A Round-Up of Breweries in the CT River Valley


We know nothing about beer over here, but thankfully we know people. With the bevy of breweries that have opened in the lower CT River Valley over the last few years, the beer drinkers among you might like to know a bit more about them. Consider a day of tasting when your family (or friends) descend for the holidays. We asked an expert for his list: 

by Liebs

Why do we love beer and breweries so much? From the first man to slosh his head into a rain barrel filled with accidentally fermented grain to the ancient civilizations that made delicate mead wines and beer from artisanal ingredients, to today’s craft breweries popping up in every corner of our country, we are smitten. Is it the taste? Maybe not, since the taste is acquired. Remember when you were 12 years old and stole a sip of your parent’s wine or beer at a dinner party, or at 15 when your older siblings tried to get you buzzed? You made a face and laughed at how they could drink such gross liquid. Or maybe it’s the feeling of relaxation? After a long, stressful day, you take that first sip and feel the day wash away. 

It’s deeper than that. It’s the community. Cultures have been centering themselves around food and beverage for centuries: the local city or town square based itself around the brewery or bakery, around food and beer. People would gather and feel like they were part of something, sharing a pint or a good piece of bread. Grain and yeast are the basis of life and community. Many breweries nowadays find a community and cement themselves in the local sphere of life. And that is entirely accurate about the five breweries in the Connecticut River Valley. They provide a place to gather, enjoy good beer, meet people and relax. 

Here’s a tour: 

As we drive from the New York side of the Connecticut river towards Route 9, we first hit Coastline Brewing Company in Westbrook. This brand-new brewery opened in June 2022. Featuring a fresh space, clean design, and an excellent array of beers, they have something for all drinkers, including a variety of ciders and hard seltzers for non-beer drinkers. Upon arriving, you’ll find an inviting patio with fire pits, umbrellas, and picnic tables. Like many breweries, food trucks visit the location, and snacks are also available. An added plus: they’re dog and family-friendly. Check out their website for events and what’s currently on tap: Coastline Brewing Company – Brewery In Westbrook, CT.

Next on the path is Myrcene Ale Company in Old Saybrook. Myrcene opened in the summer of 2022 in an old brewery space that they transformed with warm woods and clean vibes. Myrcene is the name of an essential oil you find in hops, and it’s employed well here. You (and your family) can enjoy a stellar array of beers, seltzers, and non-alcoholic choices. Food trucks, trivia night, pop-up shops, and games will keep you well entertained. See the schedule and find out more here. Contact | Myrcene Ale Co.

Turn onto Route 9 going north up the Connecticut River and stop at Surfridge Brewing Company – East (the second location of Surfridge Brewing Company in El Segundo, California). This spot is a design-focused restaurant, bar, and taproom with edgy, classy, and comfortable vibes. You’ll find plenty of seating inside or out on the patio, from bar seating, the kitchen counter, and dining tables to cozy couches. Surfridge offers all its own beers with a full bar, serving up creative cocktails, wine, ciders, and non-alcoholic choices. The wood-burning oven turns out fantastic pizzas, an oyster barn, and an artisanal, seasonal food and cocktail menu. Think of Surfridge as a full restaurant that brews its own beers on-site. 

Find more info here: Surfridge Brewing Co. • California & Connecticut Locations (surfridgebrewery.com).  


Run north for a quick 10-minute drive to High Nine Brewing Company in Deep River, CT. This local brewery opened in November 2019 and is an excellent choice for beers and music. You’ll find a funky space in a small industrial park with comfortable seating and an open brewery design. The music is always cool, and this is the one spot you can catch live bands. Their beers are clean and approachable, with a wide variety of sours, hoppy stuff, and dark and light beer to choose from. Family and dog-friendly, too! Check the calendar for vinyl nights and the roster of live music. High Nine Brewing | Deep River, CT.  


Right up the river in the next town north is Little House Brewing Company in charming downtown Chester. Opened in August 2018, this sweet spot is the oldest of the Connecticut River Valley breweries. You’ll find it in an 1800’s little house (yup!), with a porch in front and a small bar and tables inside. The back patio offers more seating. The beers here are flavorful, with a good mix and an ever-evolving menu due to the small tanks. The atmosphere is cozy and friendly, and you’ll be striking up a conversation with your neighbors. 

For all things Little House, check out their website Little House Brewing Company.  

Whether you live in one of the River Valley towns and seek out your neighborhood brewery all the time or planning a day of tastings, each one has something for everyone. From food trucks and crafting events to games and great beers, there is now a reason to go brewery hopping on the Shoreline and Connecticut River Valley. These spots are owned and run by local small business owners who care about their community, so become part of their family and support them whenever you can!  

Don’t miss (another favorite and not far off this route): https://the-e-list.com/fox-farm-brewery-salem/