Some Brands We Carry

  • Abita
  • Founder's
  • Goose Island
  • Ommegang
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Southern Tier
  • Sweetwater
  • Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
  • And much more!

 

Kegs

Now if it's speciality beer kegs you're after, and they ARE available here in CT, then you can count on us to special order them for you. That goes for all hard-to-get and odd-ball items - most of the time within a day or two. If you've had it before, and just can't find it, come in to or call your local store and we'll tell you if it is or isn't available. 

 

Don't see an ale you're looking for?

Drop us a line via email on our contact us page or contact your local store. Our products are constantly changing, and we can custom order any beers not in stock.

Buy your favorite wine now at any of our four locations!

Newington | Middletown | Wallingford | New Britain

 

About Ales

 


Belgian Ales

Belgian Pale Ale

The pale ales of Belgium span a broad spectrum of characteristics. They share the general characteristics of the English pale ales, however, they are more aromatic and spicy in both malt and yeast character. These beers may be called "speciales belges", or just "belges", in the French-speaking regions of Belgium. They are light amber to copper in color. These ales may include candy sugar or other aromatics. They are light to medium in body, with low malt aroma, and low carbonation. Fruity, spicy and soft.

Commercial examples: De Koninck
O.G.: 1.047 - 1.070; Alcohol: 4.5 - 8.5%; IBUs: 25 - 35; SRM: 8 - 10.

 

Flemish Brown Ale

Blend of slight sourness, spicy, dry, richness of brown malts and fruitiness of ale. Sweet-and-sour character. Very complex, with flavors sometimes reminiscent of olives, raisins and spices. Complex combinations of malts; water high in sodium bicarbonate; long boiling times, creating a hint of caramelization; multistrain yeast pitching, sometimes with a lactic character; and the blending of "young" and "old" beers, make for a truly teasing style. There may be some low diacetyl. There is no hop aroma and low to medium bitterness. Deep copper to brown.

Commercial examples: Gouden Carolus. 
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.055; Alcohol: 5 - 6.5%; IBUs: 25 - 50; SRM: 10 - 30.

 

Belgian Red Ale

A sharp and sour red beer of light to medium body, it contains up to twenty strains of yeast. The taste is tart with a wide range of fruitiness. The red color comes, in part, from the use of Vienna malt, but also is derived from aging in the brewerys uncoated oak tuns, which also creates the flavors of caramels, tannins and acidity. This is not a hoppy beer. Very refreshing.

Commercial examples: Rodenbach, La Duchesse de Bourgogne
O.G.: 1.052 - 1.056; Alcohol: 5.5 - 6%; IBUs: 10 - 25; SRM: 10 - 18

 

Saison

Brewed in France and Belgium during the spring for the summer. It is often only 50% attenuated (fermented). Hard water may have helped provide the body, mouth-feel and extraction of flavors from the grains. Sometimes a small portion of spelt (a variety of wheat) , or raw oats or raw rice was used. Fruity with a pungent sourness and hop aroma, they are often dry-hopped. Low malt aroma. Distinctively bitter but not assertive. Bottled-conditioned with additional yeast added to the bottle. The profile includes a dense head on a fairly well-carbonated beer with a palate of some tart, citric notes. Light to medium body. Slight acidity and low diacetyl are OK.

Commercial examples: Saison Dupont  
O.G.: 1.048 - 1.080; Alcohol: 5.5 - 7.5%; IBUs: 20 - 40; SRM: 3.5 - 10.

 

Belgian Strong Golden Ales

References to the devil are often a trademark of these beers. These beers are pale to golden in color. The light color and deceiving body are the result of very pale malt. Full of fruity, hoppy, alcoholic complexity. Top-fermented and cold-conditioned.

Commercial examples: Duvel
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.070; Alcohol: 6.5 - 8%; IBUs: 30; SRM: 3 - 5.5.

 

Belgian Strong Dark Ales

There are many variations of this Belgian style which is characterized by full body and a deep burgundy to brown color. Rich, creamy, and sweet, these ales are malty with low hops. Colored with candy sugar and not so much dark malt.
Commercial examples: Gouden Carolus.
O.G.: 1.070 - 1.096; Alcohol: 8 - 11%; IBUs: 25 - 35; SRM: 25 - 35.

