The Breweries Of Connecticut
If it seems like a new brewery opens in Connecticut every week, that's not far off — the state's beer scene continues to grow at a rapid clip, with nearly 50 operational breweries and dozens more in planning and development. We're planning to tell the stories behind these local breweries and what you'll find when you visit: core beers, specialty brews and sought-after releases; tasting room amenities, food trucks, special events and more.
Trailblazer NEIPA (8% ABV) is one of their flagship beers, available on tap and in cans.
Connecticut Valley Brewing Making Its Mark With New England IPA
- 765 Sullivan Ave
- South Windsor
- Wed-Thurs: 3-8pm
- Fri-Sat: noon-9pm, Sun: noon-6pm
- 765 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor, 860-644-2707, Website
- Wed-Thurs: 3-8pm, Fri-Sat: noon-9pm, Sun: noon-6pm
Before Connecticut Valley Brewing debuted its facility on Sullivan Avenue in
Kinsmen’s expansive taproom has seating for about 200, and additional space in a gaming area with a pool table and televisions.
Kinsmen Brewing: Crafting A Community In A Rustic Setting
- 409 Canal St
- Mon: 5-10pm, Wed-Thurs: 3-10pm
- Fri-Sat: noon-11pm, Sun: noon-8pm
- 409 Canal St, Milldale, 860-578-4778, Website
- Mon: 5-10pm, Wed-Thurs: 3-10pm, Fri-Sat: noon-11pm, Sun: noon-8pm
Here’s a little extra incentive to walk, jog or bike along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail: At the 21.3 mile marker, you’ll find craft beer. No matter how you arrive at Southington’s Kinsmen Brewing, which sits along the trail and enjoys plenty of foot and bicycle traffic, its founders and staff want you to be part of their clan. “Kinsmen just means community, family, kinship,” says co-founder Greg Caucci. “It’s about that brotherhood, sisterhood that we’re trying to create here, lasting relationships.” More ...
Thomas Hooker At Colt: The Return Of 'The Old Guy' To Hartford
- 140 Huyshope Ave
- Mon-Thurs: 3-10pm
- Fri, Sat: noon-10pm, Sun: noon-8pm
- 140 Huyshope Ave, Hartford, 860-461-0945, Website
- Mon-Thurs: 3-10pm, Fri, Sat: noon-10pm, Sun: noon-8pm
In 2006, Curt Cameron asked for a Thomas Hooker beer at a
Come for the Suzy Greenberg mango IPA, but stay for the games at Back East's taproom.
Back East Brewing: Renown For Its IPA Standouts
- 1296 Blue Hills Ave
- Thu, Fri: 4-8pm
- Sat: noon-4pm
- 1296 Blue Hills Ave, Bloomfield, 860-242-1793, Website
- Thu, Fri: 4-8pm, Sat: noon-4pm
When DRAFT magazine released its list of America's 50 best IPAs in late June, the rankings included predictable favorites, like Cigar City's Jai Alai out of Tampa and the top-rated Julius from Tree House Brewing in Charlton, Mass. But of the featured standouts across the country, only one brewery's name showed up three times in the top 25. The judges, including certified cicerones, worked their way through a blind taste test of 386 submitted samples and chose three IPAs from
The brewery’s name refers to the city of Waterbury’s motto, “Quid Aere Perennius,” which translates to “What Is More Lasting Than Brass?”
Newcomer Lasting Brass Brewing Already Making Its Mark
- 20 Main St
- Fri: 3-7pm, Sat: noon-7pm
- Sun: noon-4pm
- 20 Main St, Oakville, 860-417-2581, Website
- Fri: 3-7pm, Sat: noon-7pm, Sun: noon-4pm
Ed Silva's beer-making journey began on his 25th birthday, when his wife bought him a home brewing kit. More than a dozen years later in December 2016, the lifelong Waterbury native would open Lasting Brass Brewing in the historic Old Pin Shop building on the Waterbury/Oakville border. "I kept educating myself on how to make better beer, the science behind it," Silva says. "Still, to this day, I'm learning things." The brewery's name refers to the city of Waterbury's motto, "Quid Aere Perennius," which translates to "What Is More Lasting Than Brass?" But Silva says it also pays homage to the brewers and breweries that have come before him. More ...
