Uncover the Best Breweries in Connecticut: A Craft Beer Lover’s Guide

Connecticut’s craft beer scene is rapidly blossoming, offering a diverse array of breweries and experiences that cater to every beer lover’s palate.

From scenic outdoor oases to innovative brews, the Nutmeg State is quickly becoming a destination for craft beer enthusiasts.

So, grab a pint, and let’s uncover the best breweries in Connecticut!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Connecticut’s craft beer scene with top breweries offering unique interpretations of brewing, outdoor oases, and experimental beers.
  • Celebrate diversity in brewing with Rhythm Brewing Co. and Athletic Brewing Co., specializing in unfiltered beer & non-alcoholic drinks respectively.
  • Enjoy the perfect pairing of craft beers from New Park Brewing, Counter Weight Brewery Co., Half Full Third Place & food trucks for a memorable experience.

Connecticut’s Craft Beer Scene

Connecticut’s rich craft beer landscape is dotted with an impressive array of Connecticut’s craft breweries, each bringing a unique interpretation to the art of brewing.

The state’s smaller size makes it easy to explore multiple locations on a single outing, allowing you to sample various brews and immerse yourself in the vibrant beer community.

With historic mill towns and exclusive spaces, these breweries are situated in some of the most distinctive settings, providing an unforgettable experience for beer aficionados.

The Connecticut beer scene is ranked by Brewery Stars, utilizing a data-driven approach to combine publicly available beer ratings and venue ratings into a Brewery Stars Meta-Rating. This system simplifies your journey to discovering Connecticut’s top breweries, paving the way to the state’s finest beer offerings.

Why not embark on a journey to experience the fledgling craft beer scene and its flourishing culture first-hand?

Top Breweries for Exceptional Craft Beers

For those seeking exceptional craft beers, some of Connecticut’s most renowned breweries include Fox Farm Brewery, Two Roads Brewing Company, and New England Brewing Co.

These breweries are perfect destinations for beer lovers, offering a diverse range of expertly crafted beers that are sure to impress.

The subsequent sections delve into these top-tier breweries and the unique experiences they offer.

Fox Farm Brewery

Nestled in picturesque Salem, CT, Fox Farm Brewery is a craft beer lover’s dream come true. With an idyllic atmosphere and an extensive selection of craft beers, including limited edition beers ranging from IPAs to stouts, Fox Farm Brewery is a must-visit destination.

The inviting taproom provides the perfect setting to enjoy their:

  • hop-forward ales
  • bright lagers
  • farmhouse beers
  • experimental styles
  • collaborations with other breweries

Open Thursday through Sunday for on-site enjoyment, Fox Farm Brewery welcomes walk-ins and offers reservations for seating. Curbside pickup is also available for those who prefer to enjoy their brews at home or on the go.

With signature and special beers like “The Camp Smoked Lager,” “Pebble Table Beer,” “Spontaneous Ale,” “Welly,” and “Epilogue,” Fox Farm Brewery has something for everyone.

Why not drop by and immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this brewery?

Two Roads Brewing Company

Two Roads Brewing Company, located in Stratford, CT, offers a unique brewery experience, complete with indoor and outdoor spaces, yard games, and food trucks.

Part of Two Roads Brewing Company is Area Two Experimental Brewing, a division devoted to creating imaginative spirits and emphasizing the craft of craft beer. They take pride in going the unconventional route and pushing the limits of traditional brewing.

With a dedicated team of women leading their quality assurance department and managing the brewery’s operations, Two Roads has a strong commitment to inclusivity. They were one of the first major breweries to collaborate with a black-owned brewery to produce the Black is Beautiful beer.

Offering a diverse range of beers, including their popular Road 2 Ruin Double IPA and Honeyspot Road White IPA, Two Roads Brewing Company is an exceptional destination for beer enthusiasts.

New England Brewing Co.

