Local breweries are perfect for spending an afternoon with friends. If you’re looking for the best breweries in Connecticut to add to your itinerary, we have you covered.
Looking for the best places to sample local brew in Connecticut? These are our top picks for doing the CT beer trail, for a night out, sampling local food trucks, or exploring some niche locations in the area.
1. Fox Farm Brewery
Fox Farm Brewery is one of our top breweries in Connecticut for many reasons. One of the most notable reasons is that they have a wide variety of beers that are all very well-crafted. Plus, being a Salem, Connecticut native this brewery was always a great local escape out of the house!
They also have a really cool taproom where you can sample their beers and hang out with friends. Fox Farm Brewery is also family-owned and operated, which gives it a personal touch.
Lastly, they are constantly expanding and innovating, so there’s always something new to try at Fox Farm Brewery!
2. New England Brewing Company
New England Brewing Company (NEBCO) is a Connecticut classic brewery founded in 2001. From their playfully crafted can decals to wide array of beer, there is something for everyone!
NEBCO has rotating food trucks that will pair well with any beer that you get there. Last time I was there, the Los Mariachis food truck was providing their Mexican cuisine. Feel free to bring their food inside this brewery for your beer pairing or enjoy a nice day outside with their outdoor seating.
Being a New England native, NEBCO has been a staple visit for my yearly beer trail rounds. This time around, I sampled their ‘Fuzzy Baby Ducks’, a New England Hazy IPA. Hoppy, smooth, and clean this beer goes down well.
While you are at NEBCO, grab some free Fuzzy Baby Ducks stickers to put around your house!
To those on the ‘wilder’ side of the beer spectrum, try their ‘Acrimony’, one of their 6% wild ales. With flavor notes of sour and funky, this will certainly pucker any sour beer lover’s taste buds!
3. Concentric Brewing Company
After years of planning, three friends with a passion for brewing converged and thus, Concentric Brewing Company was born. The brewery is located in Portland, CT with easy access to Routes 9 and 91.
Concentric is a convenient spot to stop and enjoy a drink or two while enjoying some live music and avoiding the crowds of Middletown.
The location has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for all of you and your guests whom may be accompanying you on your visit to enjoy. They also have food available onsite to be purchased and consumed.
They have a wide variety of beers to provide for all of your tastebuds. Their ‘Lime Gose-Rita’ is one of my absolute favorites. It is a tart and salty sour, but on the lighter side so it’s still considered to be a crushable beer on their list.
One of my favorite things about Concentric is that they will offer you one of their blended beers. Though they may not be on their tap list, they are known to be incredible.
Pairing the ‘Lime Gose-Rita’ with the ‘Pineapple Sunset’ is a local favorite. Concentric has some of the best beers in Connecticut in my personal opinion!
4. WeHa Brewing & Roasting Company
A new edition to the West Hartford beer scene, WeHa Brewing is a must stop for beer and coffee lovers. This unique brewery has both a coffee shop and tap room built into one!
If you are a pet owner, you may want this one on the top of your list. They are a dog friendly place where you are able to relax and get some work done away from the office.
After you grab a top notch espresso and cold brew from the coffee shop, hop over to the bar side and try a pre-made or custom flight. In my humble opinion, their ‘Take Me To Church’ Belgian Tripel compares to Allagash Brewing Company’s ‘Tripel’.
If you are not into Belgian tripels, try their sours or milkshake IPAs. The ‘Resting Beach Face’ is a close second favorite from WeHa Brewing.
5. Alvarium Beer Company
To those visiting New Britain, Alvarium is a must visit! If you are in New Britain on a Wednesday, be sure to get there early to beat the trivia crowd. They also have rotating food trucks if you are looking for some food to pair with your beer.
Like many Connecticut breweries, Alvarium has a variety of beers to choose from. One of my favorite beers from Alvarium would be their hazy IPA, ‘Elevated’. Having a balanced profile between piney and soft, this is a must have hazy IPA over dinner while testing your luck at trivia!
6. Stony Creek Brewery
One of my favorite shoreline breweries, Stony Creek Brewery has some of my favorite craft beer with a beautiful waterfront view. Boasting a large tap room and circulating food trucks, Stony Creek is makes my yearly list of best breweries in CT and a must stop on the yearly CT beer trail.
To those who enjoy hoppy beers, this brewery has plenty to offer for the hoppy beer lover. Some of my favorite hoppy beers include the ‘Big Wing Haze’ and ‘Holiday Party’.
Stony Creek also offers a ‘Little Wing Haze’ to those who need a little ABV! Each beer has its own unique profile; but what I like is the hazy consistency between them all!
7. Counterweight Brewing Company
Another Connecticut classic that makes it on my yearly beer trail rounds would be Counter Weight Brewing. As an added bonus, Counterweight recently moved their operations to Cheshire!
New Cheshire Location
To those who have been in CT some time, you may remember Counterweight being at the bottom of the cul-de-sac in Hamden, CT. Their new location in Cheshire in the industrial park off of I-691 boasts a massive tasting room with a rotating food truck.
To the beer aficionados out there, Counterweight has plenty to offer. For hop heads like myself, Counter Weight has plenty of IPAs. Some of my favorites are their flagship ‘Headway IPA’ and their ‘Inundation’. Both feature notes of hoppy, smooth, and juicy.
