Front Porch Brewing
226 N Plains Industrial Rd UNIT 4, Wallingford, CT 06492
Hours: Sunday: 12-5PM Monday: 5PM-12AM Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 5PM-12AM Friday: 5PM-12AM Saturday: 12PM-12AM
As I teased on the Instagram (@thebrewreviewCT), I was making my way to Front Porch yesterday evening for their “Inaugural Saturday Beer Launch” event. I really wasn’t sure what to expect–I’d heard a ton of great things from a lot of different people–but if there is one thing I’ve learned from talking to people in the industry, it’s that they’re very supportive of one another regardless of how terrible a place may be. That’s where I come in! I’ll tell you the good and the bad of each venue I visit. This will be no different, so read on, friends, foes, and Ms. Granger, as I force feed you my take on Front Porch Brewing!
As we drove down the desolate Wallingford back roads on this brisk Connecticut winter night, we feared for our lives, for at any moment we could have passed away from natural causes. Our hunger was vast, and our thirst was unmatched. “The next factory/garage thing I see that has beverages, we must stop!” I exclaimed to the man behind the wