I will be the first to admit that when it comes to verse my expertise doesn’t go much further than Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Paul’s Boutique, but when I learned about the origins of a name for one of my favorite east coast breweries I was surprisingly familiar with the reference to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Two Roads Brewing of Stratford, Connecticut prides themselves on taking the “road less traveled” approach to brewing.
As you dip into their beer portfolio you start to get the picture. From wild ales and experimental collaborations to IPAs and lagers these guys have a selection of beers that runs the gamut of styles, yet somehow always seems to tow that all important line maintaining drinkability.
Two Roads pushes boundaries without foregoing sensibility, which is a little too common these days when you consider some of the sloppy beers on the market today catering to a soft-drink palate. This brewery from Connecticut has an intelligent approach to their beer lineup that targets all sort of beer drinkers with a bunch of exciting releases.
Beyond their year-round and seasonal offerings, they have limited releases, a Lambic-style series, Captured Yeast series, The Road Less Traveled series, and a Tanker Truck Sour series.
As you can probably gather from the aforementioned sour and wild beer series, Two Roads Brewing takes a good deal of inspiration from Belgium; one of the founders of the brewery even wrote a book on the classic Belgian Farmhouse Ale, a read which has become a standard for many brewers.
But, looking beyond the Belgian-influenced beers of Two Roads, their core beers are made up of a slew of exceptional lagers and IPAs, with a Hefeweizen, and Stout thrown in. Lil Heaven Session IPA and Road 2 Ruin DIPA are among the best tasting and best valued Session IPA and Double IPA around. The lagers are also sessionable go-tos. If you like fruit ales, they have you covered too.
While I would not necessarily recommend anyone jumping into the current saturated beer market with a new brewery, these guys offer a smart business model, some of which is also contract brewing (one of the reasons you may see more Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine now available). But, this is a conversation for another time. Until then, enjoy some of these stellar brews on the road less traveled.
This week’s recommendation: Two Roads Brewing Passion Fruit Gose, a fruity sour with light wheat, tartness and subtle salinity. 5.2 percent ABV. Stratford, Connecticut.
Colin Hubbell is co-owner of the Green Onion Pub and The Beer Hub in South Utica, New York.