New England Brewing Co. is an iconic brewery in Connecticut, known for its popular G-Bot Imperial IPA. G-Bot is a citrus-y, dank, and juice bomb character, making it a must-try for any craft beer lover.

Located in North Haven, this historic spot is the perfect place to try a pint of this legendary beer and experience the best of Connecticut’s craft beer scene.

Outdoor Oases: Breweries with Scenic Spaces

For those who appreciate a picturesque setting while they sip on their favorite brews, Connecticut has several breweries that offer scenic outdoor spaces.

Some of these breweries include:

  • Cisco Brewers in Stamford
  • The Hops Company
  • Stony Creek Brewery
  • Dockside Brewery
  • The Hops Company

All of these breweries provide unique and beautiful outdoor environments to enjoy a cold pint.

Let’s delve deeper into these picturesque outdoor havens.

Stony Creek Brewery

Located in Branford, CT, Stony Creek Brewery is renowned for its outstanding outdoor brewery space, offering waterfront views, fire pits, cornholes, food trucks, and craft beer with a view of the Long Island Sound.

Their outdoor beer garden is the perfect place to unwind, featuring white sand, lively music, and a warm atmosphere. Boats can even dock directly at the brewery, adding to the unique experience.

Stony Creek Brewery specializes in a wide range of beers, such as:

  • Big Cranky (Double IPA)
  • Cranky IPA
  • Stony Joe Golden Mocha Stout
  • Ruffled Feathers
  • Stony Creek Black Water Pils
  • Garza Lager
  • Sun Juice

Open Monday through Thursday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the outdoor beer garden is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing drink in a stunning setting.

Dockside Brewery

Dockside Brewery, a craft brewery, and waterfront biergarten in Milford, CT, offers a scenic view of the water and a dock for visitors to moor their boats. Founded by co-owners Dan Bagley and Bob Chicoine, this brewery is the perfect place to enjoy a cold beer while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Offering an array of craft beers, including Freddo Italian Pilsner, German-Style Pilsener, New England India Pale Ale (IPA), and Imperial or Squooshy, Dockside Brewery has something for every beer lover.

Open Monday to Tuesday from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm, Wednesday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm, and Friday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 12:00 am, there’s plenty of time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view with your favorite brew.

The Hops Company

The Hops Company in Derby, CT, is a top-rated bar that offers:

  • An indoor and outdoor beer garden
  • Fireplaces
  • Live music
  • A wide selection of drinks

This makes it the ideal location for a relaxing evening out. The picturesque private garden area with waterfalls, fire pits, and a rustic ambience is perfect for weddings and events, while the beer garden experience and diverse food options with food truck approval provide a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors.

The Hops Company offers a selection of craft beers and has hosted several live music events and performances, including DJ nights, acoustic evenings, and brunch with quality entertainment.

Notable artists such as Anthony Edley have performed solo acoustic sets at the venue, making it a great place to enjoy live music and a refreshing beverage.

Although The Hops Company does not brew beer in-house, they provide a vast selection of more than 40 beers, including locally-sourced, domestic, and international varieties. Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast or simply looking for a beautiful outdoor oasis to enjoy a drink, The Hops Company is worth a visit.

Celebrating Diversity in Brewing

Celebrating diversity in brewing is of great importance in Connecticut, and two breweries that exemplify this are Rhythm Brewing Co., the state’s first BIPOC-owned craft brewery, and Athletic Brewing Co., a brewery solely dedicated to crafting high-quality non-alcoholic beer.

Let’s delve deeper into these standout breweries and their unique impact on Connecticut’s beer culture.

Rhythm Brewing Co

Rhythm Brewing Co., a black and female-owned brewery in New Haven, CT, is rooted in music, dance, and beer. Founded by Alisa Bowens-Mercado, Rhythm Brewing Co. launched in 2018 and has since been making waves in Connecticut’s craft beer scene.

