When it comes to BBQ, the topic can divide a room with ease. Some like it hot, some like it sweet, some won’t even touch it north of the Carolinas. But if you haven’t had Bear’s, you’re doing yourself a disservice, and you haven’t visited their new operation, Cook and the Bear, in Blue Back Square in West Hartford, we’re not friends anymore.
The food is incredible, but this isn’t anything that should be a surprise given the clout Bear’s has around New England. But we come for the food and stay for the beer when it comes to dining out. The taplist is without question in the upper echelon. Not many establishments can combine food and beer like Cook and the Bear. Either you have great food and a couple great taps, or the beer is out of the world but the food is marginal. Be prepared for the best of both worlds when you visit.
We put in an order of Burnt End Sliders and Mac and Cheese while we sipped on two Kent Falls offerings that were impossible to deny. It should be noted that Launch, a NE-style IPA from Fat Orange Cat was briefly on tap, but kicked as soon as we walked in the door, only to be replaced by Headway from Counterweight, boo-hoo.
KENT FALLS BREWING
COOK AND THE BEAR
Out of all the Lagers we’ve had in CT, Gratitude is the best one. We love the combination of new school hops being thrown into an old school beer for a refreshing twist. Additions of citrus and melon compliment the dry malt bill which makes this Lager a perfect companion for the tangy Kansas City BBQ sauce. And at just over 4% ABV, you can enjoy this delicious Lager a few times before you head on your way.
Waffle World, a Raspberry/Strawberry IPA was another standout. When it comes to Kent Falls you can almost close your eyes and pick something, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. The fruity notes came at just the right intensity, playing off the gratuitous hop additions in perfect harmony. The malt bill made up a nice bready background to really let the other flavors shine.
Next time you’re in West Hartford, or within an hour and a half radius, make your way down to Cook and the Bear. The best BBQ in Connecticut, coupled with some of the best beers, makes this eatery a no-brainer.