The capital city of Connecticut, Hartford, is home to some of the best breweries in the state. From small and cozy tasting rooms to large and bustling beer halls, there is something for everyone in Hartford’s craft beer scene. Whether you are a local or just visiting, exploring the city’s breweries is a must-do activity.
Hartford’s breweries offer a wide range of beer styles, from classic lagers and ales to experimental brews. Some of the most popular breweries in the city include Thomas Hooker Brewery, Hog River Brewing Co., and Back East Brewing Company. Each brewery has its own unique atmosphere and selection of beers, making it easy to find the perfect spot for any occasion.
History of Breweries in Hartford CT
Hartford, Connecticut has a rich history of brewing beer that dates back to the 17th century. The first brewery in Hartford was established in the early 1660s by Thomas Hooker, the founder of Hartford. The brewery was located near the present-day intersection of Main Street and Charter Oak Avenue and produced beer for the local community.
Over the years, the brewing industry in Hartford expanded, and by the late 19th century, there were several breweries operating in the city. Some of the notable breweries of that era included the Hartford Brewing Company, the New England Brewing Company, and the Aetna Brewing Company.
However, with the advent of Prohibition in 1920, the brewing industry in Hartford, like many other cities in the United States, came to a halt. For the next 13 years, the production, sale, and transportation of alcohol were illegal, and many breweries were forced to close their doors.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that the brewing industry began to make a comeback in Hartford. The Thomas Hooker Brewing Company, named after the city’s first brewer, was established in 1988 and is still in operation today. Since then, several new breweries have opened in Hartford, each with its unique style and flavor.
Today, Hartford is home to some of the best breweries in Connecticut, with a thriving craft beer scene that attracts both locals and tourists alike. From classic brews to innovative flavors, there’s something for everyone in Hartford’s breweries.
Thomas Hooker Brewery
Thomas Hooker Brewery is a popular brewery located in Hartford, CT. The brewery is known for its wide variety of beers, including stouts, IPAs, reds, fruit beers, and ciders. Visitors can enjoy a tasting of the different beers on tap in the brewery’s taproom.
The brewery is located in a warehouse and has an industrial feel. The space is large and can accommodate groups of all sizes. In addition to the taproom, the brewery also has a small-batch pilot brewery and a new tasting room.
Thomas Hooker Brewery is open seven days a week. On weekdays, the brewery is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on weekends, it is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors can also purchase beer to go to the brewery’s retail store.
Overall, Thomas Hooker Brewery is a great place to visit for beer lovers in Hartford, CT. With a wide variety of beers on tap and a spacious taproom, visitors are sure to have a great time.
Address: 140 Huyshope Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, United States
City Steam Brewery
City Steam Brewery is one of the longest-operating full breweries in Connecticut, founded in 1997. It is located in downtown Hartford, CT, and is well-known for producing some of the state’s finest craft beers, including the Naughty Nurse and the small-batch Steam Series.
The brewery also features a brew cafe where visitors can enjoy their line of beers, including Brass Bonanza IPA, which is available on tap and canned. The cafe also has a game room that opens when the brewery does, offering additional entertainment options.
City Steam Brewery has received positive reviews on Yelp, with many customers praising the quality of their beer and the atmosphere of the brew cafe. The brewery has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, with reviewers commenting on the great beer selection and the friendly staff.
City Steam Brewery also offers private event spaces for parties and gatherings, including the Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club, which hosts weekly comedy shows. The brewery has won several awards for its beers, including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.
Overall, City Steam Brewery is a must-visit destination for beer lovers in Hartford, CT, offering a great selection of craft beers, a fun atmosphere, and plenty of entertainment options.
Address: 942 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103, United States
Hanging Hills Brewing Company
Hanging Hills Brewing Company is one of the top breweries in Hartford, CT. The company was founded in 2016 and has been brewing craft beer ever since. Their guiding ethos is simple: make beer and be the type of company that would do right by Hartford. Anything short of that is a failure.
Hanging Hills has a mystical background that surrounds the hills where the brewery’s name was inspired. These hills and their story also inspired their black dog logo, as he is rumored to be seen or heard in those same hills.
The brewery is located at 150 Ledyard Street, Hartford, CT 06114. The taproom is currently closed due to the pandemic, but Hanging Hills owner, Joe Ploof, asserts that it will return. In the meantime, HH beers are being brewed at East Rock.
Address: 150 Ledyard Street, Hartford, CT, United States
Here are some key details about Hanging Hills Brewing Company:
- Beer selection: Hanging Hills offers a wide variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, lagers, and more. Some of their popular beers include Metacomet IPA, Keeper Stout, and Hills Pils.
- Food: Hanging Hills does not offer food, but visitors are welcome to bring their own or order delivery from nearby restaurants.
- Hours: Closed Mondays through Wednesdays, 5 PM – 8 PM Thursday, 4 PM – 10 PM Friday, 12 PM – 10 PM Saturday, 2 PM – 8 PM Sunday.
- Atmosphere: The taproom has a rustic and industrial feel, with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and wooden tables. Visitors can enjoy their beer inside or on the outdoor patio, weather permitting.
- Events: Hanging Hills hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including live music, trivia nights, and food truck festivals. Check their social media pages for the latest updates.
Overall, Hanging Hills Brewing Company is a must-visit for anyone looking for great beer in Hartford. With a diverse selection of brews and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder why Hanging Hills has become a local favorite.