 

Biere de Gard

The name means "beer to keep," implying that it was laid down as a provision to be drawn upon during the summer. The style belongs to northern France. Typically made with several malts, this is a strong, top-fermenting, laying-down beer, quite commonly corked not capped. Biere de Garde is full gold to a dark reddish-brown. They have a malt accent and an ale-like fruitiness, often with spicy notes, and are medium to strong in alcohol. It has a malty and fruity aroma. Lager yeast fermenting at higher temperatures is being employed in some examples today.
Commercial examples: 3 Monts.
OG:1.060 - 1.076; Alcohol:5.5 - 7.5%; IBUs: 25; SRM: 25 - 40.

 

Bitter

Usually a draft, it is traditionally cask-conditioned. There are some esters, and it is possible to detect a trace of diacetyl. The styles vary along geographic lines, with the northern type being maltier, stronger, a nd less carbonated, while the southern type is more aggressively hopped and carbonated. Pale ale malts are the principal grist; if crystal is used at all, it is employed with great restraint. The essential ingredient is the hearty smack of hops. Fuggles and Goldings are the classics for the style. Generally available in three strengths.

Ordinary Bitter - Medium gold to medium copper-brown. Grain and malt tend to predominate over hop flavor and bitterness (altough there are exceptions) with enough hop aroma to balance and add interest. Light to medium body.
Commercial examples: Youngs Bitter, Fullers Chiswick, Ballard Bitter.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.038; Alcohol: 3 - 3.5%; IBUs: 20 - 25; SRM: 8 - 12.

 

Special Bitter - Similar to an ordinary bitter, but stronger and more robust with a more evident malt flavor and hop character.
Commercial examples: Fullers London Pride.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.042; Alcohol: 3.5 - 4.5%; IBUs: 25 - 30; SRM: 12 - 14.

 

Extra Special Bitter - A full-bodied, robust copper colored beer with a maltier, more complex flavor than either the ordinary or special bitter.
Commercial examples: Youngs Special, Red Hook ESB, Fullers ESB, Redhook ESB.
O.G.:1.042 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 30 - 35; SRM: 12 - 14.


Brown Ales

 

Mild Ale

Originating in coal mining areas of England and Wales, this was a low-alcohol beer designed for generous consumption by manual laborers. The style is sweeter and paler than porter, and the body is as malty as is possible in a low gravity beer. The color is deep copper to dark brown, and is derived from a mixture of malts. There is very little hop flavor, aroma and low hop bitterness. Light to medium bodied. Low esters.
O.G.: 1.031 - 1.037; Alcohol: 2.5 - 3.6%; IBUs: 12 - 37; SRM: 17 - 34.

 

English Brown Ale

A British ale that is sweeter, fuller bodied and stronger then mild ales. Some have nutty characters. Low bitterness. Low diacetyl is OK. The style splits along geographic lines.

 

Southern Brown Ale 

A British ale that is sweeter, fuller bodied and stronger then mild ales. Some have nutty characters. Low bitterness. Low diacetyl is OK. The style splits along geographic lines.

 

Northern Brown Ale 

Northern varieties, though still medium-bodied, are less sweet, dryer, have a "nuttier" malt flavor with a pale copper color. Some esters and fruitiness are present, and the hops are similar or higher then the southern. Usually have a higher alcohol level. Brewed from soft water.

Commercial examples: Newcastle Brown Ale, Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale,.
OG.:1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol:4.5 - 6.5%; IBUs:15 - 30; SRM:12 - 30.

 

American Brown Ale 

An adaptation by American homebrewers desiring higher alcohol and hop bittering levels to go along with the malty richness characteristic of all brown ales. A drier and more bitter style of English brown ale. Some maltiness is present in a medium body. Hops are American varieties and are assertive in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Dark amber to dark brown. Low diacetyl is OK.
 

Commercial examples: Wicked Ale, Brooklyn Brown.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 6.5%; IBUs: 25 - 60; SRM: 15 - 22.

 

California Common Beer

A California creation. Beer brewed with lager yeast at ale temperatures. This beer has been likened to an India Pale Ale in taste with a medium body and a hint of toasted or caramel-like maltiness in aroma and flavor. The color is light amber to copper. Hops are medium to high in bitterness and flavor, and medium in aroma. Fruitiness and esters are low. Low diacetyl is OK.

