Peter Ford first started brewing beer in his twenties as a fun hobby. Thirty years later he followed his lifelong dream of opening up a brewery in Wallingford, Connecticut. In 2017 the business was established, and in March of 2019 Center Street Brewing Company was officially open to the public.
What Once Was A Hobby
“My whole life I knew him as someone who loved beer, loved brewing,” John, one of Peter’s sons, told us. Peter loved brewing beer in his garage and always loved teaching his sons the science behind brewing. When he presented John with the opportunity to work for the family brewery, John couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Running A Family Business
John went to school for business management and finance, which has come in handy with running the family business. Whatever he doesn’t know how to do, he teaches himself. When the business needed a new website, he worked on it for days straight until he figured it out, even with no graphic design background. Though running a business with your family can have it’s challenges, he wouldn’t trade it for anything. “It’s a lot of fun, you’re working with your family,” John said. “It also has a huge learning curve, and there’s a lot of adapting.” Maintaining a business in a customer service world is no easy task, but they’re doing it anyways.
The Center Street Brewing team has received nothing but friendly welcomes from other brewers in the area. “It’s not a competition, it’s been so inviting and welcoming – a tight knit community,” John said. “Beer is an art, there are so many different styles,” and everyone brings something different to the table. Their customers have also been supportive, even throughout the pandemic.
“We have a very supportive community”
Covid definitely impacted Center Street Brewing, just as it did to other small businesses. At first they had tanks of beer that needed to be used up, so they decided to can them up while their indoor seating was closed – “We try to look at the positive side of everything.” Eventually they were able to operate at half capacity, and the community definitely showed up with their continued support. Though it wasn’t the same experience they were used to interacting with their customers, they were happy to remain in business.
Utilizing the FreshLime platform has also allowed Center Street Brewing to continue to interact and request feedback from their customers. Spoiler alert, everyone has nothing but good things to say about them.
In The Heart Of Wallingford
Right in the center of town and close to where the Ford family grew up in, Peter is finally living out his dream. Their New England barn atmosphere is just what you expect with a true craft beer experience.
“They can tell we pour our heart and soul into everything we do,” which is why customers keep coming back. “When you come in we want you to feel welcomed and comfortable,” John said. As if this family owned business wasn’t cool already, they give all of their used grains to local farmer Frank so he can feed his cows and pigs. “When people come to our place they realize what makes us, us.” If you’re ever in Wallingford, Connecticut, you’ll be able to experience the Ford Family and all they have to offer.
The mission of Center Street Brewing Company has and always will be to provide quality craft beer to the local community in a welcoming atmosphere. They are passionate about their work and strive to create the best craft beer experience for all.
To find out how your business can benefit from FreshLime just like Center Street Brewing has, set up a free 15-minute demo today!