I stopped by Huskies Tavern yesterday with the intention of getting a pour of Captain’s Daughter, a wildly popular IPA from Grey Sail Brewing Company, for this week’s review. But that quickly changed when the bartender gave me a sample of Into the Woods by Connecticut Valley Brewing Company. After finishing the sample, I ordered myself a pint and set about convincing my friends to do the same.
Connecticut Valley was founded in 2012 in South Windsor, Connecticut. Since then, their beers have appeared sporadically in liquor stores and bars across the state. Their lineup is mostly comprised of IPAs, but some stouts and porters also appear on their website. Connecticut Valley’s website also notes that a portion of the revenue from sales of Into the Woods go to the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association, a Connecticut nonprofit organization focused on preservation.
Into the Woods pours a hazy, pale-gold color with a light white head. The head quickly faded to a thin lace around the glass. The opaque look of this beer instantly signals it is a New England IPA, a style characterized by juicy hops and a smooth mouthfeel. New England IPAs are by far my favorite type of beer, so I was excited to give this brew a try.
The aroma is of papaya and melon, a fruit combination that tends to show up quite often in New England IPAs. A touch of piney hops also comes through on the nose, hinting at the heap of Mosaic and Columbus hops within this beer.
The taste is incredibly well balanced. Piney hops come to the front of the flavor, backed up by notes of papaya and cantaloupe. While hops take center stage, the fruity elements play perfectly off the bitterness introduced by the Mosaic and Columbus hop profile. The medium-light mouthfeel pairs with a medium-low level of carbonation to deliver the flavor perfectly. Lower quality New England IPAs often miss the mark when it comes to mouthfeel, usually suffering from over-carbonation or being too dry on the tongue. Into the Woods nails the flavor and mouthfeel I want in my New England style IPAs.
Unfortunately for those interested in trying this brew, I kicked Tavern’s keg of Into the Woods. However, Connecticut Valley’s distribution network is widespread, and you should be able to find some of their brews in local liquor stores. Worst comes to worst, you can take a trip down to their brewery in South Windsor, just a short 30-minute drive from Storrs.
Will Harris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.