Commercial examples: Anchor Steam, New England Atlantic Amber.

O.G.: 1.044 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4 - 5%; IBUs: 35 - 45; SRM: 8 - 17.

 

Cider

Cider comes from apple juice in a variety of styles and is usually fermented by wine yeast. There are four types of ciders.

Still Cider - Still cider has a light body and apple flavor. Under 7% alcohol, it can be dry to sweet and is a clear, pale yellow color.

Sparkling Cider - Sparkling cider has many of the same traits as the still varity with the addition of effervescence. There should be no head or foam. It may be dry to sweet and light to medium in body. The color is clear pale yellow.

New England-Style Cider - This cider has a strong apple aroma and a higher level of alcohol, at 8 to 14%. They can be still or sparkling. Medium to full bodied with some tannins, but no "hot" alcohol taste. The color is pale to medium yellow. Adjuncts may include sugars, molasses, and/or raisins.

Specialty Cider - At least 75% apple juice, with the remainder made from a variety of adjuncts. The alcohol content must be below 14%, but any type of yeast can be used in the production.

 

Cream Ale

An American beer that may employ the use of both ale and lager yeast. The beer is fermented as an ale followed by a period of cold conditioning. Hoppier, stronger and fruitier than standard American light lagers. Often brewed with corn or rice. The profile includes light to medium body with high effervescence. The color is pale. Some low esters may be detectable Hop bitterness is low to medium, with low hop aroma and flavor.

Commercial examples: Genesee Cream Ale.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 7%; IBUs: 10 - 22; SRM: 2 - 4.


Pale Ales

 

English Pale Ale

A special variety of British ale that tends to be more hoppy and higher in alcohol then Bitter is. The colors range from light to pale amber with many as deep as copper. Pale ales are bottled, light to medium-bodied, have high hop bitterness with good support from the malt and well-attenuated. They have medium hop flavor and aroma. They are fruity and estery and there can be some low diacetyl. Dry hopping is common creating a fine hop aroma with malt for balance. The pale ale malts used impart a light nuttiness to the flavor. Brewed with water that is extraordinarily hard.

Commercial examples: Bass Ale, Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Pale Ale.
O.G.: 1.043 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 20 - 40; SRM: 6 - 12.

 

American Pale Ale

In comparison to its English counterpart, it is slightly less malty, in the range of low to medium. It is fruity and estery with some crystal malt providing a bit of residual sweetness. A distinction of the American version is the high hopping of American varieties. Dry hopping is appropriate. Stock ale is generally in the pale ale style, and is slightly stronger version meant for longer storage. Pale to deep amber/red/copper. Low diacetyl is OK.

Commercial examples: Gearys Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Red Hook Ale, Long Trail Ale.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 20 - 40; SRM: 4 - 11.

 

India Pale Ale

A special style of pale ale that has high hop bitterness, medium to high hop flavor and aroma and a higher alcohol content. Originally brewed in England for the long trip to India. High hops were added for preservation. An IPA should have a medium body, medium maltiness with evident alcohol. It can have fruity or estery notes, yet the diacetyl should be low. Often paler than that of classic British Pale Ale, medium gold to light orange-copper.

Commercial examples: Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Youngs Special London Ale.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.070; Alcohol: 5.5 - 7%; IBUs: 30 - 60; SRM: 6 - 18.


German Ales

 

Altbier

German ale associated with the city of Dusseldorf. "Alt" is the German word for old. The Alt style uses a top-fermenting ale yeast, but then is cold-aged. Some wheat may be used in variations. Lacks hop aroma, low hop flavor but has medium to high bitterness, especially in the finish. Restrained fruitiness, dry, clean, bittersweet flavor. Rounded maltiness that is nonetheless not overpowering. Light to medium body. Cleaner, smoother palate, less fruitness, less yeastiness and less acidity than a classic British ale. Very low diacetyl is OK. The color is bronze to copper-brown. Some ales called Amber are actually in the Alt style.

Commercial examples: DAB Dark, Widmer, Grolsch Autumn Amber, Sapporo Alt.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 28 - 40; SRM: 10 - 19.