148 Forest St, Manchester, CT 06040
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4-9 Fri 4-10 Sat 12-10 Sun 12-6
I went mid February on a Sunday towards the end of the day. They were very busy. There were 3 of us, and originally we couldn’t find a place to sit. We found a bar area for 2 of us with 1 standing, then someone vacated their table, and we swooped in and nabbed it. It was a cold, but otherwise sunny, beautiful, and snow free day.
They do not sell food. They sell only select beer in cans and fill growlers. There was a food truck outside for BBQ. It looked good. I didn’t get anything, but my friends did get something right before they left. I don’t know if it was good or not, but walking past the BBQ food truck smelled delicious. The food truck was for Thomas Smokey Pit Stop.
Atmosphere/vibe: Live cover music. Loud… lots of dogs. Lots of varied seating, lots of plugs everywhere for phones. With exposed brick, shiney wood, hanging numbered mug over the bar, and a variety of seating options, it has a fun, lively atmosphere. The building has a set up to be friendly to wheelchairs. It is a longish brick building with a small but adequate parking lot. It is in a revitalized industrial area with old mills converted into businesses and apartments. This building looks newer and is set apart from the other larger mills. There are flame simulated torches outside.
They haven’t even been open a year yet. They opened in Aug 2018.
Very friendly bartenders that were fun and talkative, but expeditious and multitasking. It was very busy, and the bartenders were doing a very good job keeping up with everything while still bringing a lively vibe.
Beer: I really love their flight layout. It is a circle, unlike the usual rectangular I’ve seen at most breweries. It is charming. I was charmed. 5 snifter glasses are part of a flight. Did I mention I was charmed? Charmed I say.
Wyvern’s boysenberry: This is a wheat beer. It was excellent very fruity, but not overly sweet or unnecessarily saacrine. Many fruit beers make the mistake of being too sweet. The Wyvern’s Boysenberry does not make that mistake. The beer has lovely color, very appealing. Just writing about it now makes me kinda want one. If you head there and they have it on tap you need to try it.
Imperial Stout: While not listed on their description, this is a coffee stout. It smells like coffee grounds, as opposed to smelling like coffee itself. They are two distinct flavors and smells. It tastes like chocolate covered espresso beans. I’m not a fan of coffee beer as a general rule. If you like coffee beer then you should try this. It is a unique beer worth trying. The taste in my mouth after is nice. I wouldn’t want to drink a lot of it, but I did really like the after taste in my mouth.
Baba Yaga: This a berliner weisse. It was tart, but not pucker your mouth into wrinkles tart. I liked it. I really loved the name. It advertised cranberry. I don’t remember much cranberry, but I really did like it anyway.
Wail of the Banshee. This is a Scottish ale. It claims caramel notes and butterscotch. I get caramel notes with a light efervescent after taste. I sadly did not get butterscotch. I did like it.
Bugbear: This is a strong bitter bear. It is very bread-dy but not too bitter. It claims caramel notes, but I didn’t get caramel notes. It was a fine bear. Not my favorite from the flight, but it is a solid beer. It really reminds me of a nutty bread.
Cloverleigh: I don’t have a lot to say about this one. It is a completely me issue. It has a very strong clove flavor… too strong. I’m not a fan of cloves.
Parking: There is an adequate parking lot.
The area is safe, but I don’t believe it would be safe to walk there. There aren’t any sidewalks on the main street, or any lighting. If you are going there at night, then drive, don’t walk. That is, unless, you like at one of those mills converted into apartments. That would be a fine jaunt.
I was very impressed by Labyrinth Brewery. It has a nice vibe, a comfortable tap room. I liked the variety of beer they had. I wasn’t thrilled with the music. It was loud and mediocre, but the brewery itself was really good. I plan on going back after the Year of Beer is over.
Why you should go: Good beer. Like I said before, they have a large selection of beer. They show their chops by having a variety of well made beers. They don’t limit themselves to IPAs, remember this is just their first year open, and most new breweries do. They have solid beers, a fun and energetic tap room with a variety of seating. There is bar seating for communal drinking. There are tables for groups. There are secondary standing ledges. It has a variety of areas to maximize the amount of people who can comfortably drink beer in the taproom.
What could be improved: Not a lot of complaints. I didn’t like the clove beer, but that isn’t on them. I just don’t like cloves. I didn’t like the live music, but also that isn’t on them. Really, I think this is a solid brewery that anyone interested in beer and lives in Ct should show up to and give them a fair shake.