The brewery focuses on producing unfiltered beer brewed with South African hops, with their flagship unfiltered lager called “RHYTHM” being a popular choice among customers.

Rhythm Brewing Co. offers a selection of lagers, including Unfiltered Lager and Blue Unfiltered Light Lager. Their beers are a testament to the importance of diversity in the brewing industry, showcasing the unique flavors and experiences that can come from a diverse range of brewers.

If you’re in Connecticut, be sure to visit Rhythm Brewing Co. and support this trailblazing brewery.

Athletic Brewing Co

Athletic Brewing Co., a Connecticut-based brewery specializing in non-alcoholic beers, is committed to providing high-quality, flavorful options for those who want to enjoy a beer without the alcohol.

Their innovative, proprietary method of brewing beer without alcohol has earned them numerous awards and recognitions, as well as distribution throughout all 50 U.S. states.

The popular non-alcoholic beers offered by Athletic Brewing Co. include:

  • Run Wild IPA: a session IPA brewed with five Northwest hops
  • Upside Dawn Golden Ale: a refreshing, light-bodied ale with notes of citrus and tropical fruit
  • Cerveza Atletica: a Mexican-style lager with a crisp, clean taste
  • All Out Stout: a rich and robust stout with flavors of chocolate and coffee

With their wide range of delicious non-alcoholic options, Athletic Brewing Co. is changing the game for those who want to enjoy a beer without the alcohol.

By focusing on crafting non-alcoholic beers that don’t compromise on taste, Athletic Brewing Co. is breaking barriers and expanding the craft beer scene in Connecticut.

Their commitment to inclusivity and providing options for those who choose not to consume alcohol is a shining example of the importance of diversity in brewing.

Don’t miss out on a visit to Athletic Brewing Co. to sample their exceptional non-alcoholic beers.

Experimental and Innovative Breweries

Connecticut is home to several experimental and innovative breweries that push the boundaries of what beer can be.

This section delves into OEC Brewing, Area Two Experimental Brewing, and Urban Lodge Brewing Company, three breweries that stand out for their innovative approaches and imaginative brews.

OEC Brewing

OEC Brewing, or Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores, is a brewery in Connecticut that is devoted to bringing lost brewing traditions from North Germany and Belgium to the States.

With a focus on spontaneously fermented sour beer, OEC Brewing employs distinct brewing techniques, such as spontaneous fermentation and the utilization of a coolship, to craft their unique brews.

Their beers, including:

  • Aether Sour Ale
  • Citrango Lager
  • Coolship Lager Americana
  • Coolship Lager
  • Exilis Sour – Berliner Weisse
  • Albus
  • Artista Zynergia

showcase the exceptional craftsmanship and innovation that goes into each brew at OEC Brewing. If you’re looking to try something truly unique, be sure to visit OEC Brewing and experience their one-of-a-kind beers.

Area Two Experimental Brewing

Area Two Experimental Brewing, a division of Two Roads Brewing Company, is dedicated to experimentation and innovation in the world of craft beer.

Their 25,000-square-foot facility is devoted to creating imaginative spirits and emphasizing the craft of craft beer.

With their commitment to pushing the limits of traditional brewing, Area Two Experimental Brewing offers a variety of experimental and seasonal beers, such as:

  • Brett Noir
  • Cruise Control Helles Lager
  • Snow Day
  • Tequila Barrel-aged Lime Gose

As a leader in experimental brewing in Connecticut, Area Two Experimental Brewing provides a platform for brewers to explore beyond traditional brewing techniques and create unique and innovative flavors.

The facility also features a tasting room, seasonal patio, and a rooftop beer garden, creating a welcoming atmosphere for beer enthusiasts to explore and enjoy these experimental brews.

Be sure to visit Area Two Experimental Brewing and discover the art of experimentation in craft beer.

Urban Lodge Brewing Company

Urban Lodge Brewing Company in Manchester, CT, is a brewery and beer garden with a focus on innovation.

