Weekend Connecticut Trip Ideas for Craft Beer Lovers – Part 1


As one of the earliest states in the union, Connecticut is filled with historical references and sites, nestled in between endless natural beauties. No wonder CT is a frequently visited state by people from across the globe. We here at CTBeer.com want to do our part in helping spread the beauty of CT to the four corners of the world, which is why we’ve created a 6-part series highlighting 6 specific areas of Connecticut. With each article we’ll include some must-see sites, but, as lovers of craft beer as well, we’ll of course let you know where, when and how to raise a glass, no matter where you are in this great state. So grab your maps, friends and camera as you embark on the best that CT has to offer.

“The Mystic Malty Tour”
Nestled along the banks of Block Island Sound, sitting across Fisher’s Island, lays Mystic, Conn., known to many from the film Mystic Pizza, starring an extremely young Julia Roberts.

But the town, and region, is so much more than the perfect New England landscape for a movie. Mystic and its neighboring communities is home to some of the finest beer events and brewing destinations in Connecticut, making it an ideal place for folks from near and far to spend a weekend getaway. Here’s what to take in – from beer and beyond – when you visit the Mystic area:

Cottrell Brewing Co., Pawcatuck, CT
When it comes to “old country,” nothing in America beats New England. And in Pawcatuck, the Cottrell family name is as embedded in the community fabric as some if its buildings. Lifelong entrepreneurs, the Cottrells were originally print press manufacturers, but opened the Cottrell Brewing Company in 1996. The business might have changed, but the digs have not: CBC is in the same building as where the original printing press was housed. Learn more now.

Beer’d Brewing Co., Stonington, CT
There’s microbrews, and then there’s Beer’d Brewing, the brainchild of Aaren Simoncini. Simoncini wanted to start a brewing company that offered a melding of both art and science. He’s achieved it with his approach to producing extremely small batches of some of the richest ales found in South Eastern Connecticut. Visiting the brew house will give you the opportunity to taste each of Beer’d’s available beer. Learn more now.

Outer Light Brewing Co., Groton, CT
Celebrating the simple pleasure of life, Outer Light Brewing captures the beauty of life within every bottle, barrel and growler they serve. Outer Light offers three year-round beers as well as limited, experimental beers such as The Academy GPA, Admiral Lublin’s Imperial Pilsner and Outwerweiss Hefeweizen. Learn more now.

Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, Mystic, CT
While there are plenty of breweries for you to visit in this neck of the woods, why not complement all that imbibing with a trip to the oldest festival of its kind in the Northeast. The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival is a juried art show that brings 85,000 people from around the country to CT for the 2-day event. The festival consumes the heart of Historic Downtown Mystic with more than two miles of watercolors, oils, sculptures and more, providing the perfect backdrop for your Mystic-area visit. Learn more now.

Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT
What better way to celebrate the sea-inspired culture of South Eastern Connecticut than to visit the Mystic Aquarium? Founded in 1973, the aquarium has been a staple in Mystic for more than 30 years and is home to New England’s only beluga whales. Come to see feeding time, or sit down and relax while watching a film in 4-D. There is no shortage of fun at the Mystic Aquarium. Learn more now.

Engine Room, Mystic, CT
The Engine Room isn’t just a must-see place because of its sixteen craft beers on tap. It’s also a sight to be seen, located in the beautifully restored Lathrop Marine Engine, which overlooks the Mystic River. Craft beer is a big part of the ambiance at Engine Room, but it’s not the only thing on the menu that’ll capture your attention. Featuring executive chef Chris Vanasse, as well as co-owners Dan Meiser and James Wayman (behind Mystic’s Oyster Club), Engine Room benefits from more than 50 years of combined food service experience, meaning everything from the burgers to the bacon fat caramel popcorn is worthy of a bite. Learn more now.

Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, Niantic, CT
With all this drinking and sightseeing, you’ll need a place to stay, won’t you? As one of the country’s best Bed and Breakfasts, The Inn is a waterfront property nestled in the marina district of Niantic. Located just a short walk away from downtown, and a quick drive to surrounding communities, The Inn is the ideal place to lay your head as you rest from your busy day. Learn more now.

Any places you would suggest visiting in the Mystic CT area? Let us know in the comments below!

Mr. CTBeer

Founder of the original CTBeer.com & BeerFests.com.

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