Breweries are still all the rage! They’re a great option for adding some fun into your parenting life! Whether you’re bringing the kids along or enjoying some adults-only time, we’ve got you covered with a round up of some awesome breweries to check out in Fairfield County and beyond!
Where to Go in Fairfield County
Talk about ambiance! From the cozy couches in the room off of the porch to the adorable wall of pillow seating in the blue room, this is a perfect date night spot! Add even more fun if you come on a Thursday for live music! The beers all have great names and very thorough brewing descriptions. And babies are totally welcome – there’s a real changing table set up in the bathroom! Bring your own food or eat at Little Pub or Hoodoo Brown BBQ before you arrive! They just started to add food trucks as well!
Located in the old train station in downtown Bethel is one of Fairfield County’s newest breweries. It opened late May 2018 and has been busy ever since. They produce a variety of beers with ‘astronomical’ names such as Charmed Quark, Cherry Nebula and Hop Stratus. Not only a craft brewery, Broken Symmetry also serves San Diego style Mexican grub that has been served on the Green Grunion food truck, as they are part owners. The interior promotes conversation with large communal tables and there is also outdoor seating using beer kegs as tables.
If you’re a Breaking Bad or science fan, you’ll appreciate the beakers that adorn the logo at this small brewery. There are a few tables and 20 stools inside and a bit of standing room directly outside the cool garage doors. Every Friday they host a happy hour, and they participate in a variety of other events including a Pub Run, Yoga and Brews, and various food and beer pairings throughout the year, so check the calendar!
With 12 types of beer to choose from, this small hangout spot is perfect for group events, a girls’ night out, or a relaxed date night. The atmosphere and closeness of the seating invites conversation between the mostly long tables lined in a row with bar stools. The music, whether from a live band or streamed on speakers, adds to the welcoming vibe. Bring your own meal or snacks to enjoy with your drink, or order some delivery from the neighborhood.
This is probably the most well-known brewery in Fairfield County, and for good reason. I went shortly after it first opened in 2012 and have been back several times. Each time it gets better. The facility keeps expanding, brews are frequently added, and the rotating calendar of food trucks are all delectable. While it’s gotten more popular and populated, it still maintains its chill and calm feel. Whether I’m sitting at a table fashioned from barrels or on a stool overlooking the vats, there’s a peaceful quality that accompanies their craftsmanship. (Children are not allowed, which may also account for the peace).
Tucked in the residential area across from Harbor Point, locating this brewery and fun tap room is certainly an adventure. It has up to 12 different beers on tap including seasonal beers, IPAs, ales and my personal favorite, the Peach Wheat. I found this brewery because the running group Stampede (formerly Stamford Fleet Feet) had evening Pub Runs from this location. They offer tours of their brew room and they are FREE at 2:00 & 4:00 on Saturday & Sunday.
Located in the Glenbrook area of Stamford, this place has crushed it while only being open for a year. They will usually have 8 beers on tap with their strength being New England Juicy IPAs. On nice days, they have seating outside, cornhole, and food trucks visit on weekends. They also have fun naming their beers, as seen by my favorite IPA of theirs, OJ on Parole. They are also very kid and dog friendly.
Pizza and beer, yes, please! Their thin crust pizza is divine. Whether you’re there with a table full of friends sampling different pies or splitting a large with just your spouse, always order enough for leftovers! Seriously, you don’t want to stop eating this pizza. (Even my good friends who grew up eating delicious Bronx pizza were beyond satisfied at my 35th birthday dinner!). If you’re coming with kids, I’d recommend getting there at 11 a.m. when they open during the weekend. Their Blood Orange Blonde is a great brew for brunch. With 9 of their own brews, an extensive list of guest taps (mostly from CT and New England), and amazing cocktails, you won’t mind waiting for a table on Friday and Saturday nights!
Quick Trips Outside of Fairfield County:
This place is a laid-back mecca. Seriously, I was like a kid in a candy store as I walked around and saw outdoor seating and games everywhere! Adirondack chairs, picnic and fire pit tables, bocce court, so many corn holes, two floors of porch, tiki bar, almost all of which have views of the marina! They have about 15 brews (although some popular ones may sell out on a given day), so there’s a flavor for everyone! Even though it’s a massive place, it doesn’t feel crowded at all! You can either bring your own food, order from the menu at the bar, or grab something from one of the food trucks in the parking lot! If you’re looking to throw together a last minute party, call your friends and set up shop!
The team at Black Hog set out to create a brewery that celebrates “family and food.” Stop by on a Saturday or Sunday and you’ll see that they’ve achieved both. Grab a flight and play a board game in their recently expanded tasting room or sit outside and sip a Ginga Ninja while playing cornhole. A rotating cast of food trucks offers something for every palate.
Outer Lights is a welcome respite for Mom and Dad on the way home from Mystic. Enjoy their lengthy seasonable and experimental tap list in a bright, nautically-inspired, kid-friendly tasting room. Menus for local eateries are provided if you’re hungry. Fill up a growler or pick up some cans on your way out.
I’m sure you love or know someone who loves this beer. It can’t be bought anywhere and can’t be shipped. You want it? Make the 90 minute drive to MA to get it! Get there early! Like before they open early, to avoid a massive wait time. Also make sure to check their On Tap page on their website to see what they offer on that day. The outdoor area is great for lounging with a beer. On Saturdays, they have multiple beers on tap, live entertainment, and food trucks. Kids are welcome, but just make sure they can stand waiting in line for a long period of time!
Less than 90 minutes outside of Fairfield County is Angry Orchard Cider House. Known mostly for their original hard cider, it has created many varietals including a rose, green apple and pear cider. Upon arriving and entering the Innovation Cider House, you are offered a tasting of 3 rotating ciders. You can purchase ciders by the glass along with warm crispy apple cider donuts or a cheese plate. There are outdoor activities such as cornhole or your can relax indoors by playing many board games (check underneath the bench at the stairs). They offer three different tours: Barrely Awake Tour on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. ($20/person), Barrel Room Tours ($10/person) and the Treehouse Tasting Room Tour ($20/person on weekends, $10/person on weekdays). Their treehouse was built by Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters and can be seen in season 7, episode 3. Although Angry Orchard is very family friendly, the Treehouse is for those 21 and over only.