Alvarium Beer Company
Alvarium Beer Company is one of the top breweries in Hartford, CT. Located at 365 John Downey Dr Suite A, New Britain, CT 06051, Alvarium is well-known for its exceptional beer and inviting atmosphere.
One of the unique features of Alvarium is its commitment to making the world a better place. The brewery achieves this by creating phenomenal coffee, working hard, and creating a welcoming space for the community to work or decompress.
Alvarium’s beer selection is diverse, with a ton of variety to choose from. The brewery has some of the best beer in the region, and visitors can enjoy fresh and delicious beer while enjoying great service and a relaxed brewery vibe.
Visitors can order Alvarium’s beer to go, and the brewery also has food trucks on-site. Alvarium Roasting Company is also located on the premises, offering coffee and other beverages. The brewery is open from 6 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday and from 3 pm to 10 pm on Saturday.
Overall, Alvarium Beer Company is a must-visit place in the Hartford area. Highly recommended for beer lovers and anyone looking for a welcoming space to enjoy a drink.
Address: 365 John Downey Dr B, New Britain, CT 06051, United States
New Park Brewing
New Park Brewing is a relatively new brewery that opened in 2017. They offer a variety of beers, including IPAs, lagers, and sour ales. Some of their popular brews include Cloudscape, Ghost Notes, and Double Dry-Hopped Fuzzy Baby Ducks. Visitors can enjoy their drinks in the taproom, which has a cozy and relaxed atmosphere.
Address: 485 New Park Ave, West Hartford, CT 06110, United States
For those looking to experience the best breweries in Hartford, CT, a brewery tour is a great option. Many local companies offer tours that take visitors to multiple breweries in the area, providing a chance to sample a variety of beers and learn about the brewing process.
One popular tour company is Connecticut Beer Tours, which offers a variety of tours throughout the state, including several in Hartford. Their Hartford Brewery Tour takes visitors to three of the city’s top breweries, including Thomas Hooker Brewery, Hog River Brewing Co., and Hanging Hills Brewing Company. Along the way, guests will learn about the history of brewing in Hartford and get an inside look at each brewery’s unique brewing process.
Another option is the Hartford Brew Tour, which offers private tours for groups of up to 14 people. Their tours include stops at several of the city’s top breweries, as well as a chance to sample local food and learn about the history of Hartford.
For those who prefer to explore on their own, many of the breweries in Hartford offer their own tours and tastings. Thomas Hooker Brewery, for example, offers guided tours of their facility on Saturdays and Sundays, providing a chance to learn about their brewing process and sample some of their award-winning beers.
No matter which tour option you choose, a brewery tour is a great way to experience the best of Hartford’s craft beer scene.
Brewery Events in Hartford CT
Hartford is a great place to enjoy a beer at one of the many breweries in the area. In addition to their delicious brews, many of these breweries also host events throughout the year. Here are a few of the top brewery events in Hartford CT:
Small State Great Beer Festival
The Small State Great Beer Festival is one of the premier beer festivals in Connecticut. Held annually at Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford, this festival features over 250 beers from more than 60 breweries. The festival also includes live music, food trucks, and other entertainment. It is a great way to sample some of the best beers in the state and enjoy a fun day out with friends.
Thomas Hooker Brewery Tours
Thomas Hooker Brewery in Hartford offers tours of their facility every Saturday. During the tour, visitors can learn about the brewing process and see how the beer is made. The tour also includes a tasting of some of the brewery’s most popular beers. It is a great opportunity to learn about the art of brewing and sample some delicious brews.
Hog River Brewing Co. Music Nights
Hog River Brewing Co. in Hartford hosts live music events on select nights throughout the year. These events feature local musicians and are a great way to enjoy some great music while sipping on a delicious beer. The brewery also has a rotating selection of food trucks, so visitors can grab a bite to eat while they enjoy the music.
City Steam Brewery Comedy Nights
City Steam Brewery in Hartford hosts comedy nights on select evenings throughout the year. These events feature local comedians and are a great way to enjoy a few laughs while sipping on a cold beer. The brewery also has a full menu of delicious food, so visitors can enjoy a meal before or after the show.
Overall, Hartford is a great place to enjoy a beer and attend some fun brewery events. Whether you are a beer enthusiast or just looking for a fun night out, there is something for everyone at the breweries in Hartford.
Craft Beer Trends in Hartford CT
Craft beer has been on the rise in Hartford, Connecticut, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. With a growing number of breweries and taprooms, Hartford has become a hub for beer enthusiasts.
One of the biggest trends in Hartford’s craft beer scene is the use of locally sourced ingredients. Many breweries are partnering with local farmers and businesses to use ingredients like hops, fruits, and grains that are grown or produced in the area. This not only supports the local economy but also gives the beer a unique flavor that can only be found in Hartford.
Another trend is the use of experimental and unique flavors. Breweries in Hartford are not afraid to push the boundaries and try new things. From fruity IPAs to chocolate stouts, there is something for every taste bud. Some breweries even collaborate with local coffee shops or pastry chefs to create one-of-a-kind beers.
Hartford’s craft beer scene also values sustainability. Many breweries are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact, such as using renewable energy sources and implementing recycling programs. This commitment to sustainability is not only good for the environment but also resonates with consumers who are increasingly conscious of their impact on the planet.
Overall, Hartford’s craft beer scene is thriving and constantly evolving.