30 Mile Brewing Company in Old Saybrook, CT opened its doors in May of 2016 by Luke Maynard and David Prather. The five-barrel microbrewery pumps out some delicious beer and the compact taproom is a great place to try all of them.
With space at the bar for up to eight or ten and abundant floor space, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. Beers come in the forms of free samples, pints, flights, and of course, growler fills. We grabbed our sampler flight, examined our specimens, and dissected.
Starting it all off was Golden Boy, a Belgian Strong Ale that is unbelievably balanced despite its 9.1% ABV reading. It was easy to tell that this one was an overachiever, but with a name like Golden Boy that should’ve been clear from the beginning. Many Belgians fail in the flavor category, simply opting for a high alcohol percentage with hopes that it’ll all come into place somehow. Golden Boy delivered. Ripe orange, banana, and an extremely dry finish thanks to the yeast strain at work provided this beer with all the tools to succeed. When you pack some delightful flavors and aromas such as those and then slap on the 9.1% ABV, it’s a home run. For its drinkability and flawless execution, Golden Boy earned the Must Try nod right off the bat.
Gimmie Some S’more is an Imperial Stout with an underutilized twist. Many Stouts stay true and incorporate roasted barley, hints of coffee, and chocolate malts like the rest. We’ve praised many of those in the past, just based on the fact that they’ve held their ground amongst the constant push and pull of beer trends. But you know what goes really good with chocolate? Marshmallows. You know what goes well with that pair? Graham crackers. So why not roll all three together and create a delicious beer? Look no further.
The subtle earthy hop character is present with the classic Saison zest on the nose, while the palate follows with peppery herbal flavors. Medium-bodied and a super clean finish makes this beer easy to drink. Hopefully efforts like this one can change the idea that “funk” is something on a petri dish, and realize it’s more like the intro of “Let’s Groove” by Earth Wind and Fire.
Wrapping things up was Baby Fight Club, an American IPA overflowing with citrus notes. Rule #1 about Baby Fight Club: Drink Baby Fight Club. It’s pretty simple, you don’t have to be Tyler Durden to like this beer, and you don’t have to understand those last two sentences to figure out that Baby Fight Club is quite possibly one of the best IPA’s in the state of Connecticut. Not to mention that during the month of September, 100 percent of all Baby Fight Club sales were donated to the Duke Cancer institution in Durham, North Carolina. The beer is soon to be renamed Jenny’s Fight Club, named after brewer Devon Landry’s childhood friend of the same name.
Bursting with citrus and pouring a hazy orange color, right away it sells itself with inviting characteristics. The hops hit early and often with a light malt backbone for support. The best part about Baby Fight Club is that the hops don’t quit, they don’t fade out toward the end in favor of a malty finish, they continue throughout creating a spin cycle of flavors. It’s nice to taste an IPA that doesn’t mind unapologetically flaunting a big hop profile instead of striving for balance. Sure, there is a time and place for balance, but with flavors such as this, we figure we’ll be just fine. For its stand-out flavors and knockout capabilities, Baby Fight Club rumbled its way to the Our Favorite distinction.
30 Mile Brewing Company does a lot of things right. From the subtle greatness of Jack Ale-Lantern, to the beautiful execution of Golden Boy, and of course the heavy hitting Baby Fight Club, Luke Maynard and crew are bringing some quality brew to Old Saybrook and beyond.
This Stout had many familiar flavors up front, but toward the back end is where we discovered the light graham cracker flavor, followed by marshmallow goodness. It’s pretty boozy, clocking in at 8.1% ABV, but with a flavor profile this bold, it does a great job of masking the alcohol. So skip all the bad parts of S’more making (dropped marshmallows, scrambling with assembly, your friend constantly saying, “oh this one’s perfect” when it’s not) and put it all in a glass.
Jack Ale-Lantern, an Amber Ale with, you guessed it, Pumpkin flavors. Tis’ the season for Pumpkin everything; lattes, soup, muffins, even McDonalds is hitting a new low by rolling out Pumpkin Spice French fries. Not to be skipped over, the Pumpkin trend trickles down to beer too. Purists will scoff at the trend claiming it to be the zit on the face of craft beer, but we are not these so called “purists” and scoff we shall not. Instead, we welcomed the Jack Ale-Lantern with open mouths and gave it the proper chance it deserves.
When going into a specialty beer like this one, it’s dangerous territory. Nobody wants a mouthful of Nutmeg and Pumpkin pie spice, but we don’t want an Amber Ale with a “dash” of Pumpkin flavor either. Jack Ale-Lantern lands comfortably in the middle, perhaps a little more on the mellow side. With just enough flavor to ease your palate into the fall season without going overboard, 30 Mile nails this seasonal on the head.
Farmhouse Funk is a Saison with some eccentric character. Some people would come across a beer with “funk” in its name and continue to scroll down the menu. The problem isn’t in the beer, it’s the preconceived idea of funk. Somewhere along the way, we lost the meaning of funk. 30 Mile is tirelessly trying to bring it back, and this Farmhouse-style Saison does it proud.