No Worries Brewing Company in Hamden, CT is a brewery founded on exploration. Founders Dan and Kevin dreamed of one day opening up a small business together. Anyone who is familiar with the craft beer industry understands that opening up a brewery is almost identical to a small business, because well, it is.
Ditching comfy 9 to 5 lifestyles in favor of the satisfaction of doing what you love intrigues all of us, but stifles so many at the same time. Dan and Kevin weren’t to be deterred, and now just nine months into this business, No Worries looks to have tremendous staying power.
Take a step into the taproom at No Worries and you’ll immediately catch the vibe that was intended. Many taprooms around the state of Connecticut are wonderful places to drink, eat, and socialize with friends old and new, but No Worries makes use of a space that rivals many of its comrades. Ample floor space, dart boards, giant L-shape bar, and friendly staff round out this inviting atmosphere.
We parked it on one of the long picnic style tables smack dab in the middle of the taproom and gazed upon our future, a flight full of beers waiting to be tasted.
Setting off this event was Hakuna Matata, a Blonde Ale that hits a sweet spot thanks to Applewood and Cherrywood. Hard to think of a brewery with a name like No Worries without a flagship beer with such a title as Hakuna Matata, best of all, it delivers. Just 5% ABV, this dirty blonde colored beer leaves a crisp, lightning fast finish, making for a classic sipper.
Say It Loud is a Brown Ale that holds down a flight full of lighter colored beers. Usually when we see this, it means there’s a reason to keep this one on tap year-round. When you can pick up a Brown Ale in 90 degree New England humidity and drink it down without a problem, you know you have something special. This Brown Ale is blended with mild sweet honey and caramel malts, giving it a really full, rounded flavor. Seeing as almost everyone was slamming this one down by the pint, it’s safe to say this beer is earning its keep.
If Hakuna Matata was a classic sipper, then consider Para’Dice its more attractive sister. Yes, they both have their redeeming qualities, and Hakuna Matata was in our hearts first, but Para’Dice just has a little more to offer (no hard feelings, right?). The Summer Wheat Ale is brewed with sweet orange peel providing a gentle hint of flavor without overdoing it. A few specialty hops, Sorachi Ace and Lemon Drop come in as a Ying/Yang type matrimony of spice and sweet lemon finish. Clocking in at just 4.5% you should seriously be questioning yourself as to why you haven’t tried this beer yet.
Pretty Fly for a Rye Guy once again proves us wrong about Rye IPA’s. Yes, there is a very pronounced crisp, spicy, maltiness to it, but not nearly enough to make you feel like you’ve been smacked in the face. If Two Roads’ Rye 95 is your cup of tea for Connecticut Rye’s, then try this as a nice change of pace. Some late hop additions provide a subtle note of citrus to this selection as well.
The next two beers we had were a collaboration between No Worries and Outer Light of Groton, CT. Most small businesses are cordial to one another, they understand that they’re competitors, but at the end of the day, they’re hoping their own camp wins the battle. When it comes to craft beer, it’s like all of these ideals get turned upside down. I’m sure breweries are proud and want their beers to be enjoyed by the masses, but at the same time, they love to see others succeed. That’s why when No Worries and Outer Light pooled their brewing powers and created Waves Not Worries, we couldn’t help but thank the craft beer alliance.
Waves Not Worries (or simply Waves) comes in two versions, Red and Black. They’re both fruit beers but with distinct personalities, Waves Red is brewed with raspberries and strawberries, while Waves Black is crafted with blackberries and blueberries (is your mouth watering yet?). Both beers are brewed with Mosaic and Belma hops which gives them their floral, tropical backdrop while letting the actual fruit do the heavy lifting.
Waves Red was more fruit forward, really giving us that strawberry/raspberry aroma and flavor right off the bat. Taking a sip of this beer will leave you wanting more, and although fruit beers tend to have a short lifespan (mostly May to September) we have a feeling Waves Red will bend the rules a bit. But if we’re wrong, Waves Black certainly is a candidate to carry the torch through the fall months. While it’s sibling is more attacking and outgoing, Waves Black plays coy until your first couple sips. Suddenly, you notice the blueberry, perhaps from the Belma hops, but as you keep drinking it’s obvious there are other forces at work here.
During a time where most American’s are cringing at the thought of picking a favorite between two candidates, we had no problem in electing Waves Red and Waves Black as the Our Favorite and Must Try recipients, respectively.
Rounding out the flight was Boned IPA. It’s an IPA crazed time, we seem to mention this time after time, but it’s true. How could you possibly separate yourself from the pack these days? No Worries does a great job of balancing malt and hop characteristics here, and that is what makes a difference. Brewed with five different hops, this IPA brings a complex yet smooth flavor that hits you sip after sip.
It should be noted that No Worries will be having their very first Hakuna Matata Acoustic Music Festival on October 9th from 12-7pm, admission is free, and there will be performances from several artists. If you’re a lover of craft beer, acoustic jams, or both, be sure to mark this on your calendar, you won’t want to miss it.
Great beers, relaxing vibes, and a wonderful taproom are all on display here at No Worries. If you can’t make the event mentioned above, then carve out some time in your schedule to visit the brewery as soon as possible, you’ll be pressed to find another one like it.