Right in the heart of downtown South Norwalk, IRON BREWING COMPANY opened in 2017 and soon became a well-attended local destination. Utilizing the slogan “better beer thru chemistry,” this red-bricked pub (formerly housing Guvnor’s Brewery) is run by three home brewing research chemists competing for recipes to fill its four sterling glass-encased copper tanks placed directly behind the serving station.
At its fifteen-seat copper-topped bar (with four sports-centric TV’s), seven tap handles serve homemade beers and cider.
Three community tables and fourteen dining tables sidle the bar while three back-spaced lounge sofas bring subtle sophistication. Industrial furnishings, Edison lights and exposed pipes fill out the medium-sized high-ceilinged venue. Burgers, wings and appetizers don the light menu.
My wife and I grab some hummus while imbibing four fine house offerings available this cold December ’18 afternoon.
Brisk MF Kolsch retained a spritzy lemony orange spicing delicately enjoined by grassy hop astringency and dry pale malt bliss.
Stylistically robust Hierro Miguel Vienna Lager brought toasted caramel spicing to frisky red-orange fruiting in a serene manner.
Approachable Washington Street IPA linked light grain-hopped musk to vegetal-tinged herbal hop restraint, recalling a lighter pale ale. Yet its orange-spiced grapefruit, pineapple and peach tang and mild wood tones (IPA trademarks) soon took over alongside teasing vanilla cream sugaring.
Sedate Nitro Winter Stout may’ve lacked seasonal Christmas spicing, but its soft-tongued cocoa powdering, dark chocolate rift, black coffee bittering and mild hop char sustain.
In downtown Norwalk across the street from another beer-centric gastropub, Ginger Man, elegantly detailed GUVNOR’S BREWERY is the brainchild of owner Tony Aulakh, a former basement-bound home brewer with an eye towards well-prepared standard pub fare and high-end cocktails.
Open September 2013, my wife and I sojourned to this quaint glass-fronted, wood-designed, red-bricked saloon during March ’14 for Sunday lunch. Formerly a candy store, Guvnor’s charming interior includes a 12-stooled bar with three beautiful gycol-cooled Italian-styled Perlick tap stations serving Aulakh’s eclectic in-house ales (plus 2 TV’s, fine wines, upscale liquor and beer grafitti). The sterling glass-encased copper brewtanks behind the bar contain today’s six choices listed in erasable chalk.
Seated at one of the 12 right side tables, we enjoy award-winning clam chowder, fresh fried mozzarella sticks and meaty Guvnor’s Burger alongside the three lightest brews.
Lightly creamed Skinny Jeans Light Pale Lager delicately placed grassy hops next to honeyed cereal grains. Dryer Iron Curtain Pils seemed daintier than most stylistized Czech pilsners, gently flowing forh with honeyed malts and light earthen hops. Served with an orange peel, easygoing Summer Chill Wheat plied coriander-spiced citric niceties to its fragile white wheat spine.
Approachable Guts & Glory American IPA maintained a moderate grapefruit-peeled bittering to contrast its orange-candied peach-apple-pear spicing and sugary caramel malting.
For dessert, two inspiring dark ales took center stage. Intensely roasted Choc-A-Block Porter brought creamy vanilla-beaned cocoa nibs to the fore, leaving Baker’s chocolate, chocolate liqueur and chocolate eclair undertones in its wake.
Even better, subtle nitro-like Black Magic Stout spread heavenly mocha creaminess across ancillary dark cherry-pureed black grape and blackberry fruiting. Mild black coffee, dark chocolate and dark cocoa illusions simmered soothingly.