​How Kinsmen Works to Ingrain Local Experience with New UConn Collab

Being a local brewery and creating as many personal connections with fellow local establishments has been paramount to the success of Kinsmen Brewing.​

​”While many craft breweries are emphasizing their wholesale business, Kinsmen is all about a more curated beer experience which can be seen in all of our spaces,” said Greg Caucci, Kinsmen’s President and co-owner in a release. “This includes our taproom which creates a rustic family atmosphere in a beautiful historic building, our event space, and even our own in-house craft pizza venue, aptly named Sauced.”

With the combination of craft beer heritage with a modern twist, Kinsmen recently announced that it wants to create that experience and blend it with UConn Athletics to create a whole new experience that can be enjoyed on-site at the game.

Next Saturday, October 16, UConn’s Rentschler Field will be the location for the debut of Husky Hops, a new hazy IPA which is the result of a partnership between the university and the Milldale, Connecticut company. The football contest between the Huskies and the Yale Bulldogs will give many alumni and athletic supporters a chance to try the new beer and help make a local connection stronger between the school and the brewery.

“When UConn Athletics reached out to us about a partnership, we were excited to partner with a university steeped in agricultural tradition and athletic success,” Caucci said. “UConn and all of its alumni are vital parts of our community. We believe a craft brewery should bond closely with its community. and this was a great way to do so.”

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Former UConn football co-captain and Kinsmen manager, Jeff Delucia, was instrumental in forming this new partnership, adding it was “an honor to be part of such a great celebration of Husky spirit with such a phenomenal IPA brewed by Kinsmen.”

​Kinsmen worked closely with the UConn Division of Athletics staff to collaborate on the beer, including the name.

​”​Many have visited the brewery and enjoyed our selection of IPAs​,” Caucci said. ​”​This gave us the idea to partner to create a beer that is uniquely Kinsmen with a UConn flair.​”​

​The brewery has been negotiating with UConn for ​more than years​.

​”​We regard the relationship not as a contractual one, but as a true partnership​,” Caucci said​, adding that the brewery will be self-distributing directly to the UConn venues and have it available for purchase in ​its taproom.

Initially, ​they anticipate Husky Hops to increase production volume​ for the brewery​ by 10-20%.

​”​Obviously, UConn will be satisfied with the effort if Husky fans are happy with the IPA​,” Caucci said. ​”​We’re confident they will be.​”​

David Benedict, UConn Director of Athletics​, said in a press release that the school is proud of being able to partner with a growing local company and participating in an industry that is growing throughout Connecticut and the region.

Husky Hops will be available at concession stands at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field — including special kiosks located in the UConn Alumni section of the stadium — as well as a kiosk at the entrance to the Gampel Pavilion and at concession stands at the XL Center and across multiple sports, including baseball, soccer, and hockey.

Additionally, the new brand will be sold at all on-campus facilities that sell beer.

The new IPA is described as “medium-bodied yet refreshing” with a base made from clean American pilsner malt and fluffy malted wheat with intense notes of pineapple, white peach, and tangerine.​ ​

“We’ve used our experience and experimentation to create a definitive Kinsmen hazy IPA that is perfect for enjoying while watching a UConn game,” said Bob Bartholomew, Kinsmen’s Operations Manager. “We use a blend of our favorite American hops to create the punchy, clean, juicy flavor profile of Husky Hops.”

The Husky Hops label ​​features a close-up of the full front face of Jonathan, the​ school’s​ canine icon, with the product’s name in bold white letters outlined in red.

Sustainability is also a large part of the Kinsmen brewing process​ as the spent grain is donated to a local farmer who uses it to supplement some of the feed for his livestock while solid fermentation waste is given to Blue Earth Compost, where it’s recycled into compost for local gardens​.​

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