All posts by John Fortunato


Elicit Brewing in Manchester opens with food, cocktails, karaoke and arcade  games - Hartford Courant


“Restaurateurs at heart and beer drinkers by liver,” ELICIT BREWING COMPANY began proving that motto November 2019. Inside a spacious red brick warehouse right along the Adams Mill Trail in Manchester, Connecticut’s rural wooded area just outside its small urban center, Elicit pairs brewer Brian Ayers’ wonderful rotating liquid fare and fab one-off concoctions with respectable pub food.

A large front deck and even roomier rear Beergarden (with spiffy Marilyn Monore wall painting, two firepits, patio furnishings and stringed Edison lights) surround the epoxy-floored, high ceilinged millhouse. Combining a beer hall, cocktail bar, lounge and arcade, Elicit offers fifty draught lines (with a bakers dozen home brews plus several local elixirs) at its white marble-topped bar.

A comfy foyer welcomes patrons to the sportsbar-like brew house. Right side community tables and high-back seating are available and to the left are windowed brew tanks and a separate kitchen. The brick walls are decorated by dramatic curved PVC beams. Several games sidle the main space.

My wife and I grab pizza and tacos for dinner while consuming thirteen rangy suds at the Beergarden September ’20. The following day, we took the dog for a walk along the river-bound Adams Mill Trail.

Elicit Brewing in Manchester opens with food, cocktails, karaoke and arcade  games - Hartford Courant

Corn-sugared lemon snips and floral perfumed spicing seeped into musky wet grains and herbal Tettnanger hops for German-styled Das Crisp Boi, a fine pilsner-Vienna malted pale lager.

Lemon-spiced crystal malt sweetness and grassy hop astringency plied Resilience Pale Ale, leaving a trail of guava, gooseberry and green grape tartness.

Spiced red-orange fruiting gained toasted caramel sweetness and a nutty remnant for Speling Bee Champion, a durable misspelled red ale with pithy lemon and tangerine peel illusions.

Stylishly dryer due to Hallertau Blanc-hopped green grape esters, Hefe Lifting brought mild white-peppered herbage to standard hefeweizen banana-clove spicing.

Juicy pineapple puree tartness embittered the lemony banana-clove expectancy of Yodeling Cherubs Pineapple Hefeweizen, a sharply tropical fruited offshoot of Hefe Lifting.

Lemony grapefruit zest brightened its bittersweet peach adjunct for crisply clean Doin’ Just Peachy, a spritzy fruited wheat ale with mild wood lacquering seeping into the honeyed wheat spine.

Lemon-soured green grape esters fronted Little Bo Blanc, an herbal Hallertau Blanc-hopped saison with leathery barnyard acridity countering the sweet wheat base.

Pink Himalayan sea-salted  gose, Dueling Libations Margarita, sprayed freshly-squeezed blood orange-pureed key lime tartness atop Tequila-twisted agave for a perfect cocktail re-creation.

Lactic Dueling Libations Pina Colada unleashed creamy vanilla sweetness upon lemony orange zest, pineapple puree and coconut rum nearly as convincingly as its Margarita competition.

Sunny tropical fruiting gained honey-spiced pale malting for Drink This Outdoors, a sessionable IPA with yellow grapefruit, orange, pineapple and peach luster.

Extraordinary Marriage Counseling Double IPA stayed briskly clean as rummy pineapple-coconut tropicalia sweetened its lemony orange zesting and tangy peach reminder above sugary pale malts.

Black-malted dark chocolate dryness embellished Eligible Bachelor, a mildly nutty brown ale with light coffee roast.

Freeze-dried coffee tones led Nostrovia!, a slightly bitterer Imperial Stout with ashen walnut contrasting glazed hazelnut sugaring beneath the java surface.


Labyrinth Brewing Company


Three ‘beer wizards’ control the tanks at Manchester, Connecticut’s LABYRINTH BREWING COMPANY, a rustically retro warehoused brewpub opened autumn 2018.

The natural elegance of the hard wood floor, the antique charm of the exposed brick walls and the post-Colonial design of the factory-like wood ceiling (with exposed pipes) provide a casual warmth deepened by the lounge-y back cornered gas fireplace section.

A large wood slab-lacquered L-shaped bar spreads across the entranceway seating and the main space – where bottled Edison bulbs wind around a wagon wheeled overhead panel in glorious olden pub fashion.

I conversed with Adam De Laura, one of the entrepreneurial brewers at Labyrinth, mid-September ’20, while Steely Dan played in the background, quaffing nearly all the available brews.

LABYRINTH BREWING COMPANY Trademark of Labyrinth Brewing Company. Serial  Number: 88339399 :: Trademark Elite Trademarks

Easygoing lemony orange-spiced Athena’s Wit allowed delicate floral sweetness to seize upon coriander-spiced chamomile herbage above its white wheat base.

Mellow dried fruited nuttiness anchored Mr. Dunkel, a dewy chocolate-malted Munich-styled dark ale with fading fig-dried pecan finish.

