Jonathan Healey’s Home Brew

There’s something brewing on Compo Hill.

Beer.

And not Bud Lite. We’re talking award-winning beer.

Jonathan Healey is Compo Hill Brewery’s brewmaster. Just a few homes up from Elvira’s, he creates great-tasting (and less filling) beers right in his garage.

There’s Compo Hill Mischief Night — Jonathan’s seasonal pumpkin ale.

Compo Saison Vin — a Belgian specialty ale.

Compo Hill Kona Porter. Compo Storm du Zin. And many, many others.

If an idea for a beer pops into Jonathan’s head, pretty soon it’s poured down his throat.

And the throats of his lucky, craft artisinal beer-obsessed friends.

Jonathan Healey

Jonathan — a Westport native — attended Long Lots, Coleytown Middle School and Staples. He graduated from Suffield Academy in 1993.

At Arizona State, and then as a young professional — he’s marketing director for Gathering of the Vibes and the new Capitol Theater in New York, and owns a video production company — Jonathan drank microbrews. In 2005, some friends got into Belgian beers. “They were beer geeks,” he explains. “They planned their vacations around beers.”

They introduced Jonathan into “beer culture.” Eventually he made his way to craft artisanal beers — “one step beyond microbrews.”

A few years ago, he began brewing at home. But boiling powders wasn’t his thing. Soon, he graduated to all-grain brewing.

The Compo Hill brewing system.

He learned everything about Westport water. (“It’s great for brewing,” he says.) He experimented with ingredients, methods, tastes. He joined a home brew club in Westchester.

But most of all, he brewed.

“I really enjoy watching people drink my beer,” Jonathan says. “It’s like being a chef. Your creations make people happy.”

People are certainly happy at his two big annual bashes. One is the 4th of July — the fireworks are just around the bend, at Compo — while the other is an open house. He has 7 different taps, 7 different styles of beer, and many, many satisfied friends.

Compo Hill Brewery’s Belgian Apple.

Earlier this month Jonathan submitted 9 entries in the Southern New England Regional Homebrew Competition. He earned 2 silver medals — in the Specialty and Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer categories — plus one 3rd (European amber lager) and an honorable mention (Belgian and French ale).

He also won the coveted Novice Award — a “Rookie of the Year” honor for 1st-time entrants.

“It was a great learning experience,” Jonathan says. “Even the beers that didn’t win scored high.”

Clearly, Compo Hill Brewery is getting a buzz far beyond Jonathan Healey’s garage.

19 responses to “Jonathan Healey’s Home Brew

  1. Beer yes, signs no

    So he the marketing wiz for the Vibes festival that puts signs illegally all over the state roads and property regardless of state law? Boy that is genius marketing. What a master of the medium. Maybe next year they can place their signs legally and not violate Connecticut law?

    • Find The Dude…get a Doobie.
      😉

    • Hi there. The Gathering of the Vibes apologizes if our lawn signs were accidentally posted in an offensive area. I will link with our street-team captain to make sure next year’s lawn signs are placed appropriately. If you want to connect directly about the issue, please e-mail me at info@gatheringofthevibes.com.

    • Sir – then you should express to the same comments to every not-for-profit in Westport. They are all guilty of putting signs in areas that you have mentioned.

  2. Beer yes, signs no

    So he is the marketing wiz…

  3. Wow. You have people like John McCarthy and Matthew Mandell, and then you have the small minds. I have to find a better use of my time. Thank you for the nice piece about Mr.Healey.

  4. Back when I was working I had the opportunity to work with Jim Koch of Boston Beer. He started the same way and the rest is history. Stick with it Jonathan!

  5. Thanks for the great write-up about Compo Hill, Dan. For folks who want to learn more about Compo Hill Brewing Co., visit the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/compohill or sign-up for the e-mail newsletter at http://compohill.com. I’ll be sending out information about upcoming tastings (free), beer-related events, beer education information, and news/updates.

  6. One taste of Jonathan’s Brew is all you need to become an aficionado.

    His video’s are A1 too.

  7. Way to go Heals!!! Send samples to San Diego please.
    Zack

  8. Beer yes, signs no

    Mr. Healy:

    It is your event promotion that is in violation of the law, not offensive placement. A good marketer would be aware of legal issues surrounding their work and “media placement.” I have called the “office” of the Vibes for several years now WRT the illegal placement of the signs (203-908-3030). Obviously, it has had no impact. Maybe office staff was full of your beer.

    So rather than me or others having to contact you or the festival, why don’t you do THE RIGHT THING and follow Connecticut laws and regulations. Really, try it. Quit littlering the roadways and towns.

    For reference there was just a discussion here about illegal signs: http://06880danwoog.com/2012/10/10/so-long-signs/

    BY, SN

  9. Seymour Synes

    I like lawn signs. I find them informative, and I gotta admit, the fact they piss so many people off adds to their allure. I like beer too.

  10. When we lived in Massachusetts I used to make beer at a small storefront place in Nashua NH, just over the border. They had over 100 recipes, all the ingredients and equipment, and were always willing to help. You cooked up six cases at a time, then came back two weeks later to bottle them and put on your custom labels. It was great.

    I’ve just signed up for Jonathan’s newsletter. This is what makes 06880 such a valuable contribution to the community. Thanks, Dan.

  11. Awesome local business! and Compo Hill just signed on to join the Westport Foodie Fest “Biergarten on The Green” Sat 10/27…come try it for yourself! check it out at http://www.westportfoodiefest.com

  12. Matthew Mandell

    I used to home brew. Actually made a brown ale and gave bottles away as the favor at our wedding, “Weddingfest Ale.” I like what Hartwell did, brewed outside the house. Once my beers must have had too much CO2 cause one night a few bottles went off, taking out most of the others. Took me a bit to figure out someone didn’t have a gun in my house. The mess was nasty with all that glass. But the ones that survived tasted just fine.

    Jon, love the “Nano” beer concept. I’ll be signing up and hoping to get to the Foodfest for most tastes.

    Oh and as for signs – non profits, regarding events, should be allowed to post signs as a cost effective way to get their word out. Just collect them up and use the metal pieces again to save money. But maybe we do need to find a way to remove the for profit lawn signs from our landscape.