Established in 2019, Urban Lodge Brewing Company is a family-run business that is renowned for its wide selection of freshly brewed beers, including:

  • Pale ale
  • IPA
  • Pilsner
  • Stout
  • Witbier

The brewery offers a rotating menu of new and inventive flavors, ensuring that there is always something new and exciting to try.

Urban Lodge Brewing Company offers:

  • A warm and inviting atmosphere
  • Experimental brews
  • Live music events
  • Small-batch wines

It is a great place to unwind and enjoy the innovative craft beer scene in Connecticut. If you’re looking for a brewery that pushes the boundaries of traditional brewing, Urban Lodge Brewing Company is the place to be.

Small-Batch Wonders: Microbreweries in Connecticut

For enthusiasts of small-batch brewing, Connecticut boasts a number of microbreweries that master the art of crafting distinct and inventive beers.

This section takes a closer look at Thimble Island Brewing, Bear Hands Brewery, and Velvet Libations, three small-batch gems guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.

Thimble Island Brewing

Thimble Island Brewing, located in Branford, CT, offers unique beers, tours, and tastings in a small-batch setting. From American Ale to Coffee Stout, Sea Foam – New England Pale Ale, and Ghost Island Double IPA.

Thimble Island Brewing has a diverse selection of beers that cater to different preferences. Enjoy the intimate atmosphere of their tasting room, where you can sample their craft brews and learn more about the brewing process.

In addition to their core lineup, Thimble Island Brewing often has limited-edition beers and seasonal offerings, providing even more variety for craft beer enthusiasts.

With their commitment to quality and creativity, Thimble Island Brewing is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the small-batch wonders of Connecticut’s craft beer scene.

Bear Hands Brewery

Bear Hands Brewery, nestled in the tranquil corner of downtown Putnam, CT, is a popular small brewery with a focus on quality and creativity.

Their small-batch brews, such as Racer 5 IPA, RIVER ROAD IPA: West Coast IPA Series, and Racer 7 Hazy IPA, are crafted using a process that involves steeping grains, collecting first runnings, and adding sparge water.

The brewery’s dedication to quality and experimentation makes it a standout in Connecticut’s craft beer scene.

With a cozy atmosphere and a rotating selection of unique brews, Bear Hands Brewery is the perfect place to sample the best of small-batch brewing in the Nutmeg State.

Velvet Libations [CLOSED]

Velvet Libations, a small brewery in Connecticut, is known for its unique and flavorful beers. With offerings such as:

  • Shebeen Idaho IPA
  • Shebeen Sour Cannoli Beer
  • The Chaser (Belgian Style Dubbel aged in oloroso and port barrels)
  • The Invaders (Kveik NEIPA)
  • A Nice Place to Visit (Mai Tai Sour)

Velvet Libations provides a diverse selection of beers that cater to a variety of tastes.

This small-batch wonder is the perfect place to experience the creativity and passion that goes into crafting exceptional beers. With an emphasis on authenticity and pure botanicals, Velvet Libations sources raw plant matter for their ingredients, ensuring that their beers are both unique and delicious.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Velvet Libations and savor their exquisite brews.

Food Trucks and Tasting Rooms: The Perfect Pairing

Food trucks and tasting rooms make a perfect duo for craft beer connoisseurs, offering a variety of food choices to go with the delightful craft beers available in tasting rooms.

This section investigates New Park Brewing, Counter Weight Brewing Co., and Half Full Third Place, three Connecticut breweries that master the art of pairing their craft brews with food truck delicacies.

New Park Brewing

New Park Brewing in West Hartford, CT, is known for its juicy IPAs and tart Berliner weisses, making it a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts. In addition to their exceptional brews, New Park Brewing offers a diverse selection of food trucks on their premises.

With a rotating roster of food trucks, you can enjoy a wide range of food options to pair with their delicious beers.

From wood-fired pizzas to calabrian chicken wings and cheesy garlic bread, New Park Brewing has something for everyone.