Fulsome Red Ale, Electrum Tears, placated chestnut-shelled pecan tones, tart red-orange fruiting and crisp tobacco roasting with leafy hop foliage.

Piney citric East Coast-styled Pan’s IPA brought floral-perfumed grapefruit, orange and lemon zesting to its moderate wood-lacquered hop bittering.

Flagship New England India Pale Ale, Turbo Love Juice, let lemony pineapple, orange and mango tropicalia inform its spritzy tingle as hop-oiled bittering contrasted crystal malt sugaring.

Silken NEIPA, Hesperia, let its mildly embittered grapefruit peel frontage gain sour lactose milking  and wispy mango snips over acidulated pale malting.

Another NEIPA, hazily yellow-marbled Champion Of The Sun, brightened the tongue with spryly embittered pineapple-juiced grapefruit tanginess and salted mango-guava serenity, gaining yogurt-milked lactic acidity at the lightly spiced tropical fruit finish.

Raspy orange-peeled tangerine tartness consumed Siren’s Song Orange Tangerine, a superb fruited sour ale with lemon-limed salinity atop its delicate white wheat spine - recalling a spritzy Orangina soft drink.


Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery - Restaurant | 5 Depot Pl, Bethel, CT 06801,  USA


Inside a maroon cabin (with forest green base) that served as a former Bethel train depot, BROKEN SYMMETRY GASTRO BREWERY started slingin’ suds March 2018. Specializing in varied one-off brews and delectable San Diego-styled Mexican food, Broken Symmetry sports fourteen tap handles and a mezzanine level kitchen.

Its cozily clustered interior features a stainless-steel slate-topped bar, two community tables, side-walled dining spots and rear five-barrel brewing system. Clear individually designed Edison lights hang from the rustic vaulted wood beam ceiling. A right side patio and railroad seating area fill out the pub space.

My wife and I grab four home brews plus tasty burritos, tacos and nachos during our mid-September ’20 perusal. And I got a few growlers to go (also reviewed below).

Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery

Fair light-bodied opener, Aztec Sky Pale Lager, permits mildly lingered wet-grained musk and dry maize astringency to puncture its cloy pale malting.

Heavy herbal influence beckons for muskily spelt-grained aluminum yellowed light body, Wheat Ale with Spelt Malt, masking sour lemon licks.

Mild pineapple tartness greeted lemony orange zest for Solar Sail New England Pale Ale, a mildly lactic tropical fruited tonic.

Waxy yogurt-soured pineapple, gooseberry and guava tartness grazed vanilla-creamed crystal malting for Nimbus NEIPA, a dry-bodied hazily golden Imperial with juicily citric hop bluster and dank pine resin.

Bright IPA-like yellow grapefruit zesting and grassy-hopped juniper bittering embellished saison-related spiced orange sweetness, herbal farmhouse acridity and herbal sage licks for Farmhouse Style Double India Pale Ale, a sharp stylistic combo worth exploring.

Zestful Belgian-styled golden strong ale, Attraction Tripel, retained lemon meringue, peach melba, Bananas Foster and spiced orange serenity over salty herbal-peppered pilsner malting.

Rich Square Of Ten Quad let rum raisin and fig sweetness seep into maple-molasses-sapped chocolate malts, leaving subtle cardamom, cola, chestnut and Scotch licks in the recess.



Clemson Bros. Brewery Announces Acquisition of The Gilded Otter   Clemson Bros. Brewery purchases Gilded Otter in New Paltz


The former home of Gilded Otter was bought out by CLEMSON BROTHERS BREWERY in 2018. Retaining Gilded Otter’s beautiful wood designed stone interior, this New Paltz landmark provides a casual lodge feel that’s essential to the bucolic forest-laden Catskills surroundings. Central brew tanks service the front bar, side-walled tables, bronze-tanked serving station, mezzanine seating and outside deck.

Upon September ’20 visit, tried two rangy dessert beers after one bold morning time eye-opener.

Black patent malted-dark chocolate bittering gained an espresso-nipped cocoa nibs resilience and walnut-burnt hop char above the molasses oats base of Monday Morning Breakfast Stout, leaving latent anise-dried bourbon wisps when warmed.

Almost re-creating a blueberry muffin, Blueberry Gunx Pale Ale lacquered its honeyed wheat pancake batter with blueberry puree tartness above mild dewy hop earthiness.

Pina Colada-like cocktail, I Dream Of Coconuts Cream Ale, regaled coconut-toasted pineapple tanginess and cotton-candied marshmallow goodness with mild lime-rimmed Margarita salting underlined by nearly cloy sponge cake, vanilla cake, overripe cantaloupe, confectionary butterscotch and buttery toffee sweetness.



On tap at Ambulance, Spectrum’s black coffee bittering seeps into brown chocolate creaming and maple-smoked rye for rich 14% ABV Imperial Stout. Heavy mocha rampage slowly gains bruised black cherry tartness and sweet bourbon tingle plus latent anise-draped cinnamon, cumin and curry spicing. A rampaging full-bodied mocha nightcap.

Ryders of the Black Rainbow - KCBC - Kings County Brewers Collective -  Untappd