Nod Hill Brewery

Address: 137 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield, CT 06877

https://www.nodhillbrewery.com/

Hours

Thursday 4-9pm

Friday & Saturday 12-9pm

Sunday 12-6pm

I went with a friend on a Saturday night in Jan.

Food: They offer pre-packaged popcorn inside, but there was a food truck outside. We weren’t hungry but wanted something sweet. Sadly, neither the food truck nor inside could proffer that desired fulfillment of craving.

They seem to have a schedule of food trucks with rotation which is nice. While it says that the schedule should be on their website. I could find no actual info. Hopefully that will change soon. I like that there is a rotation so that locals who frequent will have a variety of food options on different nights. It is nice that the brewery coordinates with the food truck community.

Atmosphere/vibe

Clean. I dunno… for me it seemed a bit artificially hipster meets hippy, but not too much risk to fall out of main stream tj max style decorating. There were different seating areas. Along the wall (where we sat) were high chairs and a narrow shelf on the wall for drinks. Comfortable, it was. There was also a table area with large tables surrounded by chairs for groups. There was also a seating area with more comfy chairs. They had another area closed off with that industrial garage door closed. It was a 3 season style porch area, but it was obviously too cold for use in January. I Think it would be nice during seasonally appropriate times. It would make the room definitely feel bigger.

Service

There was someone who came around to take empties. There was a register where you ordered beer at the counter. The place was packed and very busy. We almost didn’t get chairs (and there is nowhere to stand if you don’t have a seated area). While it was very full and very busy the lines to order beer were not long. No one ever seemed to have to wait behind 1 or 2 people. They were very expeditious and coordinated behind the counter, but not rushed. They were focused on who they were waiting on, and quickly got what they needed and moved on to the next. It was a tightly run ship.

They sold cans, bottle and growlers. Not until after did I notice they had an additional porter in bottle that was not available on tap. I would have liked to try it.

My friend and I had a flight to share. This was the last on our list, but wasn’t our first brewery of the day. We didn’t want to be sloshed as we both lived far away and needed to travel home. They had mostly IPAs which neither of us liked. A flight is 4 short pours for $12. We were both very intrigued by the porter called Pipe and Slippers and we got 2 pours of it because we wanted to try it and thought we would want to drink one each.

The beers we tried

Pipe and Slippers (a porter) We were very intrigued by the promise of roasted barley, spicy ester, and chocolate malts. I’m glad this brewery made this. It is interesting, but I didn’t like it. While not advertised there is a strong leathery flavor tones, you can definitely taste the tobacco tones in it, which are a bit too strong for my tastes. However, if you are going to advertise pipe… deliver. They did deliver. It was thoughtful and creative even if it didn’t appeal to me and for that I respect the brewers. I was disappointed however that it had a strong coffee front nose. When you are offering these unique flavors why ruin the front nose with coffee? It might have in fact been the contributing factor to my dislike of it.

Love Nest (Belgian style rustic Ale) I’m always interested in Wheat Ales. After my trip to Germany a few years ago I have become very interested in wheat beers, pilsners, and german beers in general.  It is a very belgian ale. If you like Belgian ales you will like this. Very low hops. It was my favorite from this brewery.

Ace of Wands (Trappist inspired single) Caramel malts piqued our interest. However, this beer is WAY too hoppy. I didn’t want to drink it. We didn’t finish it.

Parking

Plenty of  free parking in a large parking lot adjacent to the building. Parking lot surrounded by woods. Some lights, but mostly near the building. The Food truck was near the building. You do have to go up stairs. I do not believe it is handicapped accessible, but I could have overlooked an available elevator.

Overall:

I was kinda underwhelmed. The vibe didn’t click with me, but plenty of people did seem to like it. It was full for a Sat night, but not over bursting. the rooms are small, but well organized to give maximum seating space for small intimate groups of 2-5. Large groups probably wouldn’t do well here. They over rely on hops for their beers including their non-IPA options. Their one porter was interesting and I liked what they were trying to do even if it didn’t appeal to me with the strong coffee front taste. If you really like dark beers, maybe go and try this to see if it jives with you. It does have unique flavors and is creative. I dunno that I would go back. Maybe if you are super into IPA and really love HOPs then it might be worth the trip to check it out. If you are not into Hoppy beer, then I would say pass on this one unless you live nearby and really want the stamp for your brewery passport. It was over an hour drive for me and I don’t think it was worth it.

Why you should go: 1. If you like hoppy beer they have a lot of selection and add hops to some of their non-IPA beers. 2. If you like complex unique flavors in dark beer you should try Pipe and Slippers. It wasn’t my jam, but I’m glad I tried it because it had unique and complex flavors that aren’t usually experimented with in dark beers at small craft breweries. 3. They seem to have a vibrant food truck collaboration with rotating options, if you are into the food truck scene. 4. If you live close it is worth the stamp on a brewery passport.

Why you shouldn’t go. 1. kinda bland decor and atmosphere. 2. Small and difficult to find seating. 3. If you don’t like hops there isn’t a whole lot of options. 4. A long trip from many parts of Ct for a “meh” experience.

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