Open 2018 in the remote rural bedroom community of Salem, Connecticut, FOX FARM BREWERY incorporates two distinct refurbished farmhouses with plenty of outside seating along the agrarian homestead.
The expansive grain-siloed maroon and white complex (shown above) houses the pristinely open-aired natural wide plank pine-walled pub. Its majestic gable ceiling and dazzling wood interior are reminiscent of a town church. A wood top serving station features twelve tap handles while a few tables, counters and Edison lights fill out the raw space. The large rear area contains many standard stainless silver brew tanks. A slate side deck adds further seating.
Going around back, the separate white-columned farmhouse with beautiful earth-toned stone frontage stores the sour and spontaneous ale tanks.
My wife and I grab a table at the pub’s mezzanine, November ’21, to down a few pints on a brisk Sunday.
Many Fox Farms brews have a rustic, reserved feel and various European styles are respectfully well crafted.
Musky raw-grained Saaz hop herbage, celery-watered lemon oiling and delicate floral spicing refined German-style pilsner, Gather, a stylistically robust Bavarian Kellerbier.
Spritzy sour lemon herbage, orange-dried champagne esters and mild white peppered floral spicing paced dry kolsch, Bower, softly rising above its doughy bread crusting.
Tidy pale ale, Amble, let piney lemongrass-herbed Columbus hop musk seep inside perky grapefruit-orange spicing.
Sedate blonde ale, Little Brook, allowed sunshiny yellow grapefruit, mandarin orange, peach and tangelo tanginess reach its grassy hop stead as mild pine resin and slight herbage stay distant.
Straightforward easygoing India Pale Ale, Burst, maintained a crisply clean citrus spritz as tangy orange, tartly sour lemon and zesty grapefruit laced mildly bitter pine hops.
Mild unfiltered IPA, Tideline, took mellow grapefruit rind bittering and subtle mandarin orange, pineapple and mango tanginess to juniper-licked grassy hops.
Another soothingly soft-toned IPA, Alta, brought floral-spiced yellow grapefruit, orange rind, pineapple, peach and tangerine tanginess plus spritzy lemon zesting to piney hop resin above spelt-like wet graining.
Brisk orange-peeled grapefruit zesting fronted bold Imperial IPA, Burrow, pushing lemon-candied peach, pineapple and tangelo tartness forward alongside mild piney hop bittering topping crystal malt sugaring. Arguably Fox Farm’s best elixir.
Perfectly re-creating a German rauchbier, The Camp Smoked Lager let beechwood-seared peat malts pick up meat-cured salami, pastrami and bacon fat above dried cocoa malts, leaving stylish soap-stoned Band-aid-like astringency upon the smoky finish.
Dry waddle-seeded pumpernickel rye breading soaks up lightly embittered dark cocoa and black chocolate malting above dewy peat earthiness for English-styled Dark Mild, Tiddly, a frothily creamed nitrogenated charmer.
For a true turnabout, exquisitely vinous Foeder-aged Biere De Garde, punctuated its mildly puckered white wine tannins and lemon-lime-squeezed green apple cider souring with leathery barnyard acridity, leaving earthy sawgrass, heart of palm, alfalfa and horseblanket whims on the funky farmhouse ale’s tail end.