226 N Plains Industrial Rd UNIT 4, Wallingford, CT 06492
http://frontporchbrewing.co/ (Their website isn’t particularly helpful. Their Facebook has more information.)
Hours Thurs & Fri 5-12 Sat 12-12 Sun 12-5
I went on a Friday on March 1st around 6pm-ish. When we got there they had a Uhaul pulled up inside an open pulldown industrial door. They were unloading crates of cans and kegs. It was rather chilly, but we kept our coats on and survived.
They don’t offer food, only bags of chips for sale. On the Friday when we went there were no food trucks. They also offer sodas and wine for sale. They had a guest cider on tap, but as we were focused on beer we didn’t try it.
Atmosphere/vibe: There was a funky sort of hang out spot vibe to the place. They had couches with video game setup. There were some loose strings of christmas lights hanging on the wall. There were a couple of picnic tables. It was very “warehouse” converted into a hangout area. It was like an upgrade from “Mom’s basement” kind of hangout vibe where you go when you aren’t a teenager anymore and can afford to rent a small industrial unit.
There were two people working there when we arrived. Their names were Dean and Ryan. I felt like something way kinds lost in the fact that one person’s name was ryan. I mean if his name were Sam… and their friend in a tan trench coat showed up every now and again… but I digress. They were both unloading cans and kegs from the uhaul with Dean being the primary on this task and Ryan being the main bartender personage. Dean promised my friend and I that since we endured the cold open roll up door for so long he would buy us a beer on him the next time we came by. We shall keep you up to that promise Dean… The North Remembers…
Note: I do not like whiskey, but I did notice they also sell whiskey. I am unsure if they distill it themselves or it is just an offering they have. If you like whiskey, you should inquire.
A Toaster is just a Death Ray with a smaller power supply: This is an interesting beer because it isn’t exactly fitting into any specific box. It isn’t a “fruit beer”. It isn’t a “sour”. It is a wheat ale, but with pomegranate flavors. It is tart, but not sour beer tart. It is very delicious and very drinkable. It is light, but not in the way “light lager” is light. I am a big fan. I liked it a lot.
Gin Party: A big trend is to age beer in bourbon barrels. With the fact that they also offer whiskey and whiskey flights here I was surprised and pleased with this interesting switcheroo by aging this beer in gin barrels. I am a big fan of gins and the distinctive junipery/pine flavors do come through, but not in an oppressive way. It it a nice, tart, fun beer, especially for people who also happen to like gin.
Where is the Madness that You Promised Me?: (note… this is a single hopped citrus IPA) I hear the chorus of tiny internet voices… but haven’t you said over and over and over how you don’t like IPA? I have… and I still don’t, but I will try them… for SCIENCE! Also, every now and again I find one that I’m like “eh… it’s not so bad. I’d drink it.” This was… ok. I wasn’t a fan, but if you like IPA please do not take my advice on IPA. For what it’s worth it wasn’t exceptionally hoppy. It had more of a bitter citrus flavor to it. I kinda felt I wanted more madness… I felt it was a very unoffensive IPA, so maybe it is all explained in the title. WHERE IS the madness we were promised? (I’m a sucker for witty beer names every. single.time)
Crepuscular: (Story time! So we are talking to RyanWhoIWantToCallSam. He told us how this beer came about their experimenting with sour beer. For those who aren’t familiar with how sours are made they use special wild strains of yeast into the mix. These strains of bacteria or yeast are different from normal brewers yeast and like to throw giant rave parties in the beer. The problem with rave parties is that the ravers are having such a good time they don’t want to be contained! They want their fun rave to spread to the world! Or it is just really hard to contain these wild strains when brewing with them and you risk cross contamination with other beers you happen to be brewing nearby. Wild strains of brewing yeast/bacteria used for making sours are like the HeLA cells of beer! So the story time aspect of this is that they were making a sour beer and it was fermenting next to a stout. The wild yeast strains contaminated the stout and started growing in it. Now, these wild yeast strains are what give sours their yummy tart sourness, but they aren’t the type of yeast you are supposed to have in stouts.) I was intrigued when I saw a “sour stout” the flavor profiles are so different. The mouth feel is so much different. My brain was intrigued. I felt that this would either be absolutely disgusting or I would love it. My reaction… “oh… (long pause) well… OH! *another sip* Yes… oh yes!” Please sir, can I have another?” It is tart, but mellow and smooth. It has the smooth creaminess of a stout with the nice malty aspect, but it also is tart. It really is a beer that makes your brain do a double take. As this was an accident, I’m curious if they can recreate it. It is definitely worth trying to recreate.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Sweater: It has lots of peanut butter goodness to it. Very yummy. It’s base is an imperial stout so there is a lot of heavy malt to it. It had only a little bit of foam however. I liked it.
The flights come in choices of 4 and they are served in a little rectangular box with a tiny box for each glass of beer. I think since the place has such a retro vibe to it, they should come up with a less traditional way to serve their flights. Something more apropos to the whole vibe of the place.
Bathrooms: So, I am enamored by their bathroom! It looks like a crazy cat lady grandma decorated it. I absolutely love it. Also their sign was hilarious! It was a clean bathroom which frankly made me happy. It seemed like a mostly male hang out and I generally expect toilet seat up and pube hair, but it was clean and tidy and well stocked. I’m thinking the cat lady grandma also cleans it. They win best decorated bathroom. I love the cat theme!
Parking: Parking is adequate, but there isn’t a whole lot of it. I think, for the size of the brewery it is adequate, however there are other businesses that share the strip of parking.
It is not a walk-to place. It is off a main road, especially at night it would be dangerous to walk to as the traffic on the main street, especially in the dark, might not see a pedestrian. The parking lot is not exceptionally well lit at night.
Why you should go: We had a good time here. I really like some of the beers. The sour stout really blew my mind. I know it was an accident, but I hope they can recreate it. The people there are friendly, both the customers and the staff. It seems like a fun place to hang out.
What could be improved: They don’t have a lot of offerings for cans or growler fills. I hope they never change the design on their bathroom! In fact it needs MORE cats… Also, bigger signage, especially from the main street. Maybe a flag at their door or something that catches the eye and makes it a bit more easier to find. It took us a few minutes to actually figure out where it was.