2nd Bridge Brewery

642 Hilliard St, Manchester, CT 06042

Hours Thurs 4-9 Fri 3-9 Sat 12-9 Sun 12-5

I went on a Sunday in mid-February mid afternoon. The place has 2 small rooms and was decently busy.

They do not offer food, however, they encourage bringing a lunch, or ordering take out or deliver from local restaurants. I went with friends and we stopped at a restaurant called Shady Glen. It was an… interesting restaurant. The outside ring were where the booths and counter service seats were located. The inside ring was where the cooks cooked and the wait staff walked. They never left the inside ring. It is a place lost in the 50s. Not just merely a 50’s style diner, but rather a restaurant where the prices, decor, outfits, and cash only payment style hasn’t changed in the last 5 decades… at least. Food was good and cheap, but this blog is about beer, so let’s get back to 2nd Bridge Brewery.

Atmosphere/vibe:

It wasn’t quite a sports pub, but more a small town UK pub that sports fans hang out at. Dogs were welcome. We actually saw a group with a dog later that day at another brewery as my friends and I went to 3 breweries throughout the day. There were tables with benches against the wall, high top tables in the middle of the main room, and then counter seats by the taps. In the smaller first room there were a few tables and a dart board against the wall. There were scarves of UK teams hanging up around and sportsball on a TV, but there was also local art on the wall. It didn’t have a sports bar vibe, but rather long hang out where many are interested in sportsball.

Service was good. We could easily get the attention of bartenders when we wanted them. We didn’t sit at the bar, but at one of the high tables in the middle of the room. Jasmine was friendly and knowledgeable. You can tell when people are enjoying their day and interacting with people.

What about the Beer?

They didn’t have a large selection of beers I was interested it and we were hitting 3 breweries that day, so I split a flight with a friend. That way we both could taste multiple, but since I was driving I wouldn’t have too much.

Sock Hop: It had a neat crisp tart clean taste… not too much apple, not too strong. This was an apple beer that I believe was a guest tap.

Know your onions: It was strong, verging on Medicinal. This was an English strong bitter ale. It is something that is interesting, worth trying, but an acquired taste. You need to enjoy a bitter beer to enjoy this.

Brug Heght: It is a dark Belgian with front bitter that turns smooth upon more drinking. It was my favorite of the beers we had there. It is very malty.

Parking

It has an adequate parking lot. The brewery is not particularly safe to walk to. There are no sidewalks on the main busy street, which is not lit at night.  This is an old industrial part of town. It is definitely somewhere you drive to. There are other businesses in this old industrial factory complex. Most of them aren’t going to be open during the brewery’s hours, so the parking lot will be more or less available.

Overall: I liked it. I liked the bartender, Jasmine. I liked the beer, I liked the ambience, even if it wasn’t catered to me.

Why you should go: They have interesting beers. I really liked their dark Belgian. If you like UK football (soccer) It is a great atmosphere for watching matches. It is cozy and comfortable. I like that they have a guest tap cider option.

What could be improved: They are a small brewery so they don’t always have a lot of options on tap. More options as they expand would be great.

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