MONROE, Conn. — To say Tess and Mark Szamatulski work well together is an understatement.
The Trumbull couple has owned Maltose Express, a Monroe beer- and wine-making supply store, for 24 years and they’ve turned their shared love of home brewing into two books — “Clone Brews” and “Beer Captured,” the latter of which they released through their own publishing company, Maltose Pr LLC.
So it was no surprise that when they opened Veracious, a brewery and taproom next to Maltose Express, it would be a family affair.
The Szamatulskis — she’s a former caterer, he was an engineer — are well suited to the exacting work that goes into handcrafted brews.
“When I was a caterer, I cooked with high-end beers and he knew he wanted to brew our own,” said Tess Szamatulski, relaxing in the welcoming Main Street taproom.
Open since June, Veracious offers 10 beers on tap from its flagship 29 Pews, an American IPA, to Jack’d Up, an Imperial pumpkin brew, and Lucy’s Last Call, a Belgian strong golden.
The last is named for the Szamatulskis’ Golden Retriever Lucy, who recently lost her battle with cancer.
“We named it that because at closing time, we would let her in and she would go around and say good night to everyone,” said Tess Szamatulski.
Mark Szamatulski uses his engineering background to keep careful record of each recipe, making slight changes along the way.
One of the beauties of having the taproom is you can get instant feedback, he said.
“It’s nice work because you can have a little creativity,” he said, while adding a bag of hops to a vat of double IPA. “You can make a good product and then you can keep improving on it to make it better.”
Veracious does some self distribution, but Tess Szamatulski said the best way to try their products is at the taproom, which features sleek wood benches and bars created from old church pews — hence the name of their most popular brew.
The brewery name sprang from the Szamatulskis’ son-in-law, who said the couple’s honest, dependable nature would shine through in their beers, hence their motto “The Truth is in the Beer.”
“We never wanted to have a bar. We wanted it to be a family place,” Tess Szamatulski said, noting their youngest guest so far was an eight-day-old baby. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Veracious, located at 246 Main St. in Monroe, is open Thursdays from 3 to 9 p.m., Fridays from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more here.