Problem Solved Brewing: an equation of rotating beers plus customer feedback

You don’t need a math degree to visit Problem Solved Brewing. But if you didn’t dread your algebra, geometry and calculus classes, you’re in good company at East Windsor’s new brewery.

The mathematics-themed name, motif and beer naming conventions are nods to the co-owners’ day jobs. Alan Bukowinski, a math teacher at RHAM High School in Hebron, and Heath Gelinas, an engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems, met as homebrewers several years ago and collaborated to open Problem Solved in mid-September.

Problem Solved now occupies the vacated Broad Brook Brewing space on North Road. The preceding brewery left East Windsor after announcing plans to construct a new building in Suffield.

“It helps that this was a former brewery; a lot of people were waiting for something to come back,” Gelinas says.

Visitors returning to the space will find a fresh new bar and tables, a tiled backsplash in shades of orange, gray and black; and framed beer-related patent drawings and protractors mounted on the walls.

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FEATURED/NOTEWORTHY BEERS: Bukowinski and Gelinas want to keep their beers rotating consistently, but plan to feature at least two hoppy offerings, a “middle of the road, easy drinker” type of brew, and at least one dark beer.

“We’re not going to have flagships at all,” Bukowinski says. “I think people like to try new beer...We’re not here to tell you what you should enjoy. You tell us what you enjoyed.”

Problem Solved’s beer names are inspired by mathematical terms, but not without nuance. The Origin, a sweet wheat stout, is the first beer the owners ever brewed, while Degrees of Seven, a West Coast-style IPA is brewed with Falconer’s Flight, a blend of seven different hops (and clocks in at 7 percent ABV.)

The Real vs. Imaginary coffee brown ale references not just numbers, but also the real coffee used in the beer alongside the perception of coffee flavors produced by the beer’s malt, Gelinas says.

“Everything is sort of math and science [related] but if you didn’t know that about us, the names still are relevant,” Gelinas says.

In late October, Problem Solved introduced its Cubic Spheres melon IPA, brewed with German Huell Melon hops and fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon for a “highly drinkable fruited IPA.” A stout with molasses, cardamom and cinnamon is planned for late fall or early winter.

In its first several weeks, Problem Solved’s IPAs have sold exceedingly well, particularly its New England-style Vertical Stretch, Bukowinski says, but most guests have been open-minded about trying new styles. The owners plan to listen to customer feedback and bring back beers according to popular demand.

TASTING ROOM AMENITIES: The family-friendly brewery offers a selection of board games in the taproom, has started hosting yoga classes and has plans for more special events.

FOOD OPTIONS: The brewery offers chips and snacks for purchase, but encourages guests to bring their own food or to order from nearby restaurants. Sofia’s Restaurant, across the street on Prospect Hill Road, will deliver to the brewery, Bukowinski says, and in an adjacent shopping plaza, guests can also grab sushi at Jimmy Chen’s and pierogi and other Polish fare at the Belvedere Deli. Problem Solved is also working with Baker & the Brew, a nearby coffee house, to offer “brew boxes” with sandwiches and other items.

PRICING: Full pours are around $6; flights of all 5 beers are $12.50; individual 5-ounce pours are $2.50 apiece. Crowlers (32-ounce cans) are $8 to $9.50 and growler fills are $15 to $18.

HOURS: Problem Solved is open Thursday, 3 to 8 p.m.; Friday, 3 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Problem Solved Brewing is at 2 North Road, East Windsor. 860-623-1511, problemsolvedbrewing.com, facebook.com/Problemsolvedbrewing.

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