Monday, March 3, 2014

Stubborn Beauty Grand Opening: Too Successful!

Stubborn Beauty drew a large crowd to the Remington Rand Building on Saturday, for the grand opening of their brewery tasting room. They opened their doors at noon, with 5 different beers on tap, but the thirst of the crowd was such that by 3:15 only one was left, and after selling the last of that, they closed the doors at 4:00.

Shane Lentini, the owner, told me they had emptied about 25 kegs.

Beers were only available in growlers, refillable bottles filled on demand from the keg. These are the 5 beers they started with:

  • How Rye I Am, a Rye Saison beer with 8% alcohol
  • Kommandant Lassard, a Dunkelweizen, 5.5% 
  • Don't Call Me Porter Justice, a Porter, 7.7%
  • Speaking in Tongues, a Black IPA, 8%. This is the one I purchased. It is a coffee-colored beer, very smooth, with a strong aroma of hops. It did not have as much bitterness as I like, but it was quite good.
  • Nummy Nummy, an IPA, 8.1%
Microbreweries have grown in popularity in the past few years, and it is not uncommon for people to drive 4 hours to sample an outstanding beer in Vermont. Judging by the crowd at Stubborn Beauty on Saturday, some of this beer tourism may be coming to our city.

Stubborn Beauty plans to be open from 12 to 5 1 to 4 on Saturdays for the foreseeable future [edited in response to readers' comment].

Get there early! 


Jean Newman said...

Changed their hours temporarily to 1-4...very much worth the visit!

Gary Keating said...

The building in this article described as the " Remington Rand " building was designed and built in 1896 by Robert M. Keating, for the sole purpose of making world-class bicycles, the most popular mode of transportation at the time. The "Keating Wheel Company" was one of the first factories run by electricity in the USA. The factory made bicycles, then progressed on to develop horseless carriages, cars, trucks, and eventually motorcycles. Robert M.Keating’s patent for a motorcycle in 1901 predates "Indian" by a year!!!!! Keating’s patents in this area allowed motorcycle greats such as Indian and Harley Davidson to develop their own cycles. In fact, Keating sued both companies for patent infringement and won both cases. There needs to be a more concentrated effort by the media, and Middletown officials, to have the buildings original builder and designer acknowledged for his patents, and innovations, and historical significant in Middletown history. The building should be recognized as the "Keating Wheel Company". Robert M.Keating holds a much more romantic, innovative, and historically important role in Middletown's history then Remington Rand!!!!!!! Just because Remington Rand was the last occupier of the building should not limit the buildings true history and its importance in U.S.A. and Middletown history of transportation development.

Keating's 1901 motorcycle puttered down Main Street in Middletown the same time that Oscar Hedstrom was working out the kinks of his own machine -- the prototype that would become the Indian. At the time, Middletown was the undisputed Motor City when it came to the American motorcycle. Keating's machine went to market months before Hedstrom's prototype and became popular enough to force Hedstrom and George Hendee of Indian fame to "borrow" key features to make their product competitive. As noted, Harley and Davidson would later borrow the same components. 

Keating was also one of the nation's earliest commercial automobile manufacturers -- both electric and gasoline powered. The historic parade that celebrated Middletown's 250th birthday, held in October of 1900, included four Keating Company vehicles -- including a motorized runabout. It would another year before Henry Ford started building his historic machines. (R.M.Keating family lore has it that Keating spent some time with Ford, helping him with factory design and assembly line production such as that already occurring in Middletown.) The factory then went on to host the Eisenhuth Compound automobile, one of the most innovative machines of the "brass era." Indeed, Middletown was one of the few American cities in the nation that was actively engaged in building automobiles. In CT, Middletown was second only to Hartford's Pope Company which was arguably the biggest in the nation at the time.

The point is, Middletown's history and the history of that remarkable historical asset on Johnson street is not about typewriters. It's about 19th century industrial innovation in America. Specifically, it's all about the pioneering efforts that forever changed the nation's transportation history. No exaggeration. Middletown owns that distinction and should celebrate it. With some creative thinking and planning (what Keating would have called "Yankee Ingenuity"), that distinction might also be branded to attract interests (and dollars) towards historic preservation, tourism and economic development.

Anne Malcolm said...

Thanks for the lesson.

Greg Amy said...

I consider myself a beer fan and somewhat-aficionado (my brothers-in-law and I actually attend regional tastings and take road trips just to try new stuff). As such, I eagerly anticipated Stubborn Beauty's opening for business, and joined the Growler Club.

Glad I did; we got access to their brews three weekends in advance, tasted some good stuff, and got to chat with the team. I find their beers fresh, tasty, and true to the styles. I'm a big IPA fan so Nummy Nummy is my fav, but we also took home growlers of Kommandant and Speaking in Tongues (and, of course, tasted them all, even a few that are currently no longer available).

I missed the public opening - glad I checked their Facebook page before venturing out mid-afternoon - but am thrilled to read of their success. I'll be a regular customer.

I wish them the best and maybe we'll see you next weekend...?


John Hall said...

I like the idea of calling the building by the name "Keating" to connect with the early manufacturing of bicycles. Excellent point, Gary Keating. Are you a relative of Keating the bicycle innovator?

Anonymous said...

About the name…

Remington Rand wasn't just the last 'occupier' of the building; they bought and expanded it, owned and operated it for over four decades (Keating went under after just 5 yrs) and there are people still living in Middletown who worked for R-R…. THAT's why it's known by that name.

I hardly think it's the media's job to campaign to change the name of the building. If that's what you wish, circulate a petition and go talk to city officials yourself. (In this case, city planner Bill Warner would probably be the place to start.)

Whatever the name, I do agree it would be nice to remember Keating and the history. If not in the name, at least a display of some sort in the building.