Here at CTBeer.com, we’ve compiled a 6-part series on the best Connecticut Weekend Getaways, with a focus, of course, on beer. Our goal is to be able to make it easy for you to explore the great state of Connecticut, with craft beer in hand.
Today we’re excited to share with you our famed ‘Hop’ping Around Hartford guide, which is sure to help you get familiar with all that our capital city has to offer. So sit back, relax, and prepare to get your drink on with our tour around the Hartford area. Oh, and be sure to bring your walking shoes.
City Steam Brewery, Hartford
City Steam Brewery is on another level … seriously. The multilevel floor plan of the brewery, located in the historic Cheney building, delivers breathtaking seating on 9 levels, including the elegant 160-seat Richardson Room. City Steam doesn’t just set up shop in the Cheney building (built in 1877); it celebrates the structure’s history by salvaging original cast iron railings and millwork. Oh, and about that steam: City Steam has a 23-barrel brewery system powered by the Hartford Steam Company. So yes, when they say city steam, they mean it. Learn more now.
Top Shelf Brewing Company, Manchester
The folks at Top Shelf might refer to their 3-barrel brew house as “humble,” but don’t let them fool you: a lot of magic takes place within those 3 barrels. Top Shelf pays homage to its history and roots, from the brewers that came before them, to the historic importance of Hilliard Mills, where the brew house calls home. Next to the brew house is the company’s growing taproom, featuring American, Irish, and Belgian style beers all year long. Learn more now.
Old Burnside Brewery, East Hartford
Any true beer lover knows that the quality of beer depends largely on the ingredients used. At Old Burnside, the brews imagined and brought to realization benefit from a unique pure water source located on the brewery’s own property. The water is remarkably similar to the characteristics found in Burton-on-Trent, which is why Old Burnside has become renowned across the state for its handcrafted ales with a Scottish twist. Old Burnside is a spinoff of the family’s original ice manufacturing business, founded in 1911 in the same location. Learn more now.
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company, Bloomfield
You can guarantee there’s always something happening at Thomas Hooker Brewing Company. As one of the most nationally recognized brewers based in CT, Thomas Hooker has enjoyed massive success and appeal in the craft beer community. But don’t take our word for it. TH has won countless awards, and has received hundreds of accolades, over the more than two decades since they’ve begun brewing. Learn more now.
Back East Brewing Company, Bloomfield
To the folks behind Back East Brewing, making beer isn’t just a job. It’s personal. Founded by cousins Tony Karlowicz and Edward Fabrycki, Jr. in 2012, Back East got its name after Edward moved back to CT from San Diego in 2001, armed with the passion and know-how to start his own brewery. Back East features a stable of seasonal and year-round beers, but unique to them is the Hammer of the Gods series. Not for the faint of heart, these beers are stronger, have more hops, more malt, and a higher ABV. Learn more now.
World of Beer, West Hartford
Make no mistake: this isn’t your typical franchise beer house. World of Beer’s primary focus is on delivering well-crafted beer that reflects the surrounding community. Couple that with the endless live music performed, and you have a recipe for a great night out. Any beer connoisseur must spend a few hours, if not an entire weekend, checking out all of the bottles and drafts available at any given time at WOB. This place, alone, is worth a weekend visit. Learn more now.
Freedom Beer Fest, Ansonia
The first ever Freedom Beer Fest (July 18, 2015) surely won’t be the last to take place in Warsaw Park in the heart of historic Ansonia. Featuring 70+ breweries, food trucks, live music and specialty vendors, this is a great chance for you to take in the culture and beer of Ansonia and CT. Freedom Fest benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, and his hosted by Valiant in the Valley, an all-volunteer 501 c3 non-profit organization. Learn more now.