Located in the historic Old Pin Shop building in Oakville, Lasting Brass Brewing Company has already made a name for itself during its short lifespan thus far. Garnering some great attention from the local crowd and beyond, Lasting Brass seems poised to ascend to the upper echelon of Connecticut breweries. We made a point to stop in before the New Year and got in just under the gun, December 31st to be exact.
The brewery itself looks great from the outside, although it might be a little difficult to find for non-locals. Their golden hop logo draws you in as you walk through the doors and on into the taproom. The taproom itself is on the smaller side with mostly standing room only type seating, there are a few tables that line the back wall and some side railing space too.
One great aspect of their taproom, however, is the ability to see right into the brewhouse. Nothing more than a half wall separates you from the stainless-steel fermenters and other vessels. If I could, I would make it a law that the brewhouse must be visible from the brewery taproom. People want to see where the beer comes from, and honestly, the equipment just looks so damn cool. Many breweries in the state expose their goods but not many do it better than Lasting Brass.
The man behind all of this is Ed Silva, a Waterbury local who gained massive experience through homebrewing for over ten years. After entering competitions and getting positive reviews from local enthusiasts, Ed opened Lasting Brass in December of 2016. The reception has been out of this world, seeing as beers are coming and going off the tap list, a telltale sign that things are going exactly the way they should.
We were able to get our hands on four of those beers upon our visit. The first of the four was Ten, a Double IPA featuring a hop marriage between Mosaic and Amarillo. Ten is the first installment of Lasting Brass’ Ten Hop Commandment series, where Silva and his crew get to experiment with different hops and malts to create a rotational offering that will never be the same twice.
Ten pours a deep golden color in the glass with a blast of floral citrus on the nose thanks to the Amarillo hops. This was stylized as a “Winter Double IPA” and I would have to agree. It’s somewhat malt forward with some caramel notes coming through to create a very full, rounded out flavor. Backing that malt dosage up is a double-dry hopped addition of both Mosaic and Amarillo. Coming in at 8% ABV, Ten is a winter warmer for sure.
Next up is Hop’Ville Elementary, a Session IPA that utilizes late hop additions to cut down on bitterness and enhance the aroma of the beer, and that hop being showcased is Citra. The best thing I can say about Hop’Ville is that it doesn’t taste like a Session IPA. It packs a punch with its flavor profile and although the body may be a little thin, it’s still thicker than most Sessions being poured at your local bar.
On top of all this, Silva decided to throw in some Apricots which was truly a “I wish I thought of that” moment. The Apricots play perfectly with the citrus forward hop profile, lingering toward the finish for a clean, fruity conclusion. Packaging all of this flavor and complexities into a beer that tiptoes in at 4.8% ABV is a great accomplishment and we can’t wait for restaurants and bars to pick this one up soon. All in all, Hop’Ville Elementary took home the Our Favorite distinction.
Clock Tower Pale Ale is brewed with a blend of 5 different hop varieties that blend together to create flavors that reminded us of hop forward west coast beers. I love a hazy New England style IPA/Pale Ale as much as the next guy but sometimes it’s nice to get some aggressiveness back in rotation from time to time. If you’re thinking the same thing, then Clock Tower is your path to hop revenge.
While I don’t know exactly which hops are the culprits for this uprising I have a feeling Citra is once again at center stage. The shot of grapefruit, lime, and pineapple is palatable before your nose even touches the rim of the glass, and if Hop’Ville Elementary had body for a Session IPA, then Clock Tower is plus size. With great mouthfeel and full flavor, Clock Tower rightfully earns it place as Lasting Brass’ flagship Pale Ale.
Last on our flight was Santa’s Road Soda, a Double Milk Stout destined to send St. Nick off course. The Stout was brewed with egg nog spices and aged on vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks that were soaked in bourbon. Soaking the cinnamon sticks in bourbon gave the beer its complexity without overpowering it with either flavor. Sometimes an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels just tastes like bourbon beer. Not exactly the point. Other times when cinnamon is used it can taste like an explosion of spice. Again, not the point.
Santa’s Road Soda softly introduces those flavors in their own ways, without overpowering the palate. You get the cinnamon on the nose along with traces of vanilla beans, while the palate gives you a kick of bourbon flavor and rounded out with holiday spice. The mouthfeel was thick and velvety, while the alcohol percentage was well hidden and proved to be a very drinkable beer. For its complexity, yet subtleties, Santa’s Road Soda earned the Must Try distinction.
With just over a month under their belt it seems like Ed Silva and company are finding their feet and serving up some great beers. We look forward to the development of Lasting Brass and welcome them to the Connecticut craft beer circuit. Be sure to check the Lasting Brass website for their weekend hours and make sure to visit for a sample or four. Visit their Twitter and Instagram pages for further details. Plus, if you’re in the Glastonbury area, you can find Brass Monkey, a Stout brewed with coffee and coconuts on tap at the Birch Hill Tavern on Manchester Road.