Eli’s Restaurant Group is a restaurant chain based in Hamden, Conn., purveyors of eateries such as Eli’s on Whitney, Eli’s Brick Over Pizza, Eli’s Branford, Eli’s Tavern, Eli’s Orange and (let’s not forget) Eli’s Catering. Named as a tribute to Hamden’s most famous favorite son, Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin/progressive gun manufacturer, this local chain of bistros and pubs combine warm, friendly, inviting atmospheres, upscale American cuisine and lots of local-focused craft beer options (much of those served at Eli’s signature horseshoe bars).
In fact, Eli’s Restaurant Group is such a proponent of Connecticut craft that this weekend it kicked off its Eli’s Craft Beer Project, a campaign highlighting craft breweries across the state and their contribution not only to Eli’s Restaurant Group but to the community and local economy. Eli’s and Two Roads Brewing Co. created the video above to launch the campaign. In addition, there’s a new website that will feature craft breweries from across the state, and of course tap takeover events at Eli’s properties, Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, Black Hog Brewing Co. in Oxford, No Worries Brewing Co. in Hamden and Brewport Brewing Co. in Bridgeport.
From the press release:
“At Eli’s, we consider ourselves a family,” said Kevin Fitzsimmons, General Manager at Eli’s Tavern and Eli’s Orange. “We love what we do. We also support local, and we support the craft brewery scene in Connecticut. It’s one of the industries in our state that is growing and creating jobs statewide. For us, serving local craft beer just makes sense, and we’re starting at Two Roads.”
Fitzsimmons also noted that the relationship between Eli’s Restaurant’s and Two Roads Brewing Co. — the largest craft brewery in Connecticut, employing over 150 full-time and part-time employees, located approximately five miles from Eli’s Tavern in Milford — is a big win for the community.
“It’s about going to the local brewery, seeing first-hand the passion of a brewmaster making the beer locally, talking to the girls and guys that are delivering the beer, knowing that she or he is your neighbor. It’s the kind of thing that makes the staff more motivated, it makes us proud to serve local beer, and it’s what local is all about.
State Representative Chris Rosario of Bridgeport, who was in attendance at the Eli’s Craft Beer Project launch on Friday night, stated that he was thrilled about the campaign, and the overwhelming support for the job-creating craft beer industry.
“Connecticut’s craft beer industry has a more than $700 million economic impact annually, creating local jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods, and providing folks in Bridgeport and across the state with an opportunity to enjoy great-tasting beverages,” said Rep. Rosario. “Cheers to Eli’s Craft Beer Project and to the growing craft beer industry.”
Another person in attendance, Brian Leary, a Milford resident and member of Eli’s Mug Club, also expressed enthusiasm for the Eli’s Craft Beer Project launch.
“This project is spectacular,” said Leary. “As an Eli’s Mug Clubber, I’ve always known that Eli’s was a standout restaurant, caring both about customers and the craft beer industry. But the Eli’s Craft Beer Project will reach the people who don’t know this while showing that Eli’s has taken the lead in promoting Connecticut’s craft beer industry. It will give local breweries an opportunity to distribute their quality products to a wider audience of beer drinkers across the state.”
Fitzsimmons noted that the Eli’s Craft Beer Project will run indefinitely, and the campaign aims to highlight as many craft breweries statewide as possible. The project will also continue sponsoring fun craft beer events at Eli’s Restaurant Group locations with more activities and interesting releases to come.