Milford could see brewery with river views

Village Marina at 40 Bridgeport Ave. could become Milford's second brewery, following an official vote.

Village Marina at 40 Bridgeport Ave. could become Milford's second brewery, following an official vote.

To Dan Bagley, there is nothing better than a good beer and beautiful view, which is exactly what he hopes to offer by bringing a Milford a waterfront brewery.

As people come over the Washington Bridge, they are greeted by the former Village Marina shop, but if all goes well, Bagley said he and partner Bob Chicoine plan to bring Dockside Brewery to 40 Bridgeport Ave.

If approved, Dockside would join Tribus Beer Co., which got the green light to set up shop in late December.

“It just fits what we are trying to do down here,” Bagley said, stating that the brewery could provide a pleasant welcome at the “gateway to Milford.”

Bagley has owned Village Marina and neighboring properties for about eight years. He also used to own the former Al Dente Brick Oven Pizza on Bridgeport Avenue, which he ran for 12 years.

According to the Trumbull resident, he has had a long-standing goal of bringing a beer garden or brewery to the waterfront location that could draw people to town, fusing his love of boating and beer.

“It’s going to be a place where people can come here and buy stuff to go fishing, get something to eat, hang out and have a beer, grab an ice cream, and basically just walk the property,” Bagley said.

Chicoine, his partner, is also involved with a brewery in Jacksonville, Fla., called Engine 15 Brewing Co., where he handles accounting.

He said he has had ongoing conversations with Bagley about opening a beer garden or brewery at the marina since 2016 and the duo finally decided move forward with their plans in the spring.

“I was so impressed with the property that I said even if we can’t come to some kind of an agreement, I would love to help him do something here because the thought of a waterfront beer garden is incredible,” Chicoine said.

The marina is across from The Dock shopping plaza in Stratford along the Housatonic River and can be seen from I-95 and the railroad.

Bagley said he wants to bring a slice of Nantucket to the waterfront property with the brewery’s design.

The business will be in a 4,000-square-foot space and is expected to start off with 30 tap lines. According to Bagley, 10 lines would be dedicated to in-house brews while the remainder would server a mix of beers from other brewers in the area.

Along with beer, Dockside Brewery is expected to serve pizza, pretzels and other food. It will also feature an outdoor beer garden and different yard games for customers to enjoy, according to Bagley.

To maximize the use of the waterfront view, Dockside is will feature plenty of waterside seating and decks overlooking the river.

Plans include two renovated docks where boaters can pull in from the river. Bagley also plans to knock down a neighboring house he owns to make way for additional parking.

“There’s nowhere (like this) to go in Connecticut,” he said. “You’ve got a couple places, but there is nowhere that you can pull up in a boat and park because there are no boat slips,” Bagley said, stating that the plans for the brewery include around 75 boat slips to allow boaters to dock at the marina.

A new bait shop, Fisherman’s Paradise, is planned next door, as well.

Before anything can be done, plans for Dockside Brewery must be brought before town land-use boards. The proposal was expected to be reviewed March 7 but the meeting was canceled due to recent weather.