- Written by Devon
Sunday morning found us in Lambertville, NJ at River Horse Brewing. We met Christi, the owner’s wife, who was taking care of the gift shop and doing samples when we arrived. We threw in our dollar for 4 samples of their beer on tap (not a bad deal, might I add). We really enjoyed their winter ale, Belgian Frostbite, and picked up two cases at a sweet deal! We then had a self-guided tour around their whole facility. Very cool place.
We saw the brewhouse, their mill, fermenting tanks… You know, everything you expect… And, also, enough beer to satiate even the greatest craft beer drinkers for a while! It makes me smile… When we got back to the gift shop, Christi offered us some samples of a few more of their fine brews, which were great! I’m real psyched we hit Lambertville! We finished the tour early and, after wandering in the town for a while, discovered Devon’s crazy-ass phone/gps device had a category for brewpubs. Ya’ll know where this is going…
- Written by Devon
We got here in time for the last tour of the day. They have a full-on bar area, with 10 Brooklyn brews on tap and seating for you and a couple hundred of your closest friends. It was pretty well attended as well… Easy to see that they are, in fact, one of the bigger craft breweries on the scene. We both got a Brooklyn Blanche (part of the on-premise only Brewer’s Reserve Collection), which tasted a lot like their Weisse, so we both enjoyed it!
After this the tour started. This was a little different from Sixpoint… There were easily 75 people on this tour, which made interaction between us and the guide a little harder. We got some great info on the history of brewing in Brooklyn, the brewery, how it started, and how they brew. They have a wonderful facility in Brooklyn where they do they’re draft beer, and then contract out their bottling up near Albany. Once again, we made friends with some of our tour mates (Hi Anna!). We also managed to pick up some great Brooklyn Brewing glassware before taking off for our home base for the night.
- Written by Devon
So we rolled into Sixpoint Craft Brewing a little early for the first tour and ended up wandering around this block near the docks in Brooklyn; quite an interesting area to say the least. Still early we came upon two guys outside the brewery smoking, who let us in early to wait for the tour to start. We saw so many kegs of Sixpoint, my mouth was watering!
While we were waiting, Devon recognized Aaron whom he had met at American Beer Fest (and who is coincidentally on the platform while Devon adds hops to the kettle), and they talked for a while. Then we had the privilege to meet Shane, the founder and owner of Sixpoint. Shane is a very cool laid back guy so if you go be sure to say hi to him. We talked beer for a while, and then he excused himself to go talk to some other early arrivals.
While waiting for more people to show, Shane invited us to the bar… that’s right folks, they have a full bar as part of the Sixpoint compound where they have several taps of the freshest craft beer you can get. We had a Liberty Pale Ale (available only at this bar) on the house… Delicious! We met another Jeff, only this one was their sales rep and the man responsible for any Sixpoint you see in any bar anywhere. He’s pretty cool in our book.
Shane described his start in homebrewing, his love for beer, and some seriously awful (but funny) jokes… He’s got a very dry delivery that catches you off guard. The tour started off in the grain room where everyone is encouraged to taste each grain. You could see some people were not prepared for the taste of chocolate malt. Next we went down to the brewhouse and saw them brewing Sweet Action Cream Ale. Devon got to add flavor hops while Aaron looked on. That was pretty cool, if I do say so myself!
We chatted with the guys and some other people on the tour for a while and then went back to the bar for our second beer of the day… this time they gave us a token for a free beer, and we snagged pints of their Cream Ale called Sweet Action…again, delicious (do you see a theme?)! We made more friends with people on the tour and bought some sweet shirts. We said some tearful (ok, no tears, but I was sad to leave!) goodbyes and took off on our voyage to Brooklyn Brewery a couple blocks away.
- Written by Devon
Hey all you DrinkCraftBeer'ers! So Devon and I hit up Thomas Hooker brewery in Hartford, Connecticut today in a hastily planned, but fortunate, stop! After being unable to find somebody to stay with in Brooklyn for our first night, we rerouted to Hartford to stay with a friend of Devon's. Since we were in Hartford, we decided to check out Thomas Hooker. We called around noon, and told them we'd be coming by at 4. Turns out they were bottling Liberator DoubleBock (one of my favorites)! So we roll up to where we think the brewery is. Basically, it's in the back of an unlabelled brick building with "BREWHOUSE" along the top of the front.
No signage, even on the door. We peek in and finally see someone. They figure we're the kids who called on the "brewery tour of the east coast." We confirm. They invite us in, and one of the greatest brewery experiences of my life ensues. So, first, we met Steve. He's a brewing apprentice and a really cool guy. Soon thereafter we meet Paul Davis, the head brewer. Both are great guys, and we quickly find ourselves with cups of blonde ale in our hands... Fresh from the bright tank (where beer is put to clarify and get yeast out of suspension after it's done fermenting)!!!And let me tell you, that is really the way to drink it. This beer was delicious! We sampled the Irish Red Ale and their American Pale Ale while Paul and Steve explained the commercial brewing process, how the brewery is growing, and more. It turns out Paul is a brewing traditionalist... Seems to me he enjoys throwing a little monkey wrench in the works once in a while, though. The Irish Red is one of the best of the style I've ever tried! Some ideas we'd never thought of, but are definitely going to try in our homebrews. Turns out the Irish Red and the IPA will be available in 6-packs soon. Long story short, Thomas Hooker is a great brewery putting out some amazing beer! This stuff is great (especially the Liberator)! We walked away with a buzz, lots of knowledge about commercial brewing, a tip to check out the Willimantic Brewing Company, and 2 bottles of Liberator courtesy of Thomas Hooker. The President, Curt Cameron even came by and we got to say hi to him. All in all, wonderful experience! And look out for stuff by Thomas Hooker... It's great beer made by great guys! I know it's going to be one of my more regular beers now.
Alright enough of us talking, here's a few more pictures of the inner workings at Thomas Hooker:
Well, as we mentioned, we got a tip to go check out Willimantic Brewing Co. in Willimantic CT. Given the great experience we had at Hooker, we knew we had to check this out. Lets just say it did not dissapoint. This is a great brew pub that isn't afraid to experiment with their beers. India Dark Ales, India Pilsner Lagers and a variety of other hopped up beers are found on their beer menu.The best deal here is found in their 5 beer sampler. You get a board with 5 4oz samplers of any of the beers for a mere $4.95