Address: 16 Main St, Chester, CT
Hours: Wed & Thurs: 3pm – 8pm Fri: 2pm – 9pm Sat: Noon – 9pm
Sun: Noon – 6pm
I went on a Friday night in early February. The weather was good. I went later at night about an hour before closing. It was very busy, but we were still able to find a table.
They do not offer food. They do list that they allow you to BYOF, however, the list a lot of restaurants in the area the suggest within walking distance of their building to have dinner at. I went wit Thai Riverside which was very good.
The atmosphere was cozy. While very busy it didn’t seem overcrowded. They had really lovely glassware. The design is smart on the pint glasses. It is minimalist and quaint and New Englandy. Like many placed they had a wooden plank with holes for the tasting pours. The vibe of the place was a cozy hidden gem of a local spot at a ski lodge. I’m sure nobody was toting ski gear, but I feel like in my mind’s eye they should have. It is a small room, but didn’t feel overwhelming small. I believe there might be an outside patio in the back when the weather is nicer, but I’m not certain. There was a back door that seemed to lead that way and it seemed to be set up for that. My one big annoying, glaring, disappointing, gripe was their bathrooms were pretty disgusting. It was college bar on a Thursday night disgusting. It was a single room unisex bathroom… It looked like drunk guys didn’t bother to aim. The floor was sticky. There was toilet paper and paper towels all over the floor. It decimated the charm I was enchanted by when I walked in the door. If I wanted to go to a college bar bathroom, I would have done it while in college. Note I didn’t in college because college bar bathrooms are disgusting.
The bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly. The staff are easy to access for drinks. They are astute to notice when someone approaches, yet have casual conversation with the people sitting at the bar and those ordering at the same time. It does not take long to get a drink if you want one.
So, let’s talk about the beer.
I did a flight which included
Kirby’s Kolsch: It is a German style beer. Very solid. I enjoyed it very much.
Winchester: It is very malty. I like malty. It is a wheat beer that is very light. It is a low alcohol beer, but doesn’t sacrifice flavor. It is clean flavor.
Little Bear: It delivers on flavor and is satisfyingly smooth. There are hints of chocolate, vanilla, and toasted coconut. I really cannot stress enough how smooth it was. How smooth you ask? VERY
Molasses Disaster: As someone who lived in Massachusetts for most of my teenage years and through college, I really do love the name and the token nod to the Boston Molasses Disaster. They really come forward on the molasses flavor. It is front and center and bold. Go big or go home bold.
Parking: there is literally no parking at the brewery. There is some very limited on street parking along the main street where the brewery is located. There are some lots nearby listed on their website. I parked at the restaurant we at at, Thai Riverside, and left my car there. As the restaurant was in the process of closing and there were no other businesses open in that little strip I had no problems leaving my car there, but during times where those businesses are open there might be an issue.
The area is very safe. While you do have to cross some main streets, it is a very walkable small town feel and there are plenty of crosswalks and lighting.
Overall I liked the place. The beer was a combination of solid traditionals and experimentals that pulled it off. I like that. It was just overflowing with charm and being adorable.
Why you should go: They have some excellent beer. The atmosphere is charming and cozy. The glassware is charming. The staff are charming. It is like Hallmark Movie charming. I’m expecting the hurried businessman from a big made up Hartford insurance company who is stuck here while selling his grandmother’s house and happen to run into the woman who owns a cupcake shop or a dog grooming business and they agreed to have a drink would show up here for their charming argument where she introduces the concept that he needs to stop and take more joy in life. Literally… I’m expecting that to happen in this small town cozy brewery. The only thing that would make my imaginary scene more Hallmark is if there was a Golden Retriever. Hold on a second… lemme go check their website… Well, they don’t say that dogs are allowed at the brewery, but they also don’t say they AREN’T allowed.
What can be improved: Their bathrooms are absolutely disgusting. There is limited parking. My big big big complaint is that the bathrooms are really disgusting.
I’m going to go off on a wee little tangent here. While I’m trying to focus on getting as many stamps on my brewery passport (50) to get the VIP pass to the Ct Brewery festival. I don’t have unlimited free time to go back to breweries I’ve already gone to. I’m in the process of making a short list of those I plan on going back to more regularly when I’m not trying to hit 50 in 1 year, but the Little House brewing just sent me an email with their new on tap beer.
There is a Pilsner, a Double IPA (which I have no interest in at all), and a dark chocolaty malty beer. Then, in their tanks they have
Sleepy Bee – Honey Kölsch, Hell Melon – Munich Helles, TBA – Blood Orange Sour Lager, Brutal Brunch – Brut Mimosa IPA (collab w/ Bad Dream Brewing), Gone Muddin’ – Coffee Porter, Home Grown 5 – All CT-grown Pale Ale, Three Sheep for an Ore – West Coast IPA, Wave Racer – Milkshake IIPA
I’m super interested in this Honey Kolsch, Sour Lager, and am even curious about this brut mimosa IPA. I am sorely tempted if I happen to be in the town in the next month to stop by a second time.