In the northernmost New Haven small town of Middlebury, PIES & PINTS rule the roost. Boasting the happy slogan “Something For Everyone,” this glorified pizza joint offers take-out food, gourmet pizzas, homemade flatbreads, seperate ice cream parlor, three distinct dining areas and great draft beer selections from near and wide.
Open 2011, Pies & Pints’ gold-hued white-trimmed exterior features a small canopied patio space while the interior gets broken into a tan-walled open-kitchen dine-in pizza station, rustic left side barroom and hearth-warmed back lounge. Leather and wood furnishings fill out its entirety while antique fans, copper-pressed ceiling tile and an olden piano provide elegant antiquity to the saloon (with three serving stations containing 20-plus beers).
Stain-glass windows, five private booths, four TV’s and nifty collectibles crowd the space as well.
On our initial perusal, my wife and I get situated at the long rectangular 12-stool mahogany bar for lunch on this brisk Saturday at noon in early February ’14. We share a delicious eggplant parmegan pizza while the couple down a few seats enjoy calzone, pasta and salad.
I quaff three hoppy delights and one local winter ale before heading north to four previously unexplored brewpubs that just opened for business within the past two years (Manchester’s Top Shelf; Bloomfield’s Back East; Bristol’s Firefly Hollow; East Windsor’s Broad Brook).
Dry-hopped Belgian pale ale, Ommegang Hop House, placed grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering above candi-sugared sweetness and floral white peppering. New England Supernaut IPA brought woody dryness to sharply perfumed floral hop resin and tangy grapefruit-orange juicing.
Better still, Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail provided barleywine warmth to orange-bruised cognac sweetness and exotic tropicalia for a devilishly complex Imperial IPA.
Locally brewed Back East Winterfest Ale added raw-honeyed herbal spicing to wintry fig-dried pine nut, fern and spruce notions. (Full reviews at Beer Index.)
By St. Patrick’s Day ’14, Pies & Pints will open a brewpub in nearby Waterbury. It’ll serve six proprietary beers alongside thirty well-chosen outside tapped selections. So the future’s so bright…