There’s a newer brewery open over in the Distillery District – Fusion Brewery. We caught up with founder and owner Chris Paumi to talk to him about his inspiration, craft brews and what’s next.
Why did you start Fusion Brewery?
C.P.: I have a passion for brewing and everyone kept asking when I was going to open my own brewery. I was working at EKU in the Fermentation Program and pension plans got cut and the program was down-sized. I had recently travelled to New Zeland with my wife, who was teaching, and all I did was hike and drink beer. When I returned, talked with family who all chipped in financially a bit and that put together became a lot and so Fusion Brewery was born.
Why the Distillery District?
C.P.: I found the spot by serendipity. Once I saw the location, the picture came to mind instantly. I could see beer garden type seating – a communal aspect with the potential for people to meet one another. Not only could people come here to meet friends, but they could meet new people, new friends.
How did you decide what to offer in the way of “activities”?
C.P.: I just listened to what people wanted. We were asked about having darts, so we put darts in. People also asked about a Large Connect 4 game and Jumbo Jenga. Then came the corn hole games. It’s great to have these things because we do get kids in here and they feel as at home as the adults.
What about food?
C.P.: We’ve got Lollie’s Beer Cheese from Georgetown that we sell with pretzels. This is made with our very own beer and ages for 3 weeks. It’s made with “biere de garde” or Golden Moon Dance.
We’ve also got IP&J Cuban Food in here on Monday, Friday and Saturday. They make everything from scratch and they sell their food out of our space. They have sold out every Friday and Saturday night since they’ve been coming.
Will you be offering tours?
C.P.: Absolutely. We’ve got more scheduled. It’s a time for me to share the science of brewing with those interested in what we are doing and making.
Tell me about your staff
C.P.: Peyton Nau came to us from a catering business. We are like brothers, he’s family. My mother is the CFO. Family is important. My kids come here after school and hang out and do their homework.
What about special events?
C.P.: We have trivia every Monday night from 7 – 9pm with Don. The questions are awesome. You can play individually or as a team. We also announce additional events on our Facebook page. That’s the best way to find out what is happening here at Fusion.
Can you tell me about your membership club?
C.P.: We have 2 events a year that are members only. As well, members can show up an hour earlier for all of our releases. Membership in the Beer & Science club is $50 a year and comes with swag. You get a hat or shirt, pint glass and key chain. Of course, there’s beer included. A flite of 4 – 4 oz beers is included, which is the equivalent to a pint worth of “free” beer.
After you are done with dinner or throwing axes in the Distillery District head over and see Chris and the staff at Fusion. You’ll feel like part of the family.
Pepper Rickhouse Building – 1170 Manchester