Tapping into Connecticut’s Growing Beer Scene with Family
Milestones to Date:
|Matt Westfall is no stranger to the Connecticut beer scene. He is known for making great beer and contributing to the progress of the state’s beer industry. When Matt asked his dad, Bill Pastyrnak to join him as minority business partners at another prominent Connecticut brewery, it was just the beginning of a brewing family affair.
Bill and Matt decided to start their own venture in late 2015. Even with their past brewery experience, they felt they needed help developing a strong business and financial plan as well as identifying financing options.
“I have a degree in business management and retired as a director from a major Hartford insurance company. Even with that background, I know we couldn’t make this dream of our own business a reality without the help of the CTSBDC, specifically without the help of our business advisor, Gregory Lewis,” explains Bill.
Bill and Gregory started working together in 2015. They met several times a week to devise a compelling business and financial plan for funders. With Gregory’s help, a lot of hard work, and persistence, Bill secured financing in late 2016 to purchase equipment and build out their space in Hamden.
Counter Weight Brewing Company officially opened its doors in April 2017. Peggy Pastyrnak, Bill’s wife and Matt’s mother, joined the team to manage the finances, and Niki Ellis, Matt’s finance, joined to manage the tasting room and canning operations.
The brewery has been well-received and is growing quickly. In fact, they’ve already expanded their brewery operations, and have grown their barrel-aged program to produce unique products. You can find their signature Headway IPA in retailers across Connecticut, and their dog-friendly tasting rooms are always busy. They’ve also hosted numerous events for animal, children, and adult charities.
As they look towards the future, Bill and Matt are focused on staying on the leading edge of the brewing industry to bring the best and latest products to their customers. Bill continues to work with Gregory to explore future expansion and financing opportunities.