Chris became the general manager and owner of Yankee Wine & Spirits in September of 2015 when the business was purchased as a family joint venture. He began working in the liquor industry for Yankee Discount Wine in the Spring of 2007 as a sales associate and became a manager from 2011 to 2014 at that location as well as a second store in Newtown for the previous owners. A marketing guru since his school days coupled with a engaging personality he is at home both on social media forums and in person assisting customers and working with his staff and vendors. Chris posts regularly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and is a feature writer on the store's Beer Blog. Having a true passion for craft beer and a keen interest in wine he rapidly gained a vast amount of knowledge by learning as much as possible through experience, tasting events and visiting numerous breweries and wineries throughout the years on business trips and personal adventures with his wife of five years, his brother and friends.
Chris has been writing reviews for Beverage Dynamics magazine since 2014. He was recently interviewed by them for a feature article on beer appearing in their 80th anniversary issue published in November of 2015. The Newtown Bee also wrote a full page feature article about Chris and his recent ownership of Yankee Wine & Spirits in Newtown, Connecticut.
The following is a list of the many places Chris has visited over the years gaining an incredible amount of information he generously shares with his customers. On the Central Coast of California he has toured Justin Vineyards & Winery, Tablas Creek Vineyard, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Firestone Walker Brewing Company. While touring the Napa Valley and Sonoma areas of California he had the pleasure of visiting Opus One, Charles Krug, Whitehall Lane Winery, Cakebread Cellars, Chappellett Vineyard & Winery, Russian River Brewing Company and the Lagunitas Brewing Company. In Delaware he took a memorable trip with his brother, Scott to Dogfish Head Brewed Ales near his mom's hometown. Then it was on to Pennsylvania to check out Stoudts Brewing Company and Lancaster Brewing Company. Closer to home in New England he has visited the Portsmouth Brew Pub and Smuttynose Brewing Company in New Hampshire, Tree House Brewing Company in Massachusetts, Hill Farmstead Brewery and Fiddlehead Brewing Co in Vermont. And right in our own backyard he frequents Veracious Brewing in Monroe, Connecticut as well as Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, Connecticut. Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York and Red Hook in Brooklyn, New York complete the list for the time being. With a thirst for knowledge, good beer and wine he is always willing and ready to check out the latest releases from his favorite haunts.
His experience doesn't stop at beer and wine. As a former member of the Single Malt Whiskey Society Chris had the distinct honor of attending one of the largest single malt tasting events at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City He has also attended Whiskey Fest in New York City tasting a wide variety of whiskeys adding to his expertise.
Scott Ciskey (Owner/Technical Manager)
With a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Scott works full time by day as an engineer in Plainville, CT and in the evenings and weekends as one of Yankee's most valuable "behind the scenes" personnel. Being part owner of Yankee Wine & Spirits Scott provides an invaluable service as our technological expert designing, setting up, and maintaining our website, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Also having a background in drafting with a natural talent for artwork, Scott designed the store's new logo when the family purchased the business.
Possessing the same passion for craft beer as his brother, Scott is also a feature writer for the store's Beer Blog. With a very discerning palate and a vast amount of knowledge he also enjoys providing input on new craft beers coming into the store and visiting breweries when time allows. He has so far been to Dogfish Head Brewed Ales in Delaware; Treehouse Brewing Company in Massachusetts and Relic in Plainville Connecticut to name a few.
Although Scott works full time during the week he finds time to lend a hand at the store on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays working on the computers, hanging signs, greeting customers and of course, checking out the new craft beer arrivals.
Brian Hutcheson (Manager/Wine Specialist)
Brian has been working in the liquor industry since 2001 gaining a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise in many aspects of the business. His passion for wine started back when he was in the restaurant business. He loves incorporating wine into foods as well as finding the perfect wine to compliment any meal. Italy, France and Spain are his favorite wine producing countries although he does agree there are many excellent wines from the United States as well. That being said, a good Rioja is at the top of his list.
Brian has gained experience from attending many events such as the Sun Wine Fest at Mohegan Sun, numerous upscale wine dinners in Milford, CT, tastings hosted by wine distributors and over fifty portfolio tastings, which gave him the opportunity to sample hundreds of wines and last but not least many private tastings with countless distributors.
In the past, Brian was responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining a multi-level wine club and looks forward to continuing and expanding on Yankee’s present Wine Club in the near future.
Sixteen weeks of wine education in Farmington prepared him well for the many wine classes he has taught. Brian is excited to resume the wine classes at Yankee in January 2017 to share his knowledge of wine. He has also been responsible for over a dozen charity wine events, the largest being for over six hundred people, a skill that will be utilized at Yankee throughout the year.
Brian comes to Yankee with the added bonus of a keen personal interest in spirits. He has taken multiple trips to Kentucky to meet with distillers and tour facilities and was ultimately responsible for selecting over fifteen barrels with Master Distillers. He has also been honored to be the special guest whiskey expert on the Colin McEnroe show on WNPR. However, one of his favorite events was as VIP speaker at Connecticut’s 4B Festival alongside Master Distillers Eddie Russell of Wild Turkey and Drew Kulsveen of Willett.
Possessing and engaging exuberant personality, Brian looks forward to meeting, greeting and interacting with Yankee’s customers to enhance their shopping experience. We are excited to have someone like Brian with such a diverse and impressive background as a part of the Yankee family.