Tag Archives: NEW HAVEN CT


East Rock Brewing Company & Beer Hall – Brewery Ratings


On the northern outskirts of town five miles from Yale Bowl or the inner city, New Haven’s EAST ROCK BREWING COMPANY opened in July 2018 and quickly became a splendid cafeteria-like family friendly neighborhood beer hall specializing in traditional German-inspired beers. Inside a cavernous terra cotta-bricked light Industrial warehouse, East Rock’s ample community-tabled 12-draught tap room features a rounded 20-seat bar on an epoxy cement floor with a right-walled “Rediscover Lager” wood emblem celebrating their time-honored Bavarian craft brews.

Co-founding head brewer, Tim Wilson (former quality controller for Jack’s Abby), operates the enormous windowed brewing space at the rear. Serving all of Connecticut since before my initial August ’21 visit, East Rock’s upcoming Octoberfest’s already sold out.

A wood-paneled front deck expands on both sides of the glass-enclosed front entrance. My wife and I grab a few seats outdoors to down four straightforward prospects. I’d already consumed Hopfen Lager and Black Lager two years back (see Beer Index).

East Rock Brewing Company | Visit CT

Dry Helles-styled lightweight, Lager, a cumulous-headed yellow body, let herb-tinged lemon musk, celery-watered fennel seeding and doughy raw-honeyed malts coalesce.

Crisp dewy mossing sideswipes pasty Vienna malt pasting and musky fungi retreat for Vienna Lager, leaving orange-rotted tangerine tang upon its damp-grained truffle earthiness.

Sweet tea-leafed cereal grain crisping, toasted caramel malting and mild orange oiling paced Oktoberfest, an amiable amber lager.

Bright ‘n lively India Pale Lager, Goat Herder, let sharply spiced lemon-peeled grapefruit bittering, zesty orange peel tang and distant passionfruit-pear-watermelon snips gain peaty compost-tinged resinous pining for pungently hop-dried, citrus-dominated medium body.



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.


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.