The first vat at the Apponaug Brewing Company is full, and brew master Justin Tisdale is treating it like a first born, which it is. Located at the Pontiac Mill, which is still undergoing renovations into apartments and commercial space, the company hopes to open within a month.
And the place is coming together as Tamara McKenney shared during an impromptu visit Friday. A delivery truck had just pulled up with supplies for the kitchen. Head chef Marc Alexander checked out the equipment as he talked about a menu with smaller portion servings designed to promote “shared plates.” He said there would be a mix of traditional and eclectic dishes.
“It’s all about fresh and local,” he said.
Shared plates go along with McKenney’s vision of the brewery as a place to bring community together. McKenney and Kris Waugh are business partners who met when they founded an IT recruiting company. They looked at a variety of business opportunities before settling on a brewpub.
The beer they brew will only be sold at the brewery.
McKenney is planning a patio overlooking the Pawtuxet River with 45 seats as well as an interior alcove with setups for gatherings of six and eight people. There’s also seating at the bar and at nearby tables separated from the actual brewing area by a glass wall for a total of 85 seats.
McKenney finds herself consumed by paperwork, a lot of it regulatory, but she’s excited as the plan comes together and new life in the old mill is less and less of a distant dream. (Text and photos by John Howell)