5 Sensational Connecticut Beer Choices to Consider Right Now

Connecticut now has 110 operating brick-and-mortar breweries across the state. Beer bars, brew pubs, and full-scale breweries have brought more options to our bottles and growlers than ever before. We seemingly have infinite options when it comes to choosing a Connecticut beer. We can enjoy goses, sours, coffee stouts, oatmeal stouts, wild fermented ales, IPAs, double IPAs, and even the occasional milkshake IPA.

Big thanks to the brewmasters, because we’re spoiled when it comes to hyper-local beers. But we’ve managed to whittle it down to a handful of beers that have made a lasting impression on our palates. Not to mention, we made some Connecticut beer choices that haven’t been a part of our Drink of the Week yet on the podcast.

Here are five of the best brews the great state of Connecticut has to offer. 

G-Bot – New England Brewing Co.

  • ABV: 8.5%
  • STYLE: Double IPA
  • COLOR: Clear, golden orange.
  • TASTING NOTES:
    • Resinous pine
    • Citrus
    • Tropical fruits
    • Slight caramel

Let’s get the controversy out of the way, this Connecticut beer used to be called Gandhi-Bot until lawyers and a little bit of common sense got involved. But don’t let its dramatic past distract from this delicious DIPA. Clocking in at a hearty 8.5% this beer remains surprisingly drinkable with hints of citrus, pineyness, and a subtle tropical aftertaste. G-Bot is a hop-lovers’ dream come true.

What Beer Advocate users say:

“Truly wonderful, basically perfect DIPA.” – MrRB from Connecticut

“A unique and amazingly smooth double IPA.” – Rand_Schoeb from Connecticut

Beer Advocate

About New England Brewing Co.

Since 2003, New England Brewing Co has been pumping out some great Connecticut beers. You’ve probably had or heard of their most famous beer, you know, the one with the cute fat waterfowl on the label. Fuzzy Baby Ducks IPA is their most iconic beer, thanks in part to the name (and the liquid). Don’t let the cute name fool you, it takes some serious brewing chops to make what’s been called one of the country’s best IPAs.

Burst – Fox Farm Brewery

  • STYLE: IPA – American
  • ABV: 7%
  • COLOR: Hazy, orange-gold
  • TASTING NOTES:
    • Bright
    • Juicy
    • Tropical flavors

Start naming tropical fruits because this bright and juicy American IPA brings them all to mind. Mango, tangerine, pineapple – there’s a reason it’s called Burst. This is a beer that may have well been freshly squeezed. It’s crisp, invigorating, and super sparkly. You’ll never regret having this beer in your glass. Whether you’re a mainstream beer drinker or a connoisseur, this is a non-polarizing enjoyable quaff if there ever was one.

What Beer Advocate users say:

“Good flavor and a brilliant, balanced dankness.” – jrc1093 from Connecticut

“This is fantastic, full of flavor and well balanced.” – digboy from New Hampshire

Beer Advocate

About Fox Farm Brewery

Sitting in the middle of a 30-acre former dairy farm in Salem, Connecticut. Fox Farm Brewery puts an emphasis on sourcing truly local ingredients for their brews which sometimes includes foraging the property. It’s worth the drive out to the farm, especially since they self-distribute, to get your hands on one of their hoppy IPAs or pale ales. On top of the traditional styles, Fox Farm has been experimenting with beers fermented with their house yeast culture.

Chocolate Truffle Stout – Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

  • STYLE: Stout -Sweet/Milk
  • ABV: 7.1%
  • COLOR: Deep, dark espresso
  • TASTING NOTES:
    • Dark chocolate
    • Mocha
    • Caramel

If you’re from Connecticut and have a sweet tooth, you know Munson’s Chocolate. And Munson’s cocoa powder is what makes Thomas Hooker Brewing’s Chocolate Truffle Stout the perfect dessert beer to end any meal. Each sip finishes with a nice mild chocolatey bitterness that accentuates its sweetness. It drinks smooth like a full-bodied stout should. This is like a liquid chocolate bar in the best of ways. Connecticut beer lovers and chocoholics rejoice!

What Beer Advocate users say:

“I would definitely recommend to any chocolate lover.” – JosephKiley from Connecticut

“It was like liquefied fudge brownies. Wow.” – woodychandler from Pennsylvania

Beer Advocate

About Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Named after the great colonial founder of Hartford, Rev. Thomas Hooker (1586-1687), the namesake brewing company has earned a national reputation by consistently brewing some superior beers. Headquartered in Bloomfield Connecticut, you may be familiar with their American IPA that shares a name with an Instagram hashtag – #NOFILTER. They’ve got a rotating list of beers with a focus on small-batch brewing.

Void Oatmeal Stout – Counter Weight Brewing Company

  • Style: Oatmeal Stout
  • ABV: 7%
  • COLOR: Deep, dark brown
  • TASTING NOTES:
    • Coffee 
    • Chocolate
    • Roasted malt

Who says dark beers are just for winter? Counter Weight Brewing’s Void Oatmeal Stout is such an easy-sipping stout (despite clocking in at 7%) that you’ll want to enjoy it all year long. With every sip you’ll get a nice long, lingering finish. It just nails that almost-coffee, almost-chocolate flavor. If you like an oatmeal stout, this is the oatmeal stout for you. 

What Beer Advocate users say:

“Find me a better 7% non-aged oatmeal stout.” – BababooeyHTJ from Connecticut

“This is a rich and fairly robust stout that is also fairly easy to consume.” – suldaddy from Connecticut

Beer Advocate

About Counterweight Brewing Company

Located in Hamden, for the time being, Counterweight is in the process of breaking ground and building a new from-the-ground-up brewery in Cheshire. The brewers at Counterweight are all about exploration, they’ve been known to experiment with wild yeast and wood aging, while they’re constantly evolving on the basics. With these guys, you’ll get everything from sturdy German lagers, rustic Belgian alges, and pretty much everything in between.

Tempus – OEC Brewing Co.

  • Style: Sour 
  • ABV: 5.9%
  • COLOR: Light, sunny golden.
  • TASTING NOTES:
    • Tart
    • Bitter orange
    • Oak

Sour beers shifted from beyond trendy to becoming fixtures at most breweries. And beers like Tempus at OEC Brewing Co. is a big reason why. Inspired by old-school Germanic beer-making traditions this beer is left out in the open so wild yeast can discover the brew and give it that mouth-watering sourness that we all love. When those wild yeasties do their thing, the result is a nice mellow sour that’s the perfect introduction to anyone new to sours. As far as flavour notes go, think bitter orange, oakiness, and a real pleasant tartness that makes your lips pucker.

What Beer Advocate users say:

“This is world class and I would drink a ton of this.” – Sheppard from Virginia

“It has an excellent, even classic funk.” – LAp from Ohio

Beer Advocate

About OEC Brewing Co.

First off, what does the OEC stand for? Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores, it’s a Latin phrase that kind of, sort of means “The Order of the Eccentric Boilers.” If the name doesn’t give it away, this brewery has a bent for the experimental. They’re pushing the boundaries of craft beer with their innovative blend of sour-leaning beers. Take Experimentalis a special series of beers that lets the brewery run wild featuring fresh fruit grown on the OEC Brewing property and then aged in oak barrels. Who knew that Oxford, Connecticut would be home to what’s been called “North America’s Most Innovative Craft Brewer”.

Looking For More? 

Thanks for checking out our journey as we discover a new Connecticut beer every week. Feel free to check out our podcast where you can see what our Drink of the Week is. We rate beers, rant about our everyday lives, and have plenty fun as lifelong friends. Until next time, cheers from the Bois.

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