Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Monday, April 20, 2009

My wife got me a few "Hookers" for my birthday

I gotta get me some equipment like this for the house...

Ok, well the title of this post is a little sensational to say the least... But my wife did humor me and take me to the Thomas Hooker brewery for a tour and tasting for my birthday this weekend. She also took me out for a delicious meal, got me a very chocolaty birthday cake and purchased me this brand new laptop I'm now blogging from to celebrate my 34 years of existing... Thanks Alewife!

As we followed the path to the Hooker brewery, laid out for us by our trusty Garmin GPS , we found ourselves driving past some unsavory neighborhoods... I began to wonder if the Hooker name wasn't just a historical play on words used for a laugh in the brewery's marketing scheme... For the record, I detected no obvious ladies of the night along the way.

Despite the surrounding "hood" the brewery provided a good time for all... All the basic brewery tour staples were on hand. Rows of stainless steel brewing equipment, a small bar with fresh kegs on tap, and a small merry band of beer enthusiast eagerly waiting for some tasty free samples.

They had 4 brews on tap this weekend: Watermelon Ale, Blonde Ale (later to be switched out for something else I can't remember), Irish Red and Hooker's own IPA...

Watermelon Ale: I wasn't crazy about it, but I suppose if we had a BBQ at the house and it was very hot out, a few of these might do the trick and refresh the crowd. My wife liked it, but then mockingly said, "Hmmmm a beer and a wine cooler all in one..." A bit too watermelon candy-ish for my pallet...

Blonde Ale: An OK beer... A little biscuity, bready, doughy... for lack of better words... Buttered corn bread? Not my ideal style, but an easy drinking beer. I like this one, but not something I would seek out...

Irish Red: Toasty malt flavor... Not bad, but I was craving the IPA...

IPA: They had some tap issues, and the availability of the IPA was in doubt for the first 20 minutes. But they overcame the issues and a few IPA samples were had. I really enjoy this beer... Hoppy for sure, but with a nice malty backbone... Good stuff...

The tour itself was brief, but good. Unlike most tours I've been on, this one lets you walk under the vats, through the machinery, almost like you work there...

My wife does her best Laverne & Shirley impression, I'm sure that's never been done before...

Our guide was even kind enough to pull some brews from one of tanks, it doesn't get any fresher than that... We got to sample the Liberator right from the source. Toasted malty goodness!


The guys from Hooker were a nice bunch of fellas... They even offered me an opportunity to come back and help out with tours and tastings if I'm interested in the future... I may just take them up on that offer...

The following day, my buddies Dave and Erik help me polish off the last of my American Pale Ale home brew while we sat on the back deck and enjoyed the Spring weather with my little son... All in all the weekend went pretty well...


  1. Nice! Looks like a real small operation.

  2. Small, but a real nice personal one-on-one approach. A great group of guys and some good beer too...

  3. Thanks for the nice write up! Come back anytime.

  4. Thanks for the hospitality... I'll be back and will bring more friends...

  5. Hi,

    In case you hadn't heard, the 15th Annual CT Craft Brewers Beer Festival is Saturday the 16th (of May). It runs from 5-8:30 and costs $30 ($35 at the door).

    I figured that might be something you'd be interested in. :)

  6. Bryon,

    Great site! As a novice brewer (and blogger) myself, I find your blog quite a motivation to keep working at both hobbies.

    Having spent a few years in the Nutmeg State, I've enjoyed a few fine Hookers myself. And, after reading this post, I'm excited to tour the brewery!


    Brewfus (Steve)


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