This past Tuesday, August 9th, Eli Cannon’s Taproom in Middletown featured the Woodbridge, CT brewery “New England Brewery” for their Tuesday night tasting. New England brewers and reps came out with six beers: Imperial Stout Trooper, 668 Neighbor of the Beast, Ghandi Bot, Sea Hag IPA, Elm City Lager, and Alpha Weizen.
The rain drove everyone inside and it made for a very packed tasting, but the volume of the crowd did not translate to a poor tasting: rather the atmosphere was just as festive as ever. After sampling a few of their beers, I managed to pull aside Matt Westfall (one of the brewers) and picked his brain about New England Brewery for a few minutes.
One of the first questions I had concerned canning beer. New England Brewery is one of the few craft breweries that predominantly puts their beer in cans rather than bottles. This, according to Matt, yields several rewards. The cans let in less light and oxygen thus making the beer taste better for longer. The aluminum is also treated to be neutral so there is no taste whatsoever beside the taste of the beer. The cans also use 72% less paper then their bottle counterparts. New England was the 3rd brewery in the country to use cans, and now appears to be ahead of their time as more and more breweries are choosing the sustainability of cans over the old way of thinking that is bottles.
New England Brewery has been in existence for the past 8 years. Sea Hag and Elm City Lager are its two year round brews, with its secondary beers in high demand but only offered certain times of the year. They use pure English recipes for their beers, but then go over the top and lean towards experimentation. This has paid off well for New England as both their Imperial Stout Trooper and Ghandi Bot have been rated at one point by Beer Advocate to be some of the best beers in America.
Craig Gilbert, New England Brewery’s artist, describes New England’s mindset about beer is stemmed from a large amount of respect towards craft beer. They take that respect and channel it into beer that can be enjoyed by anyone, but breaks the mold to be interesting to beer fans.
For more detailed information on the beers I tried see my blog. Be sure to come by tomorrow at 7pm to check out Eli Cannon’s next tasting when they have a tap-takeover featuring Victory Brewing Company! Also, for more insights on canned beer, check out my previous blog here.