Little Heaven Pale Ale

Little Heaven Pale Ale
1 Draught, $5(?), 5.7% ABV

Purchased at the brewery, Stratford

Now in cans (scroll down!)

lhipaThis was the first beer I ever had while perched at the impressive tasting room bar at Two Roads in Stratford. This place is so nice and the huge glass walls allowing guests to look in on the brewing process, as well as the impressive amount of historical context throughout the space, makes one immediately forget that one is in industrial Stratford right off of a crumbling and traffic-ridden I-95.

So in a sense, Connecticut’s largest brewery is itself a “little heaven” amongst some post-industrial wasteland. (Although, when I mentally survey the current local brewery landscape, I can’t really think of any that are located in what one would call a “lovely” area. Now that I think of it, the juxtaposition between our beautiful wineries and our gritty breweries is pretty stark.

And ironically, the juxtaposition between some of the sublimely superior beer made in Connecticut versus the average at best wine made here is… I don’t know what that means, but it’s interesting.

Maybe a little bit? No?

Okay, then the Two Roads story of how the Little Heaven pale ale got its name is interesting. The following is the account from Brauista, who is clearly more adept at engaging people than I am when she goes out. (I said nothing beyond my order to anyone during my 45 minutes at the brewery.)

Brau-ista says:

“Like all Two Roads brews there’s always an interesting story behind the name on the label. The account of how this brew got its name, as told to me by Brad Hittle, CEO of Two Roads, is actually quite amusing.

Directly beneath the tasting room, there is a space that isn’t quite big enough to be called a room but larger than a crawlspace. . As legend goes, during breaks employees of Baird would steal away to this secluded spot and would . . . uhm . . . indulge in some . . . er . . . horizontal refreshment. Thus the room was dubbed “little heaven” for all the blissful goings on that went on there.

bears-bear3Two Roads, of course, occupies the former US Baird factory. While here, Baird made all sorts of machinery presses and complicated things like that which I cannot begin to bother to think about explaining to you right now. While I find this story cute, I can’t really imagine a blue collar machining factory had too many daytime dalliances going on in some secret little space.

Unless they were, say, a secret club called the “Bared Baird Bears” if you know what I’m sayin’.

I’d be more apt to believe the story behind the name if it wasn’t nookie the employees were supposedly partaking in, but rather drugs and booze. I could write a book about a place I worked at for years during high school and college in Delaware and there were very most definitely a couple “secret” spots around that place where enough coke was snorted and smoked to fund a small paramilitary group. (This was an incredibly busy seafood store where we were worked like dogs in oppressive conditions by an insane dictatorial boss… if I were to write the book on it, no one would believe it. It was that insane.)

Oh yeah, the beer. It’s good. Really good actually. It was hoppier and had more citrus than their bottled IPA, which is kind of weird. But then again, the Two Roads philosophy of mass-producing more accessible beers makes it more clear to me. The Little Heaven pale seemed pretty short-lived and didn’t really get any of the publicity some of their other seasonals and one-offs get.

I don’t know why, as I think it may be their best beer other than the Igor’s Dream RIS.

2014 Revisit and Update – Now in Cans!

eavenWhile I’m 100% certain that nothing I wrote above had any effect on Two Roads’ business and/or brewing plans, I must point out that in 2013, just above, I wrote:

…The Little Heaven pale seemed pretty short-lived and didn’t really get any of the publicity some of their other seasonals and one-offs get… I think it may be their best beer other than the Igor’s Dream RIS.

Well, someone at Two Roads agreed with what I wrote (despite surely not having read it) and they’ve canned this nice little beer. Everything I said above pretty much stands, although the can I had did not have the same citrus pop as it did on draft so many moons ago (at its first release).

Now, Two Roads is not one to tweak recipes or anything like that, so I’m guessing it was just a freshness issue. That said, it’s still a good straight-forward beer that would do well at your summer outings.

But let’s the honest here. The only reason I’m bothering with this update is because I caught this picture of my son Calvin looking like a complete psychopath. Normally, parents don’t want that from their three-year-olds, but it cracks me up, so here you are.

Overall Rating: A-
Rating vs. Similar style: A

Beer Advocate’s Reviews of Little Heaven Pale Ale
Two Roads Brewing Company
Back to CTMQ’s Reviews of Two Roads beers
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2 responses to “Little Heaven Pale Ale”

  1. Chris says:

    You’re awesome Steve. So is Little Heaven (not the crawlspace). And you should definitely start writing that book asap. Or maybe just a weekly tweet or two… “Shit that goes down at the Seafood factory?”

  2. Nick says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Having been to the brewery many many times, as well as knowing a few of the people there, here’s what I understand the history of Little Heaven beer to be. The original Little Heaven Pale Ale, which I also loved when it was available at the brewery only, is not the Little Heaven in the can. The canned Little Heaven is a version of the 1st Anniversary Session IPA that was available only at the brewery.

    Also try the Route of All Evil again. I’ve never had carbonation problems, but to me it’s their finest offering. Although I must say the their Urban Funk was pretty awesome!


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