NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
On the second floor of a cavernous wood furnished red brick-walled setting, downtown New Britain’s FIVE CHURCHES BREWING occupies a former clothing factory. Taking its ‘we have faith in our beer’ slogan to the max, the spacious pizzeria-brewpub even dabbles successfully with their soda-fruited gluten-free Weerder alternatives.
While the impressive stainless steel silver brew tanks behind the twelve draught-handled bar serve pristinely crafted liquid fare, the right side wood-fired pizza oven provides terrific variety. Sterling wood-lacquered furnishings adorn the expose-piped open space and several Edison bulbs light the fourteen-stooled bar (with three TV’s) – retaining the original Industrial brick, flooring and windows.
A backspace banquet area and an outside left deck (with five tables under blue umbrellas) offer further seating.
Head brewer Austin Japs crafts a vast array of one-off ales, but the one constant flagship is sharply orange-spiced, caramel-toasted amber ale, Amburlance, a brisk moderate-medium body with sweetly dewed autumnal foliage.
Mild wheat ale, #Zessed, brought tingly orange-candied lemondrop tartness to mineral-grained crisping.
Sweet-tart hazy NEIPA, Pew Pew, let Citra-Simcoe hop tropicalia rule the roost as orange-dried grapefruit juicing saddled dainty wood tones.
Another dry-bodied IPA, The Machinist, brought sunshiny grapefruit tang and crystal malt sugaring to lemony orange rind bittering, leaving sticky pine lacquer upon its latent juniper piquancy.
Briskly winter-spiced porter, Once And For Fall, let minty fern caress its caramelized chocolate sweetness and mild nutmeg-cumin-chicory seasoning.
Delightful Out Of Porter, an Imperial Porter, swished milk chocolate syrup around cocoa, toffee and caramel sugaring.
Knocking off a New Zealand-styled Imperial IPA, Street People relies on limey melon, gooseberry, passionfruit and grapefruit desiccation to perk up its pale malt spine.