A Rather Small Connecticut Brewery Tour

For my dad’s birthday, I offered to take him to a few local breweries since we both love beer. (Like father, like daughter, right?) His birthday was in March, but we didn’t end up going to the first one until the beginning of May. We wanted to go during the week at night, and we had to work around my scooping schedule. Here’s a brief run down of each of the three we went to!

Thomas Hooker Brewery – Bloomfield, CT

Thomas Hooker is about 40 minutes from my house, and it’s located off of one of the main route roads. It’s on a side road next to a few other businesses and has an outdoor patio and an indoor seating area. The brewery part is in the back of the building, and a few times a month they offer tours on Friday nights.

I wanted to sit outside, but it started to rain, so we moved inside. It was a little dark in the tap room, but it could have to do with the impending storm. My dad and I both liked that they had flights so we could sample four different kinds. I got the Watermelon Ale, Nectar of the Goats (pale ale), Fariway IPA, and #NoFilter (another IPA).

My favorites were the Watermelon Ale and Nectar of the Goats, while my dad liked the Fairway IPA and Nectar of the Goats. They had cans for sale, so we left with a six pack of the Watermelon Ale for me, two of the Nectar of the Goats for the both of us, and a Fairway for my dad.

(The Goats beer is the one that’s in partnership with the Hartford Yard Goats that I talk about in this post and how I didn’t get to have it at the ballpark.)

Both of us really liked their beer but found their seating area to be a little small along with the building. They did have trivia going on that night—we didn’t participate—and it seems like a place where a lot of people stop by after work.

Connecticut Valley Brewing – South Windsor, CT

CT Valley is about a half hour from my house and was pretty packed for a Thursday night. My dad and I immediately liked the building and the space—it was really modern, and there was a big party room off to the right for events. Their brewing set up was in the back of the building, which you could see through a glass door in the tap room.

The only downside for us was that they didn’t have flights. They offered 3.5 oz and 7 oz pours, so we got two 3.5 oz glasses of two different kinds. I got the Strawberry Bliss (a sour) and A Fantastic Voyage (an IPA). I loved the strawberry ale and got a four pack of pint cans before we left. My dad got two of their other IPAs, and we both got a third 3.5 oz before leaving. I got Comic Citrus; both of the IPAs I had were good, but I love fruity beers, so I was hooked on the strawberry one.

They had some TVs over the bars and a BYOF (bring your own food) policy. The space was big enough to fit everyone who was there, so we were happy with that. We just wished they had flights so it was easier to sample what was on tap.

(They also just released a blackberry and raspberry sour that I want to go back for.)

Powder Hollow Brewery – Enfield, CT

When we went to Thomas Hooker and CT Valley, it was our first time going, but my dad and I had already been to Powder Hollow back in March for one of his friend’s birthday parties, and they sell cans in the local package stores, so we’ve been buying it for a while. Regardless, my dad still wanted to go back.

The space overall is on the small side, but it’s in a really old building in town and is well known among everyone in town. It gives off the vibe of “where everyone knows your name.” They have flights, which my dad and I were happy about. I got Strawberry Fields, Powder Hollow Pale Ale, Jungle Juice (Pale Ale), and Lift Your Klit (Scottish Ale). I had the Scottish Ale when we went in March and really like it, and the strawberry ale was actually pretty good. The finish reminded me of a cider.

They were offering free catering that night, and I think it’s awesome that a lot of breweries offer food trucks or food on site. We had eaten dinner before going, though.

My dad and I like aspects from all three breweries, and it was fun to visit the different ones to see what beers they offered and how their spaces looked. Hopefully we can go to more in the future, and if anyone has suggestions in the northern/central Connecticut or western Massachusetts areas, let me know!


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