Recently Manny and I took a trip to Forest City Brewing in Middletown CT. If you follow Barley Buds Beer Reviews you will know Mannys’ favorite beer is Blaubeere Sour from Forest City. Manny has long raved about all the beer from Forest City and for some reason I have never made the trip before today. Being a big sour fan I was excited to head there, and I knew Blaubeere would be my first brew of the day.
Upon arriving to Forest City I was instantly enjoying the small town/family feel. Having no expectation or knowledge regarding the brewery the small industrial setting received an instant thumbs up from myself. With a quick google search I found the owner was Chris Coughlin, (Head Brewer) and opened Forest City on June 23rd, 2016. There is more to come about Chris, but first lets talk beer!
Number 1: Blaubeere Kettle Sour Ale. Manny loves this beer giving it a 5.0 score (we use Untapped rating system). He describes it as a perfect amount of tart and a fantastic beer, perfect for a summer day. On my first sip I loved the tart level to this brew and If you know my reviews I am big on color of the Beer. This one was spot on as I compare it to a cherry purple. This brew was spot on from pour to finishing sip, so I also had to go with a perfect 5.0 score. Other Barley Buds who have tried this beer include Matt (T-Rex) who checked it in at 4.75 and Greek who went 3.75. Close friend to the Barley Buds who we really want to get on for a review Scotty P also tried this beer and also gave it a 4.75 back in 2018. Overall this is a great beer and highly recommended with an average Barley Bud score of 4.65.
Number 2: Stone’s Throw Sour. Manny and I both drank this for the first time. Manny loved the stone fruit in this sour stating it hints towards the peach side. As we Barley Buds just learned a stone fruit is any fruit with a pit surrounded by flesh, so peach, plum, cherry ect. I personally loved the peach flavor as it stood out for me and the amount of tart sour was also perfect. Color was not too lite and not too juicy but just wright to go along with a fantastic aroma. Both Manny and I went with a 4.25 as a score, but looking back I would like to give this another try. I feel like I would have boosted my score to a 4.5 if I didn’t drink this beer directly following the Blauberre.
Number 3: Brown Cow Vanilla Milk Stout. Here we switched up the flavor profile, moving on to a 6% abv milk stout. As advertised it was a lite stout and in my opinion hinging to the porter world. I’m not sure which hops were used for this stout though. It started with a nice vanilla aroma followed by vanilla on the tongue providing a smooth and easy to sip consistency. Although the flavor was very good, I went with a 3.75 as I prefer a thicker stout. Manny pegged this as a perfect one or two beer night sipper and checked it in at a 4.25.
Although the beer was great, the best part of this trip was learning that Manny was a family friend of Chris. Chris was nice enough to take some time to come outside and chat with us. He was down to earth, extremely personable and easy to talk with. He was very knowledgeable regarding his beer brewing, as we mostly spoke about the differences between the two sours we tried. It definitely was nice to hear about the a small part of the process to create different flavors among his sours. We also spoke about COVID and the stress it has placed on craft breweries regarding restrictions on the number of patrons and the requirement to serve food. With this Manny and I brought up the possibility to do a live recording at Forest City. I know I would love this opportunity to share some great beer with the rest of the Barley Buds and hope we can make it happen, because Forest City Brewing was 100% a winning trip. If you don’t believe me then make the trip yourself, grab a delicious sour and don’t forget to try a warm pretzel while you are there!