Labyrinth Brewing Company (CT)

Article by P Valentine Haggerty of Fifty Shades of Grains

I took advantage of my holiday time in Connecticut to check out Labyrinth Brewing Company in Manchester which finally opened in 2018 after a few years of renovation work. Disclaimer: one of the owners used to work with my mother, but I’m aiming for an objective review.

On the day of our visit they had seven beers on tap, along with various wines and ciders. You can have six beers for a flight

The tap room is located on Forest Street, just off historic Main Street in Manchester, Connecticut which is easily accessed from exit 3 off of I-384.

Hours
Wednesday 4 pm-9 pm
Thursday 4 pm-9 pm
Friday 4 pm-10 pm
Saturday 12 pm-10 pm
Sunday 12 pm-6 pm

The building is a newly-renovated 135-year-old building. The outside matches the surrounding style of the district, while the inside is good mix of modern tap room and homey pub. All-in-all, a good hang out spot. Others seem to agree, so go on the early side if you want to ensure you have a table.

On the day of our visit they had seven beers on tap, along with various wines and ciders. You can have six beers for a flight. I tried Wail of the Banshee Scottish Export Ale, Helios NE IPA, Cloverleigh Farm Saison, The Maize Cream Ale, Baba Yaga’s Cranberry Berliner (sour), Did We Just Become Best Friends?! Imperial Porter, leaving Pan’s IPA off the flight.

I thought Cloverleigh Farm Saison and Did We Just Become Best Friends stood out from the rest. These are the ones I took home for later. I like the spices in the Saison, especially the cardamom. Did We Just Become Best Friends?! is what I’d classify as a dessert beer – strong (9% ABV), dark, and sweet. I asked one of the owners about this one. Plenty of specialty malt and maple syrup. I ordered a pint of this after the flight, which I’m glad I did because as of the writing of this it is no longer on tap.

Helios was hoppy and grapefruity, and the Scottish and Cream Ales were good, too, but I was a bit underwhelmed by the sour. I’m pretty picky about sours, though. It’s not that I’m against sour liquids, on the contrary, I prefer my kombucha on the vinegary and pucker-inducing side. I just haven’t found many sour beers that live up to my expectation.

Labyrinth doesn’t serve food but food trucks are regularly waiting outside to serve you. Thomas’ Smoky Pit Stop was there the day I went and that was delicious. They used Labyrinth’s beer for one of their barbeque sauces. You can see what food is waiting for you on their events page.

Labyrinth doesn’t serve food but food trucks are regularly waiting outside to serve you. Thomas’ Smoky Pit Stop was there the day I went and that was delicious. They used Labyrinth’s beer for one of their barbeque sauces. You can see what food is waiting for you on their events page.

Finally, and this is a small point, but I love the swing-cap tops on their 32-ounce to-go bottles. Such a great bottle design!

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