Bear's Smokehouse BBQ Opens In-House Brewery in New Haven w/ Black Hog Brewing Co

CTbites Team

 Bear’s Restaurant Group, which includes Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ in Windsor, Hartford, and South Windsor, and Blind Pig Pizza in Hartford, today announced the official opening of its in-house brewery. This past week, in partnership with Black Hog Brewing Co., the on-site brewery debuted its first five beers brewed in-house and will now be offering them for consumption on-site or to-go in 32-ounce crowlers.  


“The entire team at Black Hog Brewing Co. is excited to be working with the team at Bear’s to bring our craft beer expertise to New Haven,” said Jason Sobocinski, co-owner, Black Hog Brewing Co. and collaborator at Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ in New Haven.  “Our goal is to craft truly unique beers that are not available anywhere else that pair perfectly with Bear’s award-winning Kansas-City style barbeque favorites.  In addition to our killer in-house team, we will be collaborating with other breweries in Connecticut and beyond to offer a constant rotation of interesting and one-of-a-kind flavors.  We already have our first collaborator lined up – Beer’d Brewing out of Stonington, CT – and expect to have our brew ready for the Fourth of July holiday weekend!”


The five brews that will be available include:


Service IPA - Veterans Blend Hops (Cashmere, Centennial, Simcoe, Mosaic, Ekuanot) for 100% more freedom than most IPA's! Oat based for a soft mouth feel and coming in at 5% ABV, this is a nice easy drinking IPA that we can enjoy thanking all that serve and have served in our military by donating $1 from each 20oz sold in house to Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, supporting the ongoing needs of the U.S. Army Rangers and their families beyond what the government can offer.

Get on the Bus - A Ctra hopped American style Pale Ale featuring Citra hops with a 5.5% ABV; it’s easy drinking with a tropical fruit and hints of stone fruit in the finish.  Our site was once a bus depot before DISTRICT was built, and the name is also a reference to one of our favorite movies, “Billy Madison.”

Stacked – An IPA with a big oat and wheat body along with Simcoe and Eureka hops provides a black currant and citrus note coming in at 6.5% ABV.  With twice the hops and more ABV, this is a bigger beer overall than the Veterans or Get on the Bus.

King Julian Milk Stout with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans and a 7% ABV.  The name refers to a crazy character from the DreamWorks movie “Madagascar:” Bourbon vanilla is the name for all vanilla grown in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean, offering a very strong, clear and creamy vanilla flavor which makes them the best vanilla pods in the world. 

Helles Yeah - Helles Lager - Easy Drinking Lager Beer with summer hops from New Zealand and a 5 % ABV.  This beer is still in the tank brewing but will be the next new brew available on the menu in a few weeks.

The food menu features the brand’s celebrated barbecue favorites, smoked in the Kansas-City style that McDonald enjoyed growing up in Kansas City, Missouri. The offering include: Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken, Kielbasa, Turkey, Texas Sausage, Brisket and Burnt Ends served as a Sandwich, Entrée or Combo Plate.  Other favorites served with a choice of smoked meat include Paw Paw’s Poutine (hand-cut fries smothered with cheese), Bear Bowl (cornbread topped with BBQ beans) and Super Spud (baked potato topped with mac & cheese, sour cream, bacon, red onion and cheese), as well as appetizers (including Moink Balls, bacon-wrapped meatballs), salads, classic side dishes and desserts.  Family meals and meat by the pound are also available, as well as a Cub Meal for younger barbeque fans.  The menu also includes items inspired by the Biergarten featuring pretzels, cheese and sausages.

“With the unofficial start to Summer upon us and our customers eager to enjoy our 6,000 square foot Biergarten after work and on the weekends, we cannot wait to begin serving our in-house brewed beers to complement our favorite barbeque items - Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, Turkey, Brisket and more,” added Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, Co-Owner, Bear’s Restaurant Group.  “Enjoying one of our custom beers and a plate of barbeque outdoors while playing a game of Cornhole, Bocce or Jenga and taking in live music from our Ampitheatre makes for a perfect summer afternoon or evening at the only Biergarten in New Haven.  Once the weather turns cooler, we’ll keep the outdoor party going with our fire pits and patio heaters.”

The inaugural season of the Ampitheatre also kicked off this week, with views directly from the restaurant’s Biergarten seating. The full schedule of family-friendly and adult programming will be announced over the coming weeks at

Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ is open seven days a week: Sunday-Wednesday (11am-9pm) and Thursday-Saturday (11am-10pm).  The restaurant also offers take-out, catering, food truck and on-site event options.

The District campus features ample free parking and ease of access from I-91, as well as the Mill River Trail.  This summer, a kayak and paddleboard launch will also be opened for those seeking ease of access from the Mill River.

About Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ: 

Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ brings Connecticut’s legendary barbeque brand to the District New Haven campus, located at 470 James Street.  The barbeque restaurant, brewery and Biergarten features the award-winning cuisine of Jamie “The Bear” McDonald of Bear’s Restaurant Group.  Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the location offers free parking and ease of access off the Mill River Trail, as well as a paddleboard/kayak launch.  For more information, visit, or Facebook (@BearsNHV) and Instagram (@thestacknh).