Willimantic Brewing Company
967 Main St.
Willimantic, CT 06226
The unique decor of this brewpub and restaurant is due to its former life as a 1909 U.S. Post Office Building. For your first time, here you will want to check out the vintage artifacts that decorate the bar. Then check out the seven-barrel brewery, visible from the dining room (formerly the post office work room). Among its creations are pale ales like Blanche de Willi, Glacier IPA, Rail Mail Rye, the Mariner’s Scotch Ale and the regular house beer Certified Gold. Samplers of its in-house brews are available to order so you can find the one that’s right for you. Or choose one of the guest beers which include several Connecticut products like Thomas Hooker Irish Red and Farmington River Mahogany Ale.
The Cask Republic
179 Crown St.
New Haven, CT 06510
Connecticut beer enthusiasts owe it to themselves to make a trip to this New Haven tavern. In addition to 80 bottles, the Cask Republic has 53 rotating taps, and Connecticut brews are well-represented. Choose from pilsners (New England Elm City Pilsner), India pale ales (New England Sea Hag), amber ales (City Steam Naughty Nurse) as well as local porters, stouts and Euro-style beers. If the bar is out of your first choice or you don’t even know where to begin, the beer-savvy staff will know just what to recommend.
12 Selden St.
Woodbridge, CT 06525
This Woodbridge bar is right across the street from the 10-year-old New England Brewing Company, arguably the best microbrewery in the state. Naturally some of its beers can be found on The Winchester’s menu, like its Scotch ale Wet Willie and the Belgian Style ale 668 Neighbor of the Beast. There are also selections from Hartford’s City Steam Brewery (Innocence IPA) and Pawtucket’s Cottrell Brewing Company (Old Yankee Ale).
Related: Connecticut’s Best Breweries
84 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790
This large Litchfield County establishment offers among its 40 beers on tap several from Connecticut breweries. Stratford’s Two Roads Brewing Company is particularly well-represented with, among others, its Farmhouse ale Workers Comp Saison and the Pilsner Ol’ Factory Pils. Backstage also offers the malty Imperial Stout from Bloomfield’s Back East Brewing Company and X-Limited ales from Cavalry Brewing of Oxford.
357 Salmon Brook St.
Granby, CT 06035
www.cbhgranby.comThis attractive brewpub has won awards for its beers, which customers can watch being make on the premises. Try the German ales Alt-45 or the Copper Hill Kolsch, the latter having in the past won gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the Great International Beer Festival. Also popular is the Abijah Rowe IPA, another former gold medalist at the Great International Beer Festival. A giant chalkboard lets you know if those beers are on tap that day or if the Cambridge House has brewed any new surprises.
Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.