New Haven native Charles DelVecchio has brought Hull’s beer back to the Elm City after 41 years.
Hull’s started brewing beer in New Haven in 1872 and the brand quickly gained popularity, becoming an integral part of the city’s culture. But as nationally produced domestic beers rose to prominence, Hull’s was forced out of business in 1977. Now DelVecchio has decided to bring back his late grandfather’s favorite beer, and Hull’s is now being served around the city.
“My grandfather passed away when I was six, so I associated the brand with him,” said DelVecchio, who now owns the company.
DelVecchio’s family has been living in New Haven for more than three generations and previously worked as an accountant at RSM in New Haven for 14 years.
Hull’s hit shelves last week, after the company held a launch party on Jan. 19 at the Three Sheets Bar.
The Hull’s beer that is now available in local restaurants and package stores is called Hull’s Export Lager. Unlike national lagers, which have an international bitterness unit of about 7, Hull’s Export Lager has one of 32.
“You definitely get more mouth feel from it, there’s some hoppiness to it,” DelVecchio said. “A smooth, cool, crisp finish.”
Joseph Palmucci, who works at Star Distributors in West Haven, was impressed by Hull’s Export Lager. Palmucci used to work at the old Hull’s company from 1975 to 1977 and fondly remembers Hull’s as a friendly brewery that made “a community kind of beer.”
“I practically grew up in the place,” Palmucci said. “My heart was always in Hull’s.”
Now that Hull’s is back, Palmucci is working to distribute it.
In addition to selling lagers, Hull’s previously sold Cream Ale, India Pale Ale and Bock Beer. DelVecchio is considering bringing back another of those historic beers — but for now, he is keeping his expansion plans simple.
“I want to first feel out the Connecticut beer drinker,” he said.
Brian Gilhuly, who owns Temple Grill, said his c ustomers have responded well to Hull’s Export Lager.
“The younger people that have never tasted it before seem to really enjoy it,” he said. “For the old folks that have put their lips on it, it brings back some memories.”
Aside from the historical appeal, Hull’s, which is brewed in East Haven at Overshores Brewery, is also attractive since it is locally produced.
Michelle Chadwick-Hotis, who started carrying Hull’s at her Edwards Street bar, August, said she believes there is a movement with restaurants to support something local.
DelVecchio agreed that consumer preferences have shifted to eating and drinking locally, and he hopes Hull’s will add value to the Elm City.
“As a New Haven city resident for my whole life, I think the city has so much going for it at the moment,” DelVecchio said. “There’s a lot of real estate development and new businesses moving into the city. I think it’s important to add just one more positive venture to that list.”
Meera Rothman | firstname.lastname@example.org