At Equilibrium, they’ve got beer down to a science.
Brewmaster and co-owner Pete Oates, an MIT grad and environmental engineer, started brewing beer in his basement as a hobby in 2013. He and co-owner Ricardo Petroni, a fellow MIT grad and engineer, decided to go into business together, opening Equilibrium in 2016.
Oates uses his knowledge of water chemistry to inform his brewing process, much to the delight of beer enthusiasts near and far. When the brewery first opened, hundreds would wait on line for the new release. Today, Equilibrium regularly has 17 draughts on tap, sells cans at various retail locations, and ships directly to consumers in 11 states.
“We really pride ourselves on making balanced beer, even if it’s a stout or a DIPA,” said brand manager Michelle DeLuca. “We want it to be totally balanced, drinkable, with a ton of flavor ... Equilibrium means balance.”
Located at 2-8 South St. in Middletown, Equilibrium’s taproom still feels brand new. The $3 million project made its debut in December 2019 with Texas-style barbecue smoked in-house, 17 of Equilibrium’s freshly brewed beers on tap and a beer garden.
Then, the pandemic hit.
“It was a scary time,” said DeLuca. “We were just getting on our feet, hosting events, and then March came and we had to shut everything down.”
But beer and barbecue lovers kept the business running. Equilibrium started shipping beer directly to consumers across the country, and doing curbside pickup.
“We had a lot of support from the community said DeLuca.
The taproom just had its grand-reopening at the end of May 2021, welcoming guests back inside for its scientific brews and fresh barbecue, and outdoors at the dog-friendly beer garden.
Monday through Friday, the brewery is dropping a fresh release almost daily. Double IPA “MC²,” is one of Equilibriums flagship brews - originally concocted in Oates’ basement, is still on tap today.
“It’s a nerdy and fun place at the same time,” said DeLuca.