Hop to it
Nothing says summer like an ice cold beer. Tommy and I are definitely lovers of the brews, and we always make time to support local breweries wherever we go. Our current Airbnb is just a skip away from the Connecticut border, where we decided to start our journey. Little did we know, the state of Connecticut loves beer as much as we do, and we found ourselves on a four stop “Beer Trail.” Falstaff friends, Berkshire visitors- make sure you take a journey south to visit some of these incredible places. The Connecticut Beer Trail had distinctive craft beer destinations. Connecticut has a slew of award-winning breweries and brewpubs, and many offer food as well. We took about four hours to drive down the route and back, and sampled over 20 beers. We also came across the Connecticut chapter of the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women in the brewing industry through education and community. Each brewery also had its own “beer mugs” which could be earned through membership.
Our first stop was just 10 minutes south of us, and the local clientele were the ones to lead us to the CT beer trail. They told us their favorite stops, and we said “Cheers to hops!” Located inside a historic refurbished Railroad Station, the Brewing company opened it’s doors in late 2018. The brewery is named after Great Falls - the local waterfall formed along the Housatonic River at Falls Village just south of the brewer. Make great beer. Their mission is as simple as that. They aim to brew a diverse variety of styles and offer some of the best tasting beers to enjoy indoors or out on their patio.
We did their flight offering, trying the Nitro Bean, PB Happy Camper, Blackberry River Ale, Fruit Snack, Reservoir, Lazy Hazy Housy and Peel. Our favorite was the Happy Camper, complete with a burned marshmallow on top.
Our second stop took us down a beautiful windy mountain path, about 12 minutes from Great Falls. Started in 2019, this Brewery is a bit newer and features incredible views. Ample outdoor space that includes a deck with fire pit, food truck, beer truck and corn hole. The large farm also has access to hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and a disc golf course. Their head brewer is educated and passionate about quality beer, and they specialize in farmhouse-style beers, ales and lagers. This was the largest sampling, and we tried 9 different brews here. The list includes; Mount Pisagh, Birthday, The Circus, Cog Ale, Ol’ Man McMullens Porter, Send it!, Hamlet of Heathens, Slingin’ Cherries and The Case. Our favorite was Birthday; a bright double IPA.
Another ten or so minutes drive was the charming Red Barn Brewers. A warm environment, we got of the car to live music, a food truck and a whole lot of options for brews. On March 9, 2013, two brothers and their friend produced their first batch of beer at the now historic Little Red Barn. What started from a kitchen stove, to a horse barn to now- they quickly saw how their brewery was not only popular, it was to become a cornerstone for their community in Winstead, CT. This sense of family, and support for members of the community was apparent when approaching the front doors. At LRB we sampled 8 exquisite brews; Freshly Squeezed, Roll in the Hay, Mad River, Passionate Haze, Sheltzer, Summer Blue Shandy, Spring Fever and their Porter. Honestly, it was very hard to find a favorite- though we loved the Sheltzer and Passionate Haze.
So first of all- huge shout out to the staff member who kept the brewery open past time because I left my wallet. They win kudos forever. Moving on- this Brewery was by far our favorite. Each brew had a complexity to it, we almost stayed for another glass before going home. Brewery Legitimus is a craft brewery located in New Hartford. They are committed to brewing craft beer of the highest quality and providing a warm, space for beer enthusiasts to gather. In 2016, the doors opened to this independent craft brewery. Chris and Christina Sayer, owners and founders of Brewery Legitimus, have a strong passion for craft beer, and big plans to expand the 3500 sq ft for larger events. We tried the Lord Dobson, Counter Surfer, Let’s get Loud, Pine Meadow Pilsner, Tell me beautiful Lies and Subconscious. Our favorites were a tie between the Lord Dobson and Counter Surfer- both well worth a buy if you see it in the grocery store.
Beer is good. A Beer Trail is better. Adventures with your best friend? The best. Give these local Breweries a spin if you find yourself close by. Cheers!