Connecticut is the place to be when it comes to microbreweries. The variety, the accessibility, and love for beer are all here! It has become a hobby for people, a past time, and a lifestyle. Beer has gotten people moving and exploring. It is taking people out of their comfort zone and out on the road on weekend beer adventures to find the next big thing. A can release, a special stout, or a beer festival. No matter what, people are traveling and consuming beer. Oh, it’s a wonderful thing! Businesses growing, people making connections, and Connecticut diversifying.
New Park Brewing
Let’s start within the Hartford area with New Park Brewing. They have accomplished a great deal within their first couple of years since they opened their doors. Located in West Hartford, New Park Brewing has such a variety to offer. If you are after that juicy, hazy double IPA, or that easy drinking flavorful stout, this is your place. Something special about them is their series of “blenders.” An impressive sour series with flavors from boysenberry to peach to raspberry and many more. Guava passion fruit so far is my favorite. It’s so unique! New Park Brewing releases these tasty blenders one flavor at a time. You should consider yourself lucky to get them during one of their can releases. New Park also puts together live music nights bringing in a variety of musicians that cover a range of genres. Of course, with all the beer and music, there is always a food truck parked outside!
From there we travel to Relic Brewing. Located in Plainville, Relic Brewing consistently puts out IPAs and DIPAs. Luckily for us, we can find them at our package stores. They have recently expanded their taproom with many plans for the future. In addition to their generous tap list, there is an entire wall dedicated to bourbons, scotches, whiskey, and tequilas. Pretty neat if you ask me! Collaborating in beers is nothing new for Relic. From teaming up with other breweries to restaurants, Relic keeps it current and fun.
Continuing to head west, we arrive in the Counterweight Brewing in Hamden. They have two taprooms splitting the brewery into two levels. They recently added an outdoor sitting space for warm days with plenty of seating for the whole family. Cans are always available for purchase and they release new brew almost weekly. You can guarantee to find something your palate will love at this location! From Raspberry Berliner Weisse to a Doublebock to their infamous IPA’s, Counterweight has something for everyone. Headway is a single IPA that is nothing but satisfying and well distributed so you’re bound to find it at your local bar.
New England Brewing Company
Less than ten miles away you will find yourself at New England Brewing Company. NEBCo has been brewing beer since 2002 and settled in at Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 2013. There, they offer a variety for the average beer consumer. I am sure you have heard of Fuzzy Baby Ducks DIPA. How can you forget a unique name like that? The wide range of IPAs, DIPAs, and Stouts makes NEBCo stand out amongst other breweries. If a little yoga prior to beer consumption is your thing, join Eileen every Sunday at 10 A.M. for an hour of practice and afterward enjoy the brews.
When in Connecticut, you have to head to the shore. Located in the nautical town of Stonington, is Beer’d Brewing. They offer a complimentary taste of what is on tap, so rest assure you will find the perfect brew for you. Classified as a microbrewery in 2017 with great plans for expansion, we’ll soon find them in Groton. We can’t wait! Fresh beers like Dogs and Boats, Hobbit Juice, and The Next Episode Series, are always available. What could be better than that?
The list of breweries located in beautiful places only grows; Outer Light Brewing, Little House Brewing, Fat Orange Cat, Stubborn Beauty, Labyrinth, and Kent Falls are a few to name and all have delicious beers. As a plus they are dog-friendly!
The growth of breweries in Connecticut will continue as the love and passion for beer flourishes. I am one lucky girl living in Connecticut as brewery doors continue to open!
About Jess Bautista
I am a Latina with a love and passion for craft beer who enjoys traveling to breweries and meeting people along the way. Always on the search for those great beers with a big focus on staying local and supporting Connecticut’s beautiful breweries.