Tucked away in Oxford, CT on the fringe of New Haven County is one of Connecticut’s best kept brewery secrets, Black Hog Brewing Co.
After aimlessly driving through an industrial park for a few minutes, my brother Christian and I thought this brewery was going to remain a mystery forever. But alas, a quick U-turn brought us to a fury of signs that lead us to this wonderful watering hole.
I had only a slight bit of prior knowledge of Black Hog before our visit. This knowledge coming from a flight of beer my brother and I sampled at a bar the previous night. The flight featured the Granola Brown Ale and the Piglet IPA (the Our Favorite recipient). I forced myself to keep this bias aside as we lined up all 8 delicious brews for an even more delectable price of $8* and got down to business.
*A flight normally comes with 6 of the 8 available pours, but an Instagram or Untappd shout-out earns you all 8 for the price of 6.
This aforementioned mystery turned out to be one popular brewery. As we sat down and rated our favorites, thirsty travelers continued to pour into the humble abode of a brewery that seems to have outgrown itself.
The brewery and tasting room are combined, no seclusion whatsoever. The tables you gather around are simply pallets of wood that were once used to ship Black Hog’s three year-round “core” beers. Mountains of Easy Rye’ Da, Granola Brown Ale, and Ginga’ Ninja (our Must Try recipient) watch down over you. Stainless steel fermenters and other brewing wizardry loom from the far walls of the space. Bags of oats, barley, and yeast piled as high as the eye can see round out the scenery. And that flight I mentioned before? Yeah, that comes served on a muffin tin.
The atmosphere is that of a brewery who would rather sit down with you and play some jumbo sized Jenga (yes, they really have this), rather than be someone they’re not. Some would argue that the space might seem claustrophobic, and those who prefer a separate, more traditional “tasting room” may have a case here.
But for those of us who would rather sit back, enjoy the eccentricities of a Nitro Coffee Milk Stout will be pleased with what they come to find.