Field Research Series: Norwich, Connecticut

Continuing my Field Research Series, I ventured recently to the city of Norwich, Connecticut, which, coincidently, is just a few short miles northwest of Foxwoods Casino. I was interested in checking out two breweries that I had heard about, Epicure Brewing and These Guys Brewing.

First, Epicure. You enter into a large, renovated industrial space … the bar area is to the left, the all-important cornhole game is to the back, and behind that is the brewing operation. I immediately requested the six-pack of samplers:

  • Cash Rule$: This is a cream ale (5.2% ABV) and was very good. I could drink this all night.
  • Two-and-1/2 Ashley’s Amber Ale: Pretty good amber ale with a slight, chocolatey aftertaste (5.3% ABV).
  • Wred West Coast Red Ale: Deep red color (6.8% ABV) … this tasted very pedestrian and reminded me of Killian’s Irish Red Ale.
  • BDubs: An American Pale Ale (5.7% ABV) and by far the best on my sampler tray. Smooth hoppy taste that went down very easy.
  • Oran-g-tan IPA: another American IPA (6.7% ABV) with an orange color (shocker) and good taste.
  • Little Coat Double IPA: Usually I am a big fan of the double IPA, but in this case, the Little Coat (8.5% ABV) started off bitter and never really went anywhere from there … just bitter and more bitter.

I have never been a fan of the cornhole game, what with the stupid name and everything, but I have to admit, it was fun to drink my samples and toss the beanbags, especially when I won on the final throw!

Just a beanbag throw from the Epicure is These Guys Brewing (very convenient!). These Guys doubles as both a brewery and a restaurant … in fact, the food was outstanding (see below). The sampler in this case was four tastes. I went with the:

  • Silenus: An American IPA (5.5% ABV) … a nice orange glow, accompanied by a smooth hoppy taste.
  • NarWitch: This is a seasonal pumpkin-flavored beer (somewhere over 9% ABV!), but in truth the pumpkin and spices were not overwhelming (in a good way) … a very enjoyable beer.
  • Sea Hag IPA: This “import” to These Guys from New England Brewing Company came in at 6.2% ABV. This beer was quite good, finishing with a citrus aftertaste.
  • Two Roads’ “Road 2 Ruin” Double IPA: Another “import” and at 8% ABV this IPA also packs a punch. Two Roads cooks up some great beer, and I made a note to travel to Stratford, Connecticut for more Field Research.

As a mentioned above, the food at These Guys is fantastic. Our party shared some loaded nachos, chicken tacos, spicy fries, and Asian chicken wings. I also think we had a salad somewhere in there.

The Cicerone says: Plan to hit Epicure first to quench your thirst and build up an appetite … then head over to These Guys to satisfy that appetite.


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