Just a few short miles south of Hartford lies garage-like RELIC BREWING, a tiny nanobrewery centering an industrial mall in Plainville, Connecticut. Opened around February 2012 by entrepreneurial spirit, Mark Sigman, Relic typically serves samplers and fills growlers on site during Friday evenings from 5 to 7 PM. And that’s when I stopped in for a quick May sojourn.
A dozen local denizens wait on line as Sigman and two female assistants keep busy pouring some well-done Anglo-American ales. These slightly hybridized elixirs have been making the rounds across the Constitution State in recent days and several regional festivals have featured Relic’s burgeoning lineup.
Arguably Relic’s best brew, Antiquity Old Ale brought molasses-sapped maple sugaring to fig-spiced raisin and plum illusions, leaving peat-y chocolate malts in its wake. Nearly as worthy, Houndstooth Traditional English Mild gathered similar dried fruiting (raisin, plum, fig) and peat malting for a softer toned alternative with light hazelnut and almond influences.
Approachable Shipwright British Strong Ale sweetened its candied IPA-derived peach, pineapple, grapefruit and tangerine tang with pastry-like caramel malting. A supposed adjunct lager, Whiting Street proved to be a brusque medium body contrasting its fizzy grassy-hopped prickle, tart lemon-peeled bittering and herbaceous vegetal tinge against pleasant sugary malts.
Look for 22 ounce bottles in local stores and tapped versions at various statewide gastropubs.