Firefly Hollow Brewing
139 Center St
Bristol, CT 06010
Hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 2-9PM Friday: 2-9PM Saturday: 12-9PM Sunday: 12-5PM
Ever walk into an establishment, of any kind, and think, “I guess we’ll just have to make the best of this.”? Ever just get that feeling that if you walk out of there with a shred of happiness it was a success? Well, this wasn’t that! As soon as you walk in to the converted factory, you know you’re in for a good time. This is the type of environment breweries are supposed to be. The first step to making the brewery a good time for us, the customer, is to make me feel like I want to hang out. I don’t want to be seated by a hostess, feel like I should have dressed up a little more, and order off of a menu. No! I want to wear my work flannel, order off a chalk board, on a brick wall, in a building that once fixed cars or built great American machines!
The parking lot behind the old factory is a good size. It is dark. After parking you’ll find yourself wandering up a loading dock ramp in hopes that you’re heading in the right direction; because if you’re wrong, things may go from happy brewery trip to Rob Zombie horror film really quick. Finally, you arrive at the entrance. When you first walk in there is a wraparound bar directly in front of you. A counter with tall seats hangs off the same wall that the doorway is built into. A couple of tables sit against the perpendicular brick wall and, of course, there is seating at the bar. On the other side of this unique brick wall is additional taproom seating. More comfortable armchairs are located in this section, along with various other tables and chairs. To the right of the entrance is the brewery itself. Patrons have the ability to view the tanks through windows in the wall.
One of the most unique traits of this “unique brick wall” showcased people’s names on them. Intrigued by this, we inquired how one gets their name on a brick. It seems Firefly Hollow Brewing used Kickstarter to help start their business and one of the donation levels earned you a brick! Meanwhile, beautiful mug-filled shelves lined the walls behind the bar. Although by now bored with the idea of a mug club (because it would be the third brewery now), I inquired about this too. I was pleasantly surprised to see I had been mistaken about my assumption and that these mugs were actually a second level of perks for Kickstarter donors. It was mentioned in passing that there may be an additional program similar to the original Kickstarter one day. We can only hope to earn a place on the mug wall. Take my money!
They offered great prices for flights! That’s right, an awesome brewery with flights that were priced well! Eight beer options were listed on a few chalkboards around the taproom and flights of four tasters were offered. Each flight was only $8! This was fantastic considering that the range of ABVs started in the low 4%s and jumped to as high as 9%.
I know I don’t often discuss specific beers, but I have to give an honorable mention to the “Vanilla Barrel Aged Choconaut Imperial Porter” because if reading that name alone doesn’t give you some movement in your lumberyard, then you probably shouldn’t even be reading about beer. The only thing I regret is that I only had a taster and I drank it last. Next time I will order a pint and drink it while it’s ice cold. I would say this was probably the most consistent brewery I’ve been to thus far, as far as decent beers go. There was only one that was a huge miss for me, but for someone who is into smokey Scotch Ales, I feel like they nailed that too. It just wasn’t for me. The only thing that disappointed me a bit is that their flagship beer, Cone Flakes, wasn’t on tap and they had sold their last can that day!
Regarding food: they sell pretzels, and food trucks come hang in the lot. Per a sign hanging behind the bar, dogs are allowed, which is always a plus, but your pup will be asked to leave if it’s a barker or rambunctious. Seems fair enough.
Growlers are available. Merch is available in the form of T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, tasters, pints and more. I did not see any real activities, but there may have been board games tucked away in a corner that I missed.
I’ll summarize before you get too bored reading my rambling! Firefly Hollow Brewing deserves your business! They did everything right from what I could tell and I am disappointed that they’re a little far for me to hang out there on a regular basis. Good beer, great atmosphere and chalkboards. What else could you ask for?
Food: Food Trucks/Pretzels
Activities: Sometimes you just need to converse with friends