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The Connecticut Beer Trail

Updated on August 25, 2012
Connecticut is home to several quality beer brewers. Shown here: City Steam, Thomas Hooker and Cottrell brands
Connecticut is home to several quality beer brewers. Shown here: City Steam, Thomas Hooker and Cottrell brands | Source

If you're planning a trip to Connecticut, or are a resident looking for something new to do, you might consider checking out the Beer Trail.

The Connecticut Beer Trail was started by Bryon Turner, who was inspired by the success of the state's Wine Trail. He envisioned a network of beer-related businesses that would utilize modern social media for promotion and interaction. The Trail has grown into a strong organization of affiliated breweries, beer pubs and bars, home brew shops and beer stores all around the state. There are already many full members and more are in the process of joining.

Some Combinations To Try:

  • Lunch at a SBC Restaurant in Milford after going to the beach at Silver Sands State Park
  • Dinner at City Steam Brewery Cafe Hartford before taking in a concert at the XL center
  • Dessert or Appetizers while enjoying some entertainment at The Cambridge House Brew Pub in Granby
  • A good Irish meal at Tullycross Tavern & Microbrewery in Manchester while doing a tour of historic homes in the area

The Best Place To Start

The Connecticut Beer Trail website is packed with helpful information that can help you plan your trip's adventures. Mix and match activities during your day!

Each member has a page with a link the their website and directions. For instance, pages for the beer pubs Include write ups on aspects like location, manager, and awards. Many of the breweries have photos or even videos of their set-up. And all have a list of their offerings.

Take a tour Inside a brewery to learn about the ingredients and making of beer.
Take a tour Inside a brewery to learn about the ingredients and making of beer. | Source

Are you curious about the process of making beer? Taking a brewery tour will reveal the steps - and some offer taste testings on the spot. At their gift shops you can purchase clothing or other items as a souvenir.

If you live in or near Connecticut, you might consider becoming a Trail Blazer Club member to receive discounts at participating businesses. Signing up is easy, and only takes a couple of minutes.

Brew pubs offer specialty beers as well as full menus and fun atmospheres.
Brew pubs offer specialty beers as well as full menus and fun atmospheres. | Source

In addition, the website is a great social network for members: you can add photos, post a blog, participate in contests or comment on one of many forums such as "The best package stores for craft beer".

The Events page lists upcoming special activities, like The Brass City Brew Fest in Waterbury or The Harbor Brew Fest in Bridgeport. Other possibilities include Beer & Oyster tastings and Bikes & Beers nights.

CT Beer Trail Member Brew Pubs

2600 Post Rd, Southport CT:
2600 Post Rd, Southport, CT 06890, USA

get directions

SBC Restaurant & Brewery

131 Summer St, Stamford Ct:
131 Summer St, Stamford, CT 06901, USA

get directions

SBC Restaurant & Brewery

850 W Main St, Branford Ct:
850 W Main St, Branford, CT 06405, USA

get directions

SBC Restaurant & Brewery

33 New Haven Ave, Milford Ct:
33 New Haven Ave, Milford, CT 06460, USA

get directions

SBC Restaurant & Brewery

1950 Dixwell Ave, Hamden Ct:
1950 Dixwell Ave, Hamden, CT 06514, USA

get directions

SBC Restaurant & Brewery

Main St, Hartford Ct:
Main St, Hartford, CT, USA

get directions

City Steam Brewery Cafe

357 Salmon Brook Street, Granby, Ct:
357 Salmon Brook St, Granby, CT 06035, USA

get directions

Cambridge House Brew Pub

967 Main Street Willimantic, CT:
967 Main St, Willimantic, CT 06226, USA

get directions

Willimantic Brewing Co.

1487 Pleasant Valley Road, Manchester, CT:
1487 Pleasant Valley Rd, Manchester, CT 06042, USA

get directions

Tullycross Tavern

Different brewing techniques result in a variety of delicious beers to choose from.
Different brewing techniques result in a variety of delicious beers to choose from. | Source

A Quick Guide To Types of Beers


Pale Ale (such as IPA)

Lighter, with a sweeter taste; they go well with appetizers, salads and lightmeals.

Belgian Ale (such as Blond or Amber)

Crisper, stronger taste; They taste good with spicy foods and pizza.

Dark Ale (such as Porter or Stout)

Fuller-bodied with flavors of malt or coffee; they're best served with heartymeatslike beef, pork or lamb.


Bock (such as Eisbock or Weisenbock)

Concentrated, almost syrupy consistency with high alcohol content; cantastesweet, even fruity.

Pale (such as Pilsner)

Light and sparkling, but strong; can go well with almost any food.


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    • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Adams 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Oh, me too! I think the idea is catching on - I saw a few other states with trails as I researched. Maybe there's a California Beer Trail to follow - it would be a long one!

      Congrats for your sister and you by the way - I hope she's feeling good about getting her degree and where to use it!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I wish I'd known about this when I went to my sister's graduation from Yale!


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