In the rustic red-bricked Parkville section of Hartford, HOG RIVER BREWING COMPANY occupies a warehouse backspace in multi-storied Parkville Market, a recently renovated and reenergized food and drink complex.
Owned by German beer-lovin’ husband-wife team, Ben & Joy Braddock, Hog River began operations springtime 2016 and quickly flourished in its historic neighborhood digs (formerly Hartford Rubber Works factory). The Seibel Institute grad previously honed his craft at nearby Thomas Hooker and Willimantic breweries.
The cavernously cement-floored, reclaimed wood-clad, catacomb-like Industrial pub features a ten-seat/sixteen-draught serving station, several community tables, butcher block tables, several gear-related metal machine relics and cozy wood-bound couch lounge (with opposing elongated cafeteria counter). Barrels, tanks and brewing equipment settle at the overhead door.
A spacious outdoor patio fills up during my sunny August ’21 sojourn.
My wife grabs some Parkville chow to down at Hog River as I consume seven wonderfully diverse libations.
Dry earthen grains and wheat-husked astringency provide raw grained rusticity to the citric-spiced hop zesting of Warehouse Pils, an appealing lightweight.
Sweet Scotch-licked Vienna malting, leafy hop dewiness and mild dried fruiting saddled Oktoberfest, a crisp autumnal moderation.
A slightly drier stylistic changeup, Peels & Blossoms Wit forwarded lemon-peeled chamomile tea to coriander-spiced orange tartness and musty white peppered whim.
Tangy pink guava and pineapple puree adjuncts outdone by salty lemon-limed green grape vinegaring and chalky limestone parch penetrating Thingaling Sour, a mildly acidic tropical dry body.
Then came the “Big Beers.” Creamy peanut-buttered dark chocolate malting dominated Princess Butter Cup Chocolate Stout, overriding sweet vanilla-spiced bourbon and port wining plus subtle red grape tartness.
“Luscious” vanilla ice cream-drenched hot fudge sauce sweetened tart maraschino cherry bruise for luxuriously rich Brain Freeze Ice Cream Sundae Stout, leaving bourbon-soaked anise spicing and maple-glazed cocoa nibs splendor upon Graham Cracker honeyed wheat spine.
Heavenly lustrous Caribbean elixir, Mango & Coconut Tripel, aged in Jamaican rum, let mango-pureed coconut toasting, mild vanilla-spiced creaming and ancillary pineapple-salted guava tartness get seeped in buttery Chardonnay wining before boozy phenol ethers hit the tail end.