NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
Home to Ivy League University, Yale, New Haven’s rustic brick-laid pizza joint-nightclub BruRm@ Bar is centrally located in downtown New Haven just off Route 95. Initially visited September ’04, brew tanks spread across the rustic ground level and mezzanine. Split dining-bar area (with pool table) and upstairs seating provide snug college or family-styled atmosphere and an unfinished backroom serves as a tertiary party area.
Caramel-sugared, malt-spiced, red-fruited AmBar Ale appeases the widest variety of drinkers. Soft cereal-grained, biscuit-nuttered, mash tun-wafted, dry-bodied Toasted Blonde suits milder thirsts. Leafy, gourd-spiced, marzen-styled OktoBarfest and coffee-roasted, dry-pruned, cherry-soured Damn Good Stout were also welcome choices. My favorite quickly became sharply citric-hopped, spruce-induced, earthen-pined Pale Ale.
REAL ALE FESTIVAL – 2007
Revisited BruRm, January ’07, for REAL ALE FESTIVAL, hosted by brewer Jeff Browning and Connecticut beer-distributing brother-in-law Rob Neuner. The concept, serving cask conditioned ‘real ales’ manually pulled from cellar tanks with a hand pump, is to omit the extraneous gas common tapped beer emit. This traditional cask conditioned brewing method utilizes natural carbonation at a warmer temperature (serving 55 degrees) for non-filtered unpasteurized ales containing live yeast. Secondary fermentation thereupon brings forth gentle CO2 carbonation expressing a richer flavor with more character than standard ‘brewery conditioned’ ales.
Quaffed dry lemony grapefruit, grassy-hopped, black tea-like, raw-honeyed, herbal-spiced Rock Art Magnumus ete Tomahawkus Strong Red prior to herbaceous yellow-fruited peppery-hopped Southampton Yorkshire Pub Ale and fiercely espresso-embittered walnut-dried coffee-grounded Southampton Espressso Stout.
Nearly as great as the latter was bitterly Mexican coffee-roasted chicory-bound molasses-thick Dogfish Head Chicory Super Human Strength Espresso Stout.
Next up, tried sour yellow-fruited fig-raisin-scampered rye-vexed Trout River Mahogany Mild and herbal raw-honeyed orange-yellow-fruited grassy-hopped Trout River Pale Ale.
Alongside two pizza slices, swigged brown-sugared chocolate-malted fig-date-dried apple-grape-soured hop-grained Otter Creek Otter Kilter Wee Heavy Ale and fabulous orange-tangy grapefruit-spiced rye-malted woody-hopped dry body Willimantic Rail Mail Rye.
Loved oak-barreled City Steam offerings: piney hop-dried grapefruit-peach-apricot-calmed Innocence Pale Ale and fig-prune-dehydrated cocoa-dried olfactory-moistened Dominator Double Bock.
Similarly, oaken-aged vanilla-honeyed yellow-fruited dry-malted Opa-Opa Winter Strong Ale kept patrons happily content.
Then, homebrew store Zok’s brought forth lively yellow-fruited herbal-spiced honey-teased Saison D’Willimantic.
Poured a few Thomas Hooker brews thereafter, including molasses-thick cocoa-chocolate-toffee-sweetened, raisin-fig-plum-dried, vinous sherry-bourbon-cadenced Old Marley Barleywine and earthen peat-smoked, mulch-brine-guarded, malt-sugared, herbal-tinged Munich-Styled Golden Lager.
As dusk settled, quaffed pine-resinous fig-dried citric-depleted nutty-fluttered Martha’s Exchange Mc Gann’s London IPA, brown-sugared molasses-sweet walnut-roasted fig-soured chicory-finishing Martha’s (Exchange) Peculiar Brown (inspired by England’s Theakston Old Peculier), and spruce-hopped malt-spiced red-fruited Gardner Ale House Facelift IPA.
BruRm’s mildewed fig-date-soured malt-chocolate-y Ten Penny Reserve and mash tun-scented corn malt-savored citric-dabbed Dry-Hopped Bar Blonde were fine pre-dinner choices.
June ’09, stopped in BruRm once more for lunchtime red pie pizza with mozzarella and Hobbomock Red Ale, a caramel-toasted apple-ripe peach-glazed tea-like fungi-tinged English mild ale.
Nearly two years hence, sojourned back to New Haven with wife and daughter on the way back from Bristol, Rhode Island. It was pouring rain this Tuesday in June as we consumed a large white pizza with spinach and two excellent beers (one previously perused and one newly tried.) We sat at the right corner front table as the place filled up with dinnertime locals.
I’d already enjoyed Browning’s Damn Good Stout, but this time its chocolate-milked cocoa chalking seemed more emphatic than the distant dried fruiting, chewier maple-molasses malting, and deepened peanut-shelled walnut-hazelnut expanse.
Excellent new discovery, Hitting 74 Double IPA brought elegant cologne-tongued, pine-combed, spruce-tipped bittering to frantic floral fruited frenzy and chewy caramel malting, plying tangy apple-reddened pink grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, mango, kiwi, and passion fruit tropicalia to prolonged alcohol burn.
* Also directly off Route 95 to the North a half-hour away at preserved historic seaport town, Mystic (which gained recognition through Mystic Pizza movie), found Blue Fin Stout and three New England brews (Elm City Lager/ Gold Stock Ale/ Atlantic Amber) listed in Beer Index at seafood restaurant, August ‘01.