Located at a red brick industrial park just outside Bloomfield’s small downtown center next to Dunkin’ Donuts north of Hartford, BACK EAST BREWING COMPANY currently can and keg thier growing inventory of easygoing fare in a 4,500 square foot space. Expanding from a nearby Southington garage, founding cousins Edward Fabrycki and Tony Karlowicz, along with current head brewer, Mike Smith (ex-Mayflower), crafted a few sessionable pale ale offsprings alongside substantial Imperial Stout and Porter stylings during my initial early February ’14 sojourn.
Serving local restaurants with draft beer and offering growlers or canned versions since opening for biz, August ’12, Back East is already one of the Constitution State’s largest microbreweries. A walk-in serving station provides samples of each available brew for the large afternoon crowd.
Upon entering the apartment-sized serving station (with expansive backroom brew area), several local patrons dive into the year-round offerings. First up, light-bodied flagship Back East Golden Ale retains a refreshing soft-watered summertime pleasantry, draping creamy crystal malts with a modicum of lemony grapefruit rind bittering.
With a tad more body and character, easygoing American Pale Ale moderation, Back East Ale, brought floral citrus brightness to sugary malts and herbal celery frisk.
Just as approachable and mild considering its richer style, Misty Mountain IPA caresses lemony orange-peach-pear-apple fruiting with astringent raw-honeyed herbal hops, dry wood tones and wispy 7% alcohol burn.
Enigmatic raw-honeyed seasonal, Back East Winterfest, sprinkled cinnamon atop evergreen-fresh spruce, fern and pine nut illusions as well as perfumed herbal notions.
As for the dark ales, musty coffee-dried Back East Porter gained black chocolate and dark cocoa sustenance above soy-sauced cacao nibs, toffee and walnut undertones. Affluent cocoa-seeded black chocolate roast and reedy hop char ascend above ashen pine-tarred tobacco chaw bittering for Back East Imperial Stout. (Full reviews at Beer Index).