Tag Archives: NORWICH CT

EPICURE BREWING

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NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

Inside the large brick-walled expanse of an old printing press, EPICURE BREWING took hold June 8, 2017. Its high ceilings, cement floor, exposed pipes, metal-wood furnishings and old mill setting offer the perfect “lofty Industrial vibe” for brewers Ken Thiffeault and Jim Bojarski to craft their fine stylistically standard fare.

The 12-stool L-shaped bar features twelve-plus taps, a white Epicure banner and several mugs-growlers. Eight high-chair tables sit across the bar while several wooden pews and silver brew tanks don the rear. A vintage 1950 Sunbeam motorcycle hangs bear the front wall.

As I settle in on a cold December ’18 evening before dinner at neighboring These Guys, there are seven elixirs to consume.

Lovely light-bodied Kolsch, Cool Side Of Beautiful, stayed crisply clean as spritzy yellow fruit spicing, herbal hop astringency and straw-dried graining reached a pleasant pilsner-malted biscuit base.

Three rangy India Pale Ales hit the palate next. Briskly Citra-Mandarina-Eldorado-hopped Good Old Tom, a hazy New England-styled IPA, loaded juicy yellow grapefruit tanginess and navel orange peel sweetness alongside a slightly soured lemon zing, leaving mild wood tomes at the sunny citrus finish.

Stylishly bitterer, Damned Yankee IPA evenly spread grapefruit, orange, tangerine and lemon zest across piney hop resin and light herbal nuances.

Despite its lofty 8.5% ABV, easygoing Little Coat Double IPA will appease less heady pale ale fans with its playful lemony orange-grapefruit spritz, cereal-grained caramel malt roast and mild dry hop astringency.

Sweet ‘n sour raspberry puree draped silken brown chocolate malting for Raspberry Porter Chocolate Porter, a dessert-bound dark ale finishing with a lemon-soured berry piquancy that crowds its mocha mightiness.

Dark chocolate bittering and soy-sauced earthen dewiness garnished semi-enigmatic Lightning Struck Twice Oatmeal Stout to its milk-sugared oats base.

Syrupy chocolate overwhelmed the toasted coconut adjunct of Zussamen Chocolate Coconut Stout, leaving subtle burgundy, espresso, marshmallow and dried fruit reminders.

epicurebrewing.com

THESE GUYS BREWING COMPANY

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NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

A few doors down from Epicure Brewing in the historic harbor town of Norwich, THESE GUYS BREWING COMPANY resides inside the space once occupied by an 1890′s-built Prohibition Era pub. Its bronze stamped tile ceiling, rustic wood columns and exposed pipes bring back the feel of yesteryear while brewer Becka Alberts (formerly a Willimantic Brewing apprentice) crafts easygoing fare to go alongside healthy portions of pub food. A few well-chosen outside brews such as Allagash Wit are also available.

Open since August 2015, These Guys 15-seat front bar (with corner TV) serves several four-seat tables and a quaint solarium-draped back dining room.

During my mid-December ’18 dinner excursion, imbibed five stylishly well-rounded brews (crafted at the hidden back tanks) to go alongside nachos, butternut squash and guacamole.

First up, approachable straw-hued moderation, Effed Up On Pils, brought peated corn whiskey snips to delicate yellow-orange fruiting, sweet oats-sugared pilsner malts and pithy Hallertau-hopped herbage.

Unfiltered American-styled wheat ale, Batch 100, stayed placid as mildly spiced citrus tones gained grassy hop astringency. light white wheat malting and wispy herbal notions.

Polite autumnal seasonal, Lil Narwitch Imperial Pumpkin Ale, pleated yam-spiced pumpkin roast into lemondrop-candied souring and caramelized pale malts.

Semi-sweet milk chocolate creaming eased into Kaiser Willie Oatmeal Stout, leaving ancillary dark-roasted coffee, cocoa nibs and espresso illusions to saddle toffee-spiced rye malts.

Before heading out, stylishly mild Timeout Corner Barleywine (a bashful 10% ABV collaboration with nearby Outer Light Brewing) placed tingly toffee-spiced sweetness alongside caramelized almond-buttered baked apple sedation.

theseguysbrewing.com

 

THESE GUYS BREWING COMPANY

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NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

Just off Main Street in the olden harbor-bound merchant town of Norwich, Connecticut (a.k.a. The Rose of New England), THESE GUYS BREWING COMPANY opened August ’15. Tucked into a red-bricked urban setting with a black-framed window frontage and oval hop-designed signpost, this homey establishment has the interior appearance of a Prohibition Era Speakeasy with its stamp-tinned copper tile bar walls, starburst Edison light bulbs and winding exposed pipes.

A sterling red brick-walled beer garden atrium (shown above) adds a greenhouse affect separating the front pub from the backroom brewing area (formerly used as grain storage for a Revolutionary Wartime hotel) where seven stainless steel tanks store brewer Rebecca Alberts’ well-rounded craft beer offerings.

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Working under the tutelage of famed Willimantic brewmaster, David Wollner, Alberts (currently Connecticut’s only female head brewer) claims she brews what she likes to drink, adding that “creative people like creative beer.”

Though I didn’t get to sample the food on my initial May ’16 stopover, the varied menu features splendid dishes such as Braised Short Ribs over stout onion risotto, Lobster-stuffed Mac & Cheese, Tuna Tartar and other well-designed main courses.

My wife and I grab seats directly across the central beer draughts at the bar to consume seven diverse homemade elixirs. There are also a few draughts set aside for outside brews such as Outer Light Ninja Trail Green Tea, Relic Flaven Foal Double Dry-Hopped IPA and Black Hog Citra (reviewed in Beer Index).

First up, tartly fruited moderation, Jeanne’s Dream Apricot Wheat, brought hop-dried apricot puree subtlety to orange-candied red apple, peach and tangerine tones – like a liquified Fruit Roll-Ups.

Next, brusquely crisp Hop Sense Pale Ale showed lots of depth as its lightly pined orange-peeled grapefruit bittering contrasted lightly creamed pale malt sugaring over the buttered biscuit base.

Tantalizingly centrist caramel-spiced Thames River Red will please lighter thirsts as well as bolder palates with its toasted oats sweetness, glazed red fruiting and earthen dewiness.

Brisk West Coast-styled Hop Spring IPA let yellow grapefruit-juiced orange rind bittering receive wood-dried Centennial-Columbus hop resin to contrast floral mango, peach and pineapple tropicalia over clean celery watering. Tangy Against The Grain IPA competed favorably with its tangerine, clementine and navel orange fruiting picking up lightly embittered grassy hop insistence and sedate pine underbrush.

On the dark side, wonderfully rich Kaiser Willy Imperial Stout draped creamy black chocolate malting and coffee-roasted bittering over ashen hops, gaining ancillary cocoa nibs, espresso, cappuccino and vanilla tones at the bulky mocha finish.

The intriguingly serene cask conditioned Kaiser Willy maintained soft-toned splendor as the coffee-roasted black chocolate creaming gained black cherry illusions and oats-charred sedation.        

www.theseguysbrewing.com