They also host a Sunday Brunch series featuring ‘Bottomless’ Blenders & Mimosas, providing a unique and enjoyable experience for visitors. So, why not visit New Park Brewing and enjoy the perfect pairing of food trucks and tasting rooms?

Counter Weight Brewing Co.

Located in Hamden, CT, Counter Weight Brewing Co. offers a diverse taplist and a welcoming tasting room. In addition to their impressive selection of beers, including:

  • Headway IPA
  • Crucial Mass
  • Counter Weight’s Workhorse
  • Space Coyote

They often feature food trucks on-site, providing a wide range of food options to pair with their delicious brews.

With their commitment to crafting high-quality beers and providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, Counter Weight Brewing Co. is the perfect place to enjoy the combination of food trucks and tasting rooms.

Whether you’re in the mood for a refreshing IPA, a rich stout, or a flavorful sour, you’ll find the perfect beer to enjoy alongside a delicious meal from one of the many food trucks that frequent the brewery.

Half Full Third Place

Half Full Third Place in Stamford, CT, offers:

  • Limited-edition beers
  • Wine
  • Modern-rustic taproom
  • Family-friendly outdoor seating
  • Food trucks

Whether you’re in the mood for a crisp, refreshing beer or a bold, full-bodied wine, Half Full Third Place has the perfect beverage to suit your taste.

The brewery’s outdoor seating area is perfect for families, pets, and anyone looking to enjoy a beautiful day while sipping on their favorite drink.

With food trucks regularly stopping by, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of delicious food options to pair with your beverage of choice.

So, grab a seat, relax, and enjoy the perfect pairing of food trucks and tasting rooms at Half Full Third Place.

Connecticut Brewers Guild: Supporting the Local Beer Scene

The Connecticut Brewers Guild acts as a significant pillar in the state’s beer industry, offering support and resources to local breweries while cultivating a sense of unity and collaboration.

With their focus on promoting the interests of local breweries, the Connecticut Brewers Guild has helped to create a thriving and unified craft beer scene in the state.

Through programs and initiatives such as the Sustainable Craft Beverage Program, grant support for member priorities, and organizing events to help residents support local breweries, the Connecticut Brewers Guild works tirelessly to ensure the success and well-being of Connecticut craft breweries.

By supporting the local beer scene, the Connecticut Brewers Guild has helped to cultivate a diverse and flourishing craft beer community that both residents and visitors can enjoy.

In fact, the Connecticut beer scene boasts a wide variety of unique and flavorful brews for everyone to try.


Connecticut’s booming craft beer scene offers a diverse range of breweries and experiences, from picturesque outdoor spaces to innovative brews and small-batch wonders.

With the support of the Connecticut Brewers Guild and a focus on celebrating diversity and creativity in brewing, the Nutmeg State is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts. So, grab a pint and explore the best breweries in Connecticut – cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many breweries in ct?

Connecticut is home to around 120 breweries, making it easy to find a local brew when dining out. The state has seen rapid growth in this area in recent years, with an increase in production as well as energy and water usage.

What is the Connecticut Brewers Guild and what do they do?

The Connecticut Brewers Guild promotes and sustains the Connecticut craft beer industry by increasing profitability, advocacy, public recognition, and collaboration among breweries.

Are there any BIPOC-owned breweries in Connecticut?

Yes, Rhythm Brewing Co. is the first BIPOC-owned craft brewery in Connecticut, providing a great example of diversity in the brewing industry.

Can I find non-alcoholic beer options at Connecticut breweries?

Yes, you can find non-alcoholic beer options at Connecticut’s Athletic Brewing Co., a brewery dedicated to crafting flavorful non-alcoholic beers.

What types of breweries can I find in Connecticut?

Connecticut has a variety of breweries ranging from award-winning craft beers to experimental and microbreweries. Enjoy some delicious beer in scenic outdoor spaces!