When ClockTown Brewing Co. in Thomaston first opened, all its beers had names inspired by time. From the Time Stands Still West Coast IPA to Second Hand New England IPA, it was a way of honoring the past and the future of this new brewery within the historic Seth Thomas Clock Factory, founded in the 1800s by Seth Thomas, the town’s namesake.
However, it didn’t take too many ticks of the clock for the brewery, which opened in October, to run out of time-themed names. “We are moving a little more away from that because it’s so hard to continuously come up with,” says Stacey LaCapra, who manages the brewery and restaurant and co-owns it with her husband, George LaCapra, and their business partner, Ed Daigneault.
But the brewery’s beers remain a testament to the legacy of craftsmanship in Thomaston — a legacy that is in good hands at ClockTown Brewing.
The clock factory dominates downtown Thomaston, and the clock and water towers on the building’s roof serve as guideposts to the brewery. Located in the back portion of the factory, the brewery’s show-stopping space is big enough to seat 130 socially distanced patrons indoors and there’s also ample outdoor seating, as well as takeout options for both food and beer.
Unlike many breweries which rely on food trucks or partner with other businesses to handle the food, ClockTown features a full kitchen that is run by the brewery’s owners. “That’s kind of what makes us different,” Stacey says. “We are a brewery, but we really intended to also be a restaurant.”
The brewery’s most popular beer, Second Hand New England IPA, is a wonderful example of this well-known style. It is rich with tropical flavors and low on bitterness. Another crowd favorite is the Thomaston Lager, a light, crisp beer inspired by German pilsners that will be approachable for all drinkers. I left the brewery with a six-pack but wish I stocked up further on this easy-drinking beer with lots of character.
The menu features pizza made in a custom wood-fired oven as well as burgers, salads, wings and sandwiches. During my visit, I tried both the burger and pizza and both were nice complements to the beer.
The seeds for the brewery were planted a few years ago, when George LaCapra and Daigneault bonded over a shared love of craft beer during their respective daughters’ soccer games. A home brewer by night, Daigneault was the longtime UConn men’s basketball writer for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury who had long dreamed of opening his own brewery. George is the president of UniMetal Surface Finishing, which is based in another part of the historic clock building that has been in George’s family for many years. There was largely unused storage space within the building that George thought could be perfect for a brewery.
Before long, George and Stacey had partnered with Daigneault and renovations at the factory were underway. Before opening, the team recruited Chris Sheeler, a former brewer at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, to help Daigneault on the brewing end of things.
The brewery ended up opening while COVID restrictions were still in place. “For us to open in the middle of the pandemic was scary and you’re not sure exactly how things are going to go and we’ve just done very well,” Stacey says.
The town has embraced the brewing spot, which has also drawn visitors from across the state. No surprise there, as ClockTown is a great place to spend some time.
ClockTown Brewing Co.
135 S. Main St., Thomaston
Hours: Wed. 4-9 p.m., Thu. & Fri. 4-10 p.m., Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. noon-7 p.m.