NewSylum Brewing Company is anything but your typical “rehabbed industrial garage/factory/warehouse space” brewery. It’s located on bucolic 100-acre former campus of Fairfield Hills Hospital — a state-run psychiatric facility. The grand and spacious taproom has Vermont Danby marble floors (and matching faux walls), dark-grained wood columns, tall arched windows and a vaulted ceiling to give the place a church-like ambiance. All are remnants from the 1930s building past use as an executive dining hall for the hospital’s nurses and doctors. A repurposed marble bar sits in front of 12 tap lines that include wine and local cider along with house brews. A wood-fired pizza oven not only creates some nice crisp homemade pies and pretzels for patrons but serves as a display piece. Outdoor tent seating is available, and a large patio is being built for 2021.
NewSylum Brewing Co. owners Mark Lennon, David Kingsley and Mark Tambascio – all experienced beer geeks – planned to be a taproom only operation when they opened in spring 2020. Limited indoor dining regs imposed due to COVID-19 forced them to pivot, so that summer they added outdoor seating and contracted with a mobile canning company to offer curbside pickup of its awesome ales and such. The beers, as well as the facility, have been winning great praise. Head brewer Watson is a longtime award-winning home- and pro-brewer. Assistant brewer Linari had been an assistant brewer Oxford’s OEC Brewing. Tambascio, a respected beer judge and homebrewer, co-owns the Newtown’s My Place restaurant, one of Connecticut’s first true beer bars.
Manufacture brewery only no tap room. Self-distributes. Lost Tourist Brewing brews fresh distinct ales & lagers. Hoppy well balanced ales, & a couple hop forward hazy New England IPAs. Hometown proudly serving the local area & beyond.
The grand-looking limestone and granite building that’s home to Willimantic Brewing Company (affectionately known as Willibrew) started life in 1909 as a post office, handling mail until the federal government abandoned it in the late 1960s. Much of the original early 20th century architecture and wood working, along with the original white and red marble floor of the former customer lobby, and several postal artifacts have been lovingly preserved in this bustling and friendly OG brew pub. While indulging in their award-winning beers and food, check out the mural in the main dining room depicting a 1920s Main Street scene, created by local artist Gordon MacDonald who has painted many murals around Willimantic celebrating the city’s industrial past as a major thread manufacturer. Or, just belly up to the 60-foot-long polished mahogany bar and order some great grub and a few of its award-winning beers. Patio seating available.
Making food, not beer, is how Willimantic Brewing Company started. The Main Street Café originally opened down the street as a small deli in 1991. Three years later it moved into the post office building, which had been vacant for nearly 30 years prior, expanding into a full service restaurant that featured American craft-brewed beers while adding its own brewing operation that became the beloved Willibrew.
Urban Lodge Brewing Company converted a downtown Manchester warehouse into a literal work of art. One entire outside wall has been painted with an impressive mural by famed street artist (and CT native) Arcy. The indoor and luscious outdoor seating areas have a friendly ski lodge look and feel with fireplaces/pits, long tables, intimate nooks and comfy couches and oversized cushy chairs. Table games, trivia night and bands providing regular entertainment. Urban Lodge Brewing offers fresh popped popcorn and munchies, and has arrangements with several nearby restaurants who offer up their menus to patrons. The taps flow with a nice mix of beer styles – from hoppy to smooth, sweet to sour. All are available in growler fills and several in canned pints of four with curbside pickup available.
Friends Michael Gerrity and Ryan Fagan opened Urban Lodge Brewing Company in August 2019 not only to fulfill their liquid dreams but also to help in the revitalization of downtown Manchester, taking over a space that had been vacant for nearly two decades. The name of their hyper-popular business comes not just from its location and look, but from marrying sisters with the maiden name of Lodge.