Open Barrel opens doors

TORRINGTON  After months of planning, preparation, construction and - of course -  brewing, Charlie Rife and Clayton Kilgore finally pulled the taps and served craft beer to their first patrons at the Open Barrel Brewing Company on Main Street. 

Torrington’s first brew pub officially opened on Nov. 1 after months of anticipation. Kilgore said he and Rife began working on the building on June 8, and that It felt to finally open the doors. 

“I really like it,” Kilgore said. “We expected to have people because when we were building the place, we had a lot of people asked when we were going to be open. We did most of the work ourselves so it took us a little bit longer than we expected.”

The Open Barrel Brewing Company has two floors for patrons to enjoy. The beer taps and tables are on the first level. An electronic jukebox and pool table are on the second floor, along with more seating. 

“It’s a good feeling to see it open,” Rife said. 

Just before the brewery opened, it announced on Facebook that it would be serving Let ‘er Buck barbecue on Thursday and Friday nights. Let ‘er Buck is a staple vendor at the Goshen County Fair, and this is their first foray into the restaurant setting. 

In addition to beer and barbecue, Kilgore said there will be competitive pool leagues hosted by the brewery. 

For Rife, the real joy of finally opening for business is that he will get to see people enjoying the beer he has worked to perfect. 

“For me personally, it’s about the appreciation of the beer that I made and people enjoying it,” he said. “I don’t expect everybody to like every beer, but if people find one or two they like and say they are better than what they are used to, I’ll be happy.”

Kilgore said Open Barrel’s goal is to give the people of Torrington a local establishment they can be proud of – and a solid brew, as well. 

“The hopes and goals for us are to provide good craft beer for the people of our community,” Kilgore said. “Our goal is just to keep things going and keep it local.”

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