Downtown Pittsfield is ready to welcome it's newest tenant, a microbrewery called Hot Plate Brewing Co.

Mike Dell'Aquila and his wife Sarah Real are award-winning homebrewers who after 14 years of living in New York City, have relocated to The Berkshires to fulfill their dream of opening their own brewhouse.

Hot Plate, you say? Dell'Aquila says they chose the name after first deciding to start planning a brewery and there was an issue with the condo building they has been living in. "The city shut off our gas, which powered our heat, hot water, and our stove. Rather than giving up on the dream, we bought a Hot Plate and continued working on our craft and our recipes, and so we felt like this name celebrates the idea of persistence and perseverance."

The brewhouse has tentative plans to open on the first floor of the Onota Building on the corner of North and School Streets, an tenant building that currently has open retail space on the street level. Details are still in the works.

The entrepreneurs have plans to install a 7-barrel brewhouse with an attached tap room that will likely offer small plates, but will also encourage future patrons to order in from other restaurants in and around downtown. It's s a model Dell'Aquila says they've seen this model work in Brooklyn where square footage is a premium. They will offer some of their selections canned and available for purchase, but plan to ramp up that production over time.

So why Pittsfield? Dell'Aquila says the Berkshires was an obvious choice for them because of the incredible mixture of outdoor activities and proximity to nature, along with all of the great cultural attractions that also exist in the region. Furthermore, he cited a gap in the craft beer market in Berkshire County, as business that is growing exponential in the rest of the state:

"We also believe that the county is underserved from a craft beer perspective--only 4% of all breweries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are located in this county, and we also think that Downtown Pittsfield makes a great choice because of all of the lawyers, bankers, and other professionals who could use a place to grab a beer for meetings/after work. It would also position us well to help create a "Berkshires Beer Trail" that could run from Big Elm in Sheffield all the way up to Bright Ideas in North Adams" 

Another aspect of Hot Plate which we love is that one of the fundamental brand values of the new brewhouse is the notion of Community, and to that end, they are planning on having what they call a "Community Line" where they will partner with a local 501(c)3 and brew a beer in collaboration with them. Once they collaboration is ready to serve Hot Plate will charge $1 more per pint, the proceeds of which will go directly to that charity.

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