Many brewery origin stories begin with a few friends homebrewing in a garage, having a few, and materializing the dream of one day opening their very own brewing establishment. DuVig Brewing Company out of Branford began on a dark and stormy night. No, I’m not quoting Bulwer-Lytton (you knew he coined that phrase, right?), I’m referring to the Dugas and Vigliotti families.
Connecticut experienced a delightful snow storm, a nor’easter if you will, in 2013. Most of us might’ve remembered passing the time doing things like; reading, shoveling, layering on 10 pounds of blankets, shoveling, regretting the many times we took having a warm nose for granted, more shoveling!?, or perhaps tapping into the reserves of your homebrew until the snow melts. Now that sounds like the way to spend a winter in New England, and it’s exactly what the Dugas’ and Vigliotti’s did.
When the beer was gone, the snow had long been melted, and the year was 2016. Just kidding. But when the storm was over, whether either family knew it at that point or not, DuVig Brewing was born.
Fast forward to today, and DuVig produces some fine brews out of a quaint store front on the outskirts of Branford, the home of juggernaut Stony Creek, and package store perennial Thimble Island. Despite jockeying for attention in the somewhat crowded market, let alone town, DuVig impressively manages to carve out plenty of space for itself.
We found ourselves a table within the small taproom and ordered a couple of flights, here’s what we found.
Starting with the Berliner Weisse, we enjoyed the crisp, tart, and clean finish of this beer. It feels that it won’t be long before the leaves are turning, and we look back on that sticky afternoon, yearning for another one. We may not have known it at the time, just like the DuVig team during that 2013 blizzard, but this beer was going to be the Our Favorite when it was all said and done.
Next up was the English Brown Ale, which seemed fairly standard throughout, except toward the end where we began to find some fruit traces. These flavors, in particular, aren’t very synonymous with Brown Ales, but the sneaky suspect is actually the yeast, creating an intriguing twist on an old classic. This might actually be one of our favorite Brown Ale’s in the state. The Vienna Lager was a nice balance between malt sweetness and aromatic hop flavor. With a toasted caramel color and a light profile to boot, this was a nice sample of a rare style beer these days.
The Moxie Ale is made in collaboration with Moxie Bar and Restaurant in nearby Madison. They combine the hops from the Pale Ale (which we’ll discuss shortly) and the malts from the Scottish Ale which we weren’t able to try, to make a quasi-Red Ale/Amber Ale mix. The duality of this beer doesn’t end with its style. The Moxie can be enjoyed as a thirst quencher at cold temperatures or as a rich sipper at warmer temperatures. This kind of versatility earned the Moxie Ale the Must Try recognition.
The American Pale Ale rounded out our day at DuVig. Similar to the Berliner Weisse, the weather certainly had a small influence on this one. Nothing against this Pale Ale though, it was delicious, and there’s a reason these types of beers are on taps all around from June to early September. Crisp, citrusy, and at 4.8% ABV, dangerously drinkable. Hop flavors bring out pineapple, mango, and grapefruit.
We weren’t able to get our hands on their famous Cream Ale which you can pick up at your local package store, or even the Bourbon Barrel Aged Bock which tickled our imaginations beyond belief, but you can pick up a 22 oz. bottle of the latter while supplies last.
So next time you’re visiting Connecticut’s most populated brewery town, be sure to stop by DuVig Brewing Company and see what they’re up to. They might not have a 30,000 square-foot facility, or the most spacious taproom in the state, but DuVig makes great beer, and at the end of the day, that’s all we ask.