NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
On the northern outskirts of town five miles from Yale Bowl or the inner city, New Haven’s EAST ROCK BREWING COMPANY opened in July 2018 and quickly became a splendid cafeteria-like family friendly neighborhood beer hall specializing in traditional German-inspired beers. Inside a cavernous terra cotta-bricked light Industrial warehouse, East Rock’s ample community-tabled 12-draught tap room features a rounded 20-seat bar on an epoxy cement floor with a right-walled “Rediscover Lager” wood emblem celebrating their time-honored Bavarian craft brews.
Co-founding head brewer, Tim Wilson (former quality controller for Jack’s Abby), operates the enormous windowed brewing space at the rear. Serving all of Connecticut since before my initial August ’21 visit, East Rock’s upcoming Octoberfest’s already sold out.
A wood-paneled front deck expands on both sides of the glass-enclosed front entrance. My wife and I grab a few seats outdoors to down four straightforward prospects. I’d already consumed Hopfen Lager and Black Lager two years back (see Beer Index).
Dry Helles-styled lightweight, Lager, a cumulous-headed yellow body, let herb-tinged lemon musk, celery-watered fennel seeding and doughy raw-honeyed malts coalesce.
Crisp dewy mossing sideswipes pasty Vienna malt pasting and musky fungi retreat for Vienna Lager, leaving orange-rotted tangerine tang upon its damp-grained truffle earthiness.
Sweet tea-leafed cereal grain crisping, toasted caramel malting and mild orange oiling paced Oktoberfest, an amiable amber lager.
Bright ‘n lively India Pale Lager, Goat Herder, let sharply spiced lemon-peeled grapefruit bittering, zesty orange peel tang and distant passionfruit-pear-watermelon snips gain peaty compost-tinged resinous pining for pungently hop-dried, citrus-dominated medium body.