Two Roads Brewing Beers

Two Roads Brewing Company

heavenMy visit to Two Roads Brewery is here.

Beer List:

Conntucky Lightin’ Bourbon Ale, B
Henry’s Farm Doppelbock, C+
Hizzoner Maibock, C
Holiday Ale, C-
Honeyspot Road White IPA, C
No Limits Hefeweizen, B+
Ol’ Factory Pils, B
Road 2 Ruin Double IPA, B-
Roadsmary’s Baby Rum Barrel Pumpkin Ale, D
Road Jam Raspberry Wheat Ale, D+
Route of All Evil Black Ale, B+
Rye-95, B
Via Cordis Abbey Blonde Ale, B-
Worker’s Comp Saison, A

Limited Releases/Brewery Only

Barrel Aged Henry’s Farm Doppelbock, B-
Igor’s Dream Russian Imperial Stout, A
Krazy Pucker Berliner Weiss, C
Little Heaven Pale Ale, A-
Urban Funk Wild Ale, B


I find myself sitting here in a rare instance of not knowing exactly what to write. So I’ll simply tell you WHY I’m finding it difficult to begin: There is just something about Two Roads that rubs me (and many others) the wrong way. It’s not their overwhelming size (the brewery is HUGE, relative to other Connecticut breweries) or their business plan (large majority of beers brewed here are contract brews) or their ownership group – by all accounts they are really good guys and brewmaster Phil Markowski is a bit of a local legend.


Furthermore, these guys have transformed a beat up old factory building in a beat up Stratford into an instant success with their brewery. They’ve named some of their beers after locally important historic figures and they have adhered to a successful and respectful marketing plan to boot.

Hell, I even think their labels are rather excellent and their website is designed very well. Oh, and their beer isn’t terrible either. AND, some of the stuff they brew on contract is downright phenomenal (Evil Twin AND Stillwater Artisinal? Seriously? Yeah.)

So really, what’s up my butt about Two Roads?

I’m not sure if my feelings on them were arrived at independently at first just from gut feelings I got through their various tweets and such, but I know that they were solidified from my circle of beer friends who have some rather strong opinions on the Two Roads “thing.”


Basically, the thought on the streets is that they are simply in it “for the money” and aren’t “pure.” Argh, that gets my underwears in a … wait a minute, that’s okay, isn’t it? Successful business people have successful business plans. And just because Two Roads’ business plan centered around a product some of us hold a little too near and a little too dear to our livers and hearts, that doesn’t mean they are bad people.

Does it?

Of course not. They clearly started this place with a boatload of money. But it’s not like Markowski hasn’t proven himself. (If you don’t know, he started at the now-legendary New England Brewing Company back when it was in Norwalk… and, well, the dude knows his beer. He’s even written a well-respected book about it.)

They have made a few moves that have been, quite frankly, lame. They charge five bucks for a tour but you do get a healthy amount of samples. And they have adjusted under the pressure – and that’s just been the pressure from me and a few other dorks who care about stuff like having the ability to bring our own growlers in for a fill – and have moved forward. (They will now fill any growler as long as they inexplicably get to slap a Two Roads sticker on it for some juvenile reason. Note: this is a Massachusetts thing, as they do it at several breweries up there. Not the end of the world.)

I wrote all of that to get it off my chest. I also wrote it after having their first limited release brew, their Imperial Russian Stout which made me say, “I don’t care what they say, Two Roads makes some darn good beer – and not just for Evil Twin.” So let’s get to ‘em…



My visit to the brewery
Two Roads Brewing Company
CTMQ’s page on CT Breweries and Brewpubs
CTMQ Drinks every CT Beer

5 responses to “Two Roads Brewing Beers”

  1. jobo says:

    So let me get this straight;

    these guys make great beer, do good things for the community and because they might make money doing it, they are somehow not “pure”?

    Charging $5 for the tour but giving away a bunch of free samples during the tour is “lame”?

    And putting a sticker on a growler (presumably so the folks there know that they have filled it) is “juvenile”?

    Sometimes the best way to point out absurd statements is to repeat them back to their author.

  2. Robb says:

    Unless the content of this page has changed, I’m not sure what jobo is upset about. I read this page as the guy making fun of himself for having negative feelings influenced by local beer snobs. He clearly says that running a business to make money is okay. Unless the page changed?

    As a local beer geek, I am very familiar with the reaction to Two Roads when they opened. It was negative in this small community. As far as I know, they are the only brewery that charges for tours in CT other than Half Full. I think? I got samples at every other brewery I’ve been to in connecticut. When they opened, they refused to fill growlers that weren’t theres – you had to buy one. They were not nice about it. They have eased up on that with their sticker policy. The amount of beers they make on contract also rub people wrong (not me I think thats stupid).

    IMO, they certainly don’t make “great beer,” but I’ve only had a few.

  3. Bob says:

    Hooker charges $5. Technically, state law requires growlers to be labelled but most people ignore that.

  4. Steve says:

    Ok people. Geeze. This is me, the jerk who wrote this page.

    I reread this page in an attempt to better understand where “jobo” is coming from. And I get it, I guess. My point was that I had heard a bunch of negativity about Two Roads from the beer geek community but once I sat down to think about it, I found those complaints to be a bit unfounded and overblown. I’m sorry I didn’t make that point clear enough.

    Bob is correct: Hooker does now charge five bucks for a tour. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done their tour. And I checked at Half Full does as well. Back East, Beer’d, New England, Relic, Cavalry, Burnside, Cottrell, Thimble Islands do not – BUT let be honest, Hooker and Two Roads are way bigger than the others and some of those I just mentioned would be the most ridiculous tour ever.

    (The murky world of “free” samples and paid tours for samples and all of that is impossible to navigate, so I get it. And 5 bucks for a tour of a gleaming new brewery with samples IS fair. Hell, people pay 10 bucks for a few tiny sips of crappy CT Wine every weekend. I get it.)

    If the state law requires growler labels – which wouldn’t surprise me in the least and I’m sure it’s why it’s a rule at most MA breweries – makes perfect sense.

    Mea culpa. How’s this: The state law requiring growler labels is a juvenile move by the state.

  5. Bob says:

    Right on Steve. It’s only beer after all.

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