The Connecticut Brewers Fest returned for the fourth year running to Two Roads on Monday, and by all accounts it was another success.
The fest brings dozens of Connecticut breweries under one roof to benefit both the CT Brewers Guild and the state's craft beer enthusiasts, including yours truly.
My plan of attack this year was to try out at least 10 new beers (mostly) from breweries I haven't been able to visit yet. Here's how it panned out.
My first stop was the Chief Brody's Banh Mi food truck, where I got a Plum Gose Brat Banh Mi.
With my banh mi in hand, I visited Back East Brewing Co.'s table for the Suzy Greenberg IPA. This was light, juicy and served refreshingly cold.
I moved onto Brewery Legitimus for their Just Play Your Song, an American IPA (which is pictured above with my banh mi). Compared to the Suzy, this was a tad too bitter for my taste.
Next was Cambridge House Brew Pub of Granby. Their blueberry ale was a good follow up to Just Play Your Song to reset my palate. It reminded me a crispy blueberry beer from Maine.
After this lovely blueberry ale, the stalwart Highland Wild with cherry from Olde Burnside called to me. This was a hardy, fruity sour and I got a strong whiff of cherry as I brought the glass up to my lips.
From the highlands to the armada... Armada Brewing Co. was up next. I was feeling bold so I went with the Liberty Abandoned Russian Imperial Stout.
Liberty Abandoned was heavy – I tasted the Muscovado dark brown sugar up front and finished with a roast-y, coffee taste.
I continued the dark beer trend with a brown ale from Charter Oak Brewing Company. The 1687 American Brown Ale had a big flavor up front and, I'm told, is good to serve with steak.
Getting back to light beers, I went for Outer Light Brewing Co.'s You're So Last Summer, an altbier. It was thick, bread-y and malty.
Moving onto These Guys Brewing, I settled right back into the season with a Machtoberfest. At just 5.1% ABV, it was a light, but full-bodied marzen with a slightly sweet finish (from the notes of toasty caramel).
I dipped back into sweet summertime with Brass Works Brewing Co.'s easy, light and hazy Summer School before Jason and I wrapped up the night in Two Roads' Celebration Room, where we started (and was much more crowded than the taproom).
It had cleared up a bit as the night wound down, so I went in for Kinsmen Brewing's North Sea Porter – rich and smoky.
I just had to try Alvarium Beer Co.'s Basic Bitch pumpkin beer. It was basic, just like the name implies (no spices, just pumpkin and beer, really. It didn't weigh you down like some pumpkin beers do).
Finally, I ended with Shebeen Brewing Co.'s bacon-infused Java Pig coffee stout. It was just as dreamy as it sounds.
Wow, that's a lot of beers. But that's what an event like Connecticut Brewers Fest is for – to expose the beer drinks of Connecticut to all our hardworking local brewers have to offer!
And husbands are for making sure you get home safely – which, of course, we did.