And now it’s time to catch up on some of the more enjoyable brews I came across during the last month or so. This next post takes us back to a rather memorable pit stop the family made on our way down to New Jersey last month.
That stop, of course, happened to be at a brewery; specifically the New England Brewing Company, conveniently located in Woodbridge, CT at roughly the halfway point in our drive and the place where we just so happened to start hitting traffic. It had been a place of interest to me for some time now on account of its well regarded and awesomely named brews like Fuzzy Baby Ducks and Imperial Stout Trooper. Only the first of those was pouring that day, but we were nonetheless very excited about our impending visit, even to the point of making up stories about the beers and carrying on about the joys of ducks while waiting in traffic!
The brewery is located in a warehouse building hidden behind a car dealership. We were a bit confused by this situation and almost turned around, but fortunately my (perhaps somewhat dubious) faith in Google Maps and some well placed signage got us there without incident. Their custom car sitting out front helped a bit too! Walk inside and you’re greeted by an ordering station just inside the door with some benches and seating off to the right. There are also some shelves against one of the walls that boast an impressive stash of games and books, including, to our delight, children’s stories! Since it was a really nice day and we had a toddler in tow, we opted, however, to sit out on the patio after procuring our beverages and reading materials. While not particularly scenic, it was still nice to be outside and between books our son had a blast watching some of the staff load up a delivery truck using a forklift.
Our first beer of the day obviously had to be the much discussed Fuzzy Baby Ducks. I don’t think it quite lived up to the otherworldly hype that we had built up around it in the car, but it most certainly did not disappoint either! I’d say that the fact that beer withstood our highly unrealistic expectations says a lot about how good it actually is. Pictured above alongside our son’s first book of the day, this 6.2% IPA poured to a cloudy orangish-yellow body beneath a persistent foam head and had an inviting aroma of citrus and sticky hops. Taste-wise, it began with a nice blend of mango and citrus sweetness resting stop a soft pale malt backbone before closing with a smooth, moderate level of bitterness. As for the mouthfeel, it had a moderately carbonated medium body that left a soft, fluffy feeling on the palate. This last point was particularly important for my wife. I think no matter how good it tasted she would not have been happy if it didn’t feel like a fluffy duck at the end!
For round two, my wife and I went in slightly different directions. She ordered their flagship Sea Hag IPA (6.2%) and enjoyed that immensely. Indeed I did as well but could not manage to steal enough sips to give it a proper review. All I’ll say here is that it offered a nice mix of sweet malts and hops that was right up my alley! My beer of choice was the almost equally amazing G-Bot. This 8.8% IPA poured to an orangish-amber body and featured a sweet, pulpy aroma. Similarly, the taste offered up plenty of citrus notes to start, followed by a nice dank, resinous bitterness on the end. The mouthfeel was right in line for the style. Overall, this made for our third excellent brew of the day!
And then it was time once again to hit the road. Between the books, the beer, and the chance to relax we all had an excellent time here! The beers certainly lived up to our heightened expectations and we also really appreciated how family friendly the atmosphere was (bonus points for the aforementioned children’s books!). Definitely check this place out! It’s on the list next time we head down to New Jersey or find ourselves in the area.