Residing in the old New England mill town of Putnam, Connecticut’s BEAR HANDS BREWING COMPANY set up shop during February 2020. A bustling tavern near the historic former railroad station, its friendly neighborhood bohemian feel gets captured by ex-homebrewing married couple, Justion and Kayla Trant. Their compact lantern-lit taproom emulates a cozy streetside low-ceilinged English pub. A metal-furnished gated front patio offers further seating as does the lower-level Prohibition Era-styled Speakeasy.
The wood-floored pub features a few four-seat tables. Glass-encased brew tanks are behind the diminutive, eight-stooled, twelve-draught, rear wood bar. Downstairs at the loungy Speakeasy, an L-shaped, wood cabinet-adorned bar with brass draught board services a couched lounge area (with widescreen TV).
Interestingly, alongside the fine food fare and good beers are flights of whiskey, Scotch and mini martinis.
My wife and I had wings and pizza while downing ten fine offerings in the dungeon-like Speakeasy.
Sourdough-grained pilsner malts and corn-dried vegetal whims soothed The Light Kellerbier, a pale malt-lagered moderation with mild cellar musk.
Sweet rice-caked corn entry gained (9% ABV) malt liquored boozing for Imperial Bohemian Pilsner, Czeching Up, leaving spicy lemon licks on the biscuity bottom.
Dewy amber grains sweetened Irish Red Ale, Drunken Leprechaun Rave, letting melanoidin barleycorn scour its murky red-orange fruiting.
Purplish blue-hued Violet Beauregard’s Revenge Blueberry Ale brought tart blueberry puree essence to spritzy lemon zesting and waxy fruit lacquering over a sugary wheat base.
Jolly Rancher-like Crashing The Party (Oh Yeah!) – part of the Juice Box Sour Series - let lemon-limed candied cherry, watermelon, orange and boysenberry tartness form a lollipop guild.
Limey white peach tang and mild orange juicing set up New England IPA, Show Me Triumph, picking up light pine comb bittering to contrast latent saffron-spiced lemongrass daubs.
Zestful orange-peeled grapefruit bittering and dry piney insurgence anchored NEIPA, King DIPHA, placating peach, pineapple and papaya tropicalia.
Creamy brown chocolate and vanilla sweetness upped the toffee-spiced goodness of Jingers Brown Ale, a sweet-toothed sensation.
Nutty black chocolate resilience guarded Dessert, a rich Imperial Vanilla Coconut Porter with sweet vanilla-teased coconut milking and burnt coffee reminder.
Confectionery peanut butter cup knockoff, Ermegerd, saddled its bittersweet dark cocoa powdering with oily nuttiness and sweet soy saucing for a full-bodied mocha stout.