8. Taylor Brooke Brewery
Looking for some good beer consumption? Doing the CT wine trail? Get both done in one shot at Taylor Brooke which boasts a sizable brewery and a great vineyard!
The brewery is right across the parking lot from the winery but also offers their wine for you to try without even leaving your table. They offer a wide variety of beers for you to try. They have experimental beers as well as some beers fermented on their estate.
If you are a sour lover, feel free to try ‘Shantay You Stay’. This peach, sour-dough sour is a yeast and lacto blend just like the traditional sour-dough starter, just paired with peach juice.
9. Two Roads Brewing Company
Two Roads Brewing Company offers some of CT’s best beer and is a staple to the CT beer scene. With their two tasting rooms in Stratford, Two Roads offers something for everyone.
To those who like a conventional brewery, stop by Two Roads Brewing Company original tasting room. My personal favorite year round would be ‘Road 2 Ruin’, a double IPA. A close second would be their ‘Espressway’; a perfect coffee stout for coffee lovers.
If you are around CT during the fall, be sure to to grab a case of the ‘Roadsmary’s Baby’. This pumpkin/yam beer will not disappoint and is the perfect pairing to watch the leaves change!
Area Two Experimental Brewing
While you are visiting the flagship location, take a short walk across the parking lot to their experimental brewing spin off. To those that like something different Area Two Experimental Brewing is the place to be!
One of my favorite hazy IPAs was their ‘Everything But the Kitchen Sink’. To those who like stronger sours, ‘Whiskey Sour’d’ is a tart, sour beer that will pucker your taste buds.
10. Twelve Percent Beer Project
A North Haven favorite, Twelve Percent Beer Project is one of the top breweries for CT beer lovers. What I appreciate about Twelve Percent Beer Project is their collaboration with other breweries.
Being an East Hampton resident, I was sad to find out that Fat Orange Cat closed their tasting room to the public. But, Twelve Percent Beer Project of North Haven continues their collaboration with Fat Orange Cat and makes great collaboration beers.
Other Twelve Percent collabs include Evil Twin Brewing, Abomination Brewing Company, Hoof Hearted Brewing, and American Solera Brewery.
One of my favorite collaboration beers would be their ‘Walkabout Strawberry Banana’, a collaboration with Fat Orange Cat. Boasting flavors of strawberry, banana, sour, and fruity, this will certainly be a great beer for sour enthusiasts!
11. New Park Brewing
Nestled on New Park Ave near a number of local bars and brewpubs, this West Hartford brewery is a best brewery of Hartford County. With a sizable tasting room and a number of outdoor seating, kick back and enjoy their dozen beers on tap!
Between sours and IPAs, New Park Brewing has a taste for everyone on the beer spectrum! For those with a sour taste, try their ‘Blender: Boysenberry’ sour, a fruited Berliner Weisse. With a high Untappd rating of 4.28, this sour boasts a flavor profile of fruity, tart, and sour.
To those who like the hoppy side of the spectrum, sample New Park Brewing’s ‘Cloudscape’ or ‘Double Cloud’. Being a double IPA beer lover, their ‘Double Cloud’ brew features notes of juicy, creamy, and hazy. A smooth finish to finish off a long day of work!
12. Little House Brewing Company
Located in the center of historic Chester, Little House Brewing is a must visit for CT breweries in the Connecticut River valley. Between making beer on site and collaborating with other local breweries, they have a selection of beer for everyone.
To those who like hoppier beers, try their ‘Okay, We’re Kinda Cute’. As much as I like to believe I am kind of cute, this New England IPA is the perfect combination of juicy, hazy, and citrusy. Its the perfect refreshing blend to sit outside Little House Brewing Co and take in the beauty that New England villages have to offer!
If you are feeling like doing a flight of four, don’t be shy to try around their nine beer tap offering. Between ciders, lagers, IPAs, amber ales, and imperial stouts, there should be enough of a selection to fill your flight!
Located in downtown New Haven, BAR is a great place to drink craft beer and consume some of the best brick oven pizza around, a New Haven delicacy. Surrounded by Yale University, this quaint elm city brewery serves as a night club in the evenings to those looking to bar crawl the city.
This brewery is also a short walk from the New Haven green, the local drop off spot for Quinnipiac University students visiting town on the school shuttle.
14. Nod Hill Brewery
Being an eastern Connecticut native, sometimes it can be tough to make it to the western part of the state. But, when I do make it toward the New York border, Nod Hill is by far one of my favorite breweries to visit for its fantastic atmosphere.
My girlfriend and I recently did our yearly beer trail rounds for the Gold Coast region and made the stop to Ridgefield to start our trip. We went on the first 90 degree day of the season for Connecticut, and had a blast building birdhouses in the Biergarten. With good beer, live music, special events, and daily food trucks, I highly recommend visiting Nod Hill Brewery to spice up your weekend plans!
Discovering the best breweries in Connecticut
Although a small state, Connecticut is home to over 120 breweries and counting. Whether you are trying to get some prizes through the CT Brewer’s Guild on the beer trail or looking to explore the Nutmeg State, there are plenty of breweries and styles to choose!
If you’re in New England looking for more things to do, here’s some other spots you may want to check out!