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The Craft Beer Scene in Southeastern Connecticut

Men carry beer onto a beach

The craft beer scene in New London County has never been better, as there are breweries in many towns, giving beer-lovers a wide selection of suds from which to choose. If you’re looking to try something local this weekend, stop by one of the following locations to have a pint or fill your growler to take home.

Keep an eye out for seasonal brews at these locations, as well, because you never know what you’ll find on any given visit.


Noble Jay Brewing Company

Steps from Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic is where you'll find Noble Jay Brewing Company. The brewery and taproom is located at 11 Freedom Way and is open Thursday through Sunday every week.

While many craft beer producers focus on IPAs, Noble Jay features a variety of craft lagers, such as the Mo Pilsner, Fatty Boom Boom Lager-Style Baltic Porter, DIPL, which is an India Pale Lager, Vampin Vera German Munich Dunkel, and Major Lager German Schwarzbier. They also have Sir William Strong Scotch Ale and Sorachi Ace Rye Pale Ale as part of their everyday offerings. They plan to do an IPA and some seasonal beers down the line, so stay tuned.


Tox Brewing Company

Tox Brewing sits at 635 Broad Street in New London. The brewery and taphouse currently keeps limited hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but expects to expand shortly.

You'll find both regular and seasonal offerings at the brewery throughout the year. The usual offerings include Agent O Pale Ale, Angel Wings IPA, Angel's Trumpet Double IPA, Black Widow Imperial Stout, Detox Pilsner, Devil's Trumpet Double IPA, Double Agent O Imperial IPA, Nerium Pale Ale, Deadly Nightshade Coffee Milk Stout, Placebo Effect Cream Ale, and Pollen Pale Ale. The seasonal taps are always changing, so check back often.

You can have a pint or a four-beer sampler on-site at the brewery, or take a growler, howler, or crowler home with you, depending on how much beer you want to consume.


Outer Light Brewing Company

In Groton, at 266 Bridge Street, Outer Light Brewing Company is open for business. You can visit Wednesday through Sunday, and you can even rent the taproom for special occasions.

The four mainstays at this brewery are Lonesome Boatman Ale, Libation Propaganda Coffee Stout, SUBduction IPA, and Cloudbreak Double IPA. Outer Light also does the Shoreline Series, which is made up of experimental beers in limited supplies. Follow the brewery on social media to keep up with their availability. They come out with two seasonal brews, Firelands Smoked Cherry Porter in the fall and winter and Ninja Trail Green Tea Pale Ale for the spring and summer, as well.


Barley Head Brewery

The heart of downtown Mystic is home to Barley Head Brewery, a taproom with a unique concept. Rather than having staple beers on hand at all times, Barley Head changes its offerings weekly, trying to keep between four and six variations active at any given moment. Many ingredients are locally sourced, so the beers of the week depend on what is available. Examples of brews they offer include Mahogany Reef Dubbel, Reginald's Tower Oatmeal Stout, Cellar Dweller Indian Pale Ale, and Blonde Rooster Blonde Ale.

The taproom is open Thursday through Sunday at its Water Street location, and you can sample their libations in a glass, growler, or can. Keep an eye on their calendar of events because Barley Head often has local musicians performing on weekends.


Beer'd Brewing Company

The American Velvet Mill shopping mall in Stonington gives Beer'd Brewing Company plenty of exposure. The popular taproom is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for tastings and growler fills, and you can grab cans of select beers at some local stores.

The offerings at Beer'd Brewing Company are always changing, but they usually have a bunch of IPAs including: Have You Seen My Binder, Frank & Berry, Already Taken, Too Many Cooks, Hobbit Juice, and Riff. Each of these IPAs is different, so you'll have to try them all to figure out which you like the best. There's also Midnight Oil Oatmeal Stout, Whisker'd Wit, Kittens & Canoes Pale Ale, and Next Episode Pilsner often available.


Cottrell Brewing Company

Along the shores of the Pawcatuck River sits Cottrell Brewing Company, which has been around since 1997. It's a bit of a strange location because the building looks like an abandoned warehouse. Walk to the back side of the building by the river, however, and you'll see the taphouse, which is open for tastings Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

This brewery has some permanent beers in a variety of styles, including Old Yankee Ale, Mystic Bridge English Style IPA, Incredibly Pretentious Double IPA, Perry's Revenge Scotch Ale, and Stonington Glory Bohemian Pilsner, giving you plenty of choices. The brewery also uses pure, fresh ingredients, trying to keep the process as simple as possible.


The Connecticut Beer Trail

It’s great to see the local beer scene expanding so rapidly because more selection makes it easier to find something that you love. There are other taphouses around New London County that offer a selection of local craft beer, as well, so you’ll always have options.

The next time you find yourself craving a beer, stop by one of Connecticut’s great taprooms and sample a few of their tasty offerings.