To say Connecticut is known for its world class craft beers is not accurate-- at least not yet. But a bold band of merry (and quite innovative) beer brewers from cities all around are on a mission to change that, one small batch at a time. With nearly 40 in-state breweries currently in operation-- a ten fold increase from the number we had only six years ago -- the Connecticut craft beer industry is booming.
And the number of breweries is not the only thing on the rise. A rich culture of craft beer enthusiasm is emerging too. From beer festivals, to private tasting parties, a Connecticut beer trail, and a brewers guild, society has begun to embrace beer as a refreshing and equally sophisticated alternative to wine.
But what exactly is craft beer? How does it differ from that stuff inside the safe, cylindrical walls of a Budweiser can that most of us know so well? And what's behind the recent explosion of local breweries? We traveled to Firefly Hollow Brewery in Bristol, Connecticut to speak with experts and brewers alike about the craft and the business.
- Will Siss - Beer expert, historian, and author of Connecticut Beers. He writes the “Beer Snob” column in the Waterbury Republican-American and at BeerSnobWrites.com
- Curt Cameron - President and CEO of Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield as well as the President of the Connecticut Brewers Guild
- Dana Bourque - Co-owner and head of brewery operations at Firefly Hollow Brewery in Bristol
- Aaren Simoncini - Owner and head brewer of Beer’d Brewery in Stonington
- Tony Karlowicz - Co-founder and brewer at Back East Brewery in Bloomfield
- Bryon Turner - Founder of the Connecticut Beer Trail and Executive Director of the Connecticut Brewers Guild
Check out more photos from the live event.
John Dankosky, Catie Talarski, Alex Dueben and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.