When the world discovers Connecticut beer

Ted Pert, left, and Ryan Crowley working the taps at Two Roads Brewing Company. (photo: Andrew Sullivan for the New York Times)
Ted Pert, left, and Ryan Crowley working the taps at Two Roads Brewing Company. (photo: Andrew Sullivan for the New York Times)

You know how when you go to see a band, and the opening act is just amazing? You’d never heard of them, and weren’t even expecting to see them play. They were so mesmerizing, in fact, that you don’t remember much of the headliners. All you know is that you’ve been listening to the openers nonstop for two weeks and are checking up on their live gig schedule.

And then you hear them on the radio. And their video goes viral. You think, I knew them first.

There’s a parallel with breweries there, I think. Once the world discoverers “your brewery,” there’s a dual twinge. One is, “Hey, they’re MINE! You’re going to just ruin them… somehow.” The other is, “Cool. Good for my brewery. I mean, OUR brewery.”

The buzz around the Feb. 27 New York Times piece by Christopher Brooks, “Slaking a Thirst for Beers at Craft Breweries,” reminds me of this duality. The piece covers the latest generation of Connecticut breweries that have cropped up in the past year. Firefly Hollow, Top Shelf, Broad Brook, Beer’d,  Shebeen, and Two Roads are highlighted, with brief quotes from the brewers. Continue reading “When the world discovers Connecticut beer”

Connecticut’s brewery boom: Broad Brook Brewing

Eric Mance of Broad Brook Brewing
Eric Mance of Broad Brook Brewing ???????????????????????????????

(A version of this column was published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on Aug. 25, 2013.)

Over the past few years, the number of Connecticut breweries has increased and several are poised to open up their doors and let their beer flow. From tiny breweries that could fit in a basement to a factory-sized behemoth, the market for local beer is getting more diverse every month.

For some perspective: when I started this column in 2005, there were probably about 12 Connecticut breweries and brewpubs that I could visit. As of about two years ago, that number was up to around 20. By the end of 2013, barring unforeseen circumstances, we could have nearly 30 individual breweries to frequent in our small state.

Broad Brook Brewing (2 North Road, East Windsor, Conn.) is one brewery hoping to make its mark during this exciting time. Continue reading “Connecticut’s brewery boom: Broad Brook Brewing”