There isn’t a brewery in Connecticut that sparks a reaction quite like Kent Falls. In a world where hops rule and hazy beers flood Instagram feeds, Kent Falls chooses a different approach. Breweries that stray from the current tend to fall by the wayside, while Kent Falls has found a niche that has only been replicated by OEC in Oxford, who solely specialize in sour beers. The unwavering approach has divided some crowds, but we can always conclude that Kent Falls is one of the most unique breweries in Connecticut.
With some law changes taking place over this past year, farm breweries are now allowed to serve full pints on site, which has completely changed the game for Kent Falls, who before the law change, simply sold bottles with no tastings available. Being able to tour the brewery, which resides on the Camps Road Farm in Kent, a 50-acre diversified farm that focuses on pasture-raised poultry and pork, was a unique experience.
Sure, many tasting rooms can immerse their guests in the process by organizing hourly tours, setting up half walls to allow optimal vantage points into the brewhouse, but at Kent Falls, you are able to traverse through the physical settings of commercial beer production as well as the scenic backdrop of a farm brewery.
KENT FALLS BREWING CO.
Pancake Town, a Maple Blueberry Buckwheat IPA was a sure-fire way to introduce the tasting room crowd to the zany creations that go on at Kent Falls. Brewed with blueberries and maple syrup, this is the perfect brunch beer. Not too sweet, and providing enough character to legitimize the name, Pancake Town ups the ante with a healthy dose of Mosaic and Simcoe hops to give this beer even more complexity.
Before tasting Trapped in Habitual Nostalgia, I explained to my brother how I wouldn’t mind if the entire Blond Ale style was eradicated from the Earth. They always come off uninspired and dull. But I quickly drank my words when I tried this crisp, balanced, and quite hoppy Blonde Ale.
Anchored with Centennial hops, TIHN features a light and easy mouthfeel with a gigantic punch of flavor on the palate. Not as much as an IPA, but certainly more character and brawn than any other Blonde Ale I’ve tasted. The bold approach to a style that has been all but forgotten by many was refreshing and unique, which thankfully seems to be a trend at Kent Falls.
The Lime Zest Gose is KF’s take on the classic style of sour beer originating in Goslar, Germany. Fermented with the house strain of Lactobacillus, which is a friendly bacterium that converts sugars to lactic acid and normally found in yogurt, the beer is then finished with a strain of Brettanomyces. Often colloquially referred to as “Brett”, Brettanomyces is a non-spore forming genus of yeast that is used to impart those “funky” flavors found in most sour beers. Science lesson aside, this Gose provided just the right amount of sourness. Light on the funk, the hint of lime zest was the perfect thirst quenching boost to enhance this easy-drinking Gose.
Kent Falls uses Brett is most of their beers, they even claim to use several yeast strains to ferment some of the simpler ales like IPAs and Pale Ales. Elevated Reformation is a double dry-hopped Pale Ale that could be our favorite out of the bunch. Even with a low-alcohol content (5.4%), Reformation is never light on flavor. Peach, tangerine, and a touch of earthy pine dance on the palate, while the finish leaves minimal, if any bitterness at all. This is a beer you need to get your hands on.