Anderson Sant'anna DeLima, the head of brewing operations for all Brewery Collective locations, will also serve as the head brewer for Velvet Libations.
Daniels said the spot will allow DeLima to get more “experimental” with his brewing techniques.
“I think that he’s going to be really excited about being able to brew some of these more experimental [beers],” Daniels said. “He has space where he can play a little bit more.”
In addition to Sant'anna DeLima, Velvet Libations has also tapped Deb Stanclift to lead the taproom. Stanclift previously ran Better Half Brewing in Bristol before the brewery closed its doors last year.
“She’s going to bring a great crowd with her,” Daniels said.
Velvet Libations will only be open Friday through Sunday as it starts its run in Wolcott. Daniels is inviting customers to swing by, dressed in their most 1960s-inspired attire, as the brewery celebrates its opening this week.
“I hope the customer gets to see it as an immersive experience,” Daniels added.