Connecticut residents in search of locally-brewed beers are flocking to the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company, a Bloomfield brewery that offers visitors a chance to sip their wares and tour the facility. The state's upstart craft beer outpost has been the beneficiary of some pretty high praise. During their tasting of Oktoberfest-style beers, The New York Times identified Thomas Hooker's offering as the best and called it, "beautifully balanced with each flavor component melding into a delicious, refreshing whole." Playboy magazine chose their Watermelon Ale as one of the "Summer Brews That Make Us Feel Nice."
On the first and third Friday of every month, local beer lovers can visit the brewery's Friday Open House and enjoy unlimited access to six different craft beers poured from eight tap handles. It's a laid back affair with a brief tour and a happy hour vibe, where patrons pay a $10 admission for the beer and get to keep their pint glass. The open house runs from 5-8 p.m., but arrive early, because the 200 available spots fill up very quickly. On Saturdays from 2-5 p.m., visitors can embark on a guided tour and indulge in an abbreviated sampling of their beers for $5. For more info, visit Thomas Hooker Brewing Company's events page here.