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Holiday Spirits in the Litchfield Hills

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than spirits? It’s the perfect time to venture out and discover Connecticut’s growing number of next-generation craft breweries and distilleries in the Litchfield Hills, which are gaining followings and racking up awards. Most offer on-site tours and tastings. Some serve upscale fare to elevate the experience. So, start exploring – just be sure to check their websites before you go, for hours, seasonal offerings, trivia nights, and other special events.


Bad Sons Beer Co., Derby

Up for a little game? Then take the first letter of these towns in the Naugatuck Valley and see what you get...(B)eacon Falls, (A)nsonia, (D)erby, (S)eymour, (O)xford, (N)augatuck and (S)helton. Why, it’s Bad Sons Beer Co., of course. This craft brewery in Derby serves “BadAss beer to GoodAss people” in their huge taproom and outdoor beer yard, complete with games. How BAD is that? And for good eats, Roseland Apizza is open on-premise, slingin’ great-tasting pies. Stop by on Trivia Tuesdays for some real fun.


Black Hog Brewing, Oxford

Black Hog Brewing and tap room in Oxford started with the story of food, family, and a love for craft beer. Brothers Jason and Tom Sobocinski, who come from a Polish/Italian family where food and drink is the focus of every gathering, decided to form a brewery that would celebrate all those things they were passionate about – including roasting a Berkshire hog. Thus, Black Hog brewing was born, featuring year-round, seasonal, specialty, and barrel-aged brews. Food trucks drive in on weekends; and they even have disc golf, Jenga, and other games.


Clocktown Brewing Company, Thomaston

Take a sip back in time. Located in the historic Seth Thomas Clock Factory building in Thomaston, Clocktown Brewing Company features a lively taproom, where you can enjoy a variety of craft beers and specialty cocktails, paired with delicious wood-fired pizzas and classic pub fare. While you’re there, gear up for a game of cornhole or unwind and listen to live music from your favorite local musicians. Here’s to drinks enjoyed in the company of friends and friends made in the company of drinks.


Housatonic River Brewing, New Milford

Housatonic River Brewing in New Milford creates memorable, hand-crafted ales on-site and features a lively taproom, large covered patio, and outdoor beer garden on seven acres along the Housatonic River. Their cozy fireplace provides welcome warmth in cold weather, and their wonderful beers and friendly staff will keep you coming back throughout the year. The first Wednesday of each month is your time to shine, on Open Mic Night.


Litchfield Distillery, Litchfield

“Nothing exceptional ever comes easy,” said the three Baker brothers, owners, and operators of Litchfield Distillery, which makes its home in an old knitting factory in the northwestern Litchfield Hills. Specializing in exceptionally distilled, award-winning spirits handcrafted from the highest quality, regionally harvested grains and ingredients, their “Batchers” series includes Bourbon Whiskey, Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey Port Cask Finish, Rye, Vodka, Gin, Agave Spirits, and more. And don’t forget their signature cocktail – The Litchfielder. Open for tours and tastings.


Kent Falls Brewing Co., Kent

Social consciousness, sustainability, and brewery-supported agriculture are inescapable parts of Kent Falls Brewing Co., Connecticut’s first working farm brewery, sitting on 50 diversified acres and in continuous agricultural use for over 250 years. The owners invite you to enjoy their fresh, great-tasting beer (with beautiful labels and wonderful names like “Awkward Hug” IPA, “Sweat Pants” and “Air Guitar At Work While No One Is Watching” Pale Ales), as you take in spectacular views of Kent Hollow.


Mine Hill Distillery, Roxbury

Mine Hill Distillery in Roxbury is brimming with a rich history dating back to 1872 and is truly a 19th century landmark destination, located in an 1860 cigar factory. Their event space is the iconic 1872 Train Station, and a lumber shed is now their Barrel House. Founder Elliott Davis instilled a dedication to craftsmanship, authenticity and Yankee ingenuity; and pride in sourcing their grains locally and using their own spring water to create spirits with a sense of place – Still Made in Connecticut.™ Their Classic Dry Gin is crafted with the unique addition of eastern white pine and other botanicals to achieve a spicy earthiness and a smooth finish. Their Classic Vodka is distilled from their own wheat base in a single run to achieve a clean, crisp character inspired by the waterfall at Mine Hill. Their Bourbon, Rye, and Amaro (Sweet Vermouth) is not to be missed.


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