Small Brewers Become Big Business In Fairfield County

Jeanne Muchnick

This just in from Norwalk Daily Voice...

If you're a beer lover, you're in luck. Each day it seems another brewery or beer pub opens its doors in Fairfield County, catering to residents with creative hops (Harlan Haus in Bridgeport) and carefully curated snacks (shout out to Shelton's The Drunk Alpaca).

In a short period of time, the Connecticut craft beer scene has exploded, tapping into the county's thirst for flavor, variety and fun.

Many of these businesses were started by local folks with a passion for home brewing. All of them have helped elevate the area's craft beer experience.

Not sure where to go? We've done the research for you -- and yes, that may (or may not) have included sampling a few pints of amber brews.

  •  Aspetuck Brew Lab, Bridgeport: This two-year-old brewery and tap room are the dream of a husband-and-wife team (see Daily Voice story HERE ) who care as much about the community as they do good, local beer.
  •  Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery, Bethel: This craft brewery and casual dining spot, in the old Bethel Train Station, is hoping for a late January/early February opening. Stay tuned by following them on Facebook.
  •  Charter Oak, Danbury: Tastings and events are going on throughout December for Charter Oak (check their Facebook page). Come early 2018, the company, in business since June 2012, will have its own 8,000-square-foot facility in Danbury, 2,000 feet of which will feature a tap room. Owner/Founder P. Scott Vallely of New Canaan, previously brewed at other locations.
  •  Brewport Brewing, Bridgeport: Sling back some serious suds at this year(ish)-old restaurant/brewery where the motto is "pizza/salad/beer." Only craft beers are served and Bridgeport pride is front and center in a newspaper-centric atmosphere (it's a former newspaper distribution warehouse). Go HERE for earlier Daily Voice story.
  •  Fairfield Craft Ales, Stratford: This one-and-a-half-year brewery is as much about music as it is about beer, thanks to the vision of Owners Mike Borruso and Joe Bow. Choose between more than 21 brews, all named after some of the duo's favorite songs -- think Little Darlin’ (by The Diamonds), Brown-Eyed Girl (Van Morrison), and Dixie Chicken (Little Feat). Read more HERE .
  •  Harlan Haus, Bridgeport: The much-anticipated German-style beer hall will hold a grand opening from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Jan. 10 at the former People Bank building at 155 State Street. Expect a traditional German beer hall, complete with pretzels, schnitzel and all manner of wursts. The pièce de résistance, however, will be its two premium German beers and a host of local craft beers on rotation-- all set in a 7,000-square-foot space. Go HERE for earlier story.

Read the complete list of local breweries here.