The Van Art gose, made with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and pink Himalayan salt, has been a popular summer sour.
Counter Weight Brewing: From The Nuanced To Big And Bold
- 23 Rarccio Park Rd
- Fri: 3-9pm, Sat: noon-8pm
- Sun: noon-5pm
- 23 Rarccio Park Rd, Hamden, 203-821-7333, Website
- Fri: 3-9pm, Sat: noon-8pm, Sun: noon-5pm
If you recognize the beer names Sea Hag, G-Bot and Fuzzy Baby Ducks, you're likely familiar with Matt Westfall's career. During his decade-long tenure with
New Park's Calyx IPA, with 6.2 percent ABV, is one of six beers on tap at the New Park’s tasting room.
'Everyone Seems Happy' At New Park Brewing
- 485 New Park Ave
- West Hartford
- Thurs: 5-9pm, Fri: 5-10pm
- Sat: 12-10pm, Sun: 12-5pm
- 485 New Park Ave, West Hartford, 860-232-2033, Website
- Thurs: 5-9pm, Fri: 5-10pm, Sat: 12-10pm, Sun: 12-5pm
New Park Brewing, West Hartford's first craft brewery, sold so much beer during its March opening weekend that the owners had to close for two weeks to catch up on production. "It was a great problem to have, for sure," says John Doyle, a co-founder along with Tom Atkins and head brewer Alex Dee. They began planning the brewery three years ago, generating buzz by offering samples at friends' parties, beer festivals and local events. "We were hopeful that things would take off well, but I was pretty blown away by the response." More ...
OEC specializes in sour and wild ales, in which wild yeast or bacteria is intentionally introduced or allowed to inoculate the beer.
Creating Sour and Wild Ales For Adventurous Taste Buds
- 7 Fox Hollow Road
- Sat: 12-7pm
- Tue: 4-8pm (only last Tue each month)
- 7 Fox Hollow Road, Oxford, 203-295-2831, Website
- Sat: 12-7pm, Tue: 4-8pm (only last Tue each month)
OEC Brewing's team understands that tart, acidic and funky sour beers may not be for everyone. Even assistant brewer Tony Pellino admits he didn't fall in love with the style at first taste. "The first time I ever had a sour beer, I hated it. And now I've dedicated my entire life to them," he said. "If you've never had one, chances are you're not going to love your first sour. You need to have a few tastes and come back." OEC, or Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores (Order of the Eccentric Boilers, in grammatically incorrect Latin) just celebrated its third anniversary in Oxford. The brewery was founded in 2014 by Ben Neidhart, in connection with its sister company, international beverage importer B United. Neidhart, his wife Jie Yu, brewers Pellino and Dave Linari, and cellarmaster Clark Johnson make up OEC's core team. More ...
Black Hog offers "super flights" - a muffin tin filled with all 12 beers on tap in their tasting room. The flight was also a popular Groupon deal that came with a souvenir glass.
Beer Born With A Culinary Pedigree
- 9A, 115 Hurley Rd
- Thu: 4-8pm, Fri: 2-8pm
- Sat: 1-8pm, Sun: 1-5pm
- 9A, 115 Hurley Rd, Oxford, 203-262-6075, Website
- Thu: 4-8pm, Fri: 2-8pm, Sat: 1-8pm, Sun: 1-5pm
Naturally, when cheese experts open a brewery, the beers' tasting notes include a suggested cheese pairing. At Black Hog Brewing in Oxford, co-founders Jason Sobocinski, Tom Sobocinski and Tyler Jones let their gastronomic interests drive their creations, from year-round core offerings to wild experimental ales. "They're food beers, because we're all culinary guys," Jason says. Jason's expertise in cheese is well-documented as the owner of Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro in New Haven. He says he became interested in beer, more than wine, while working at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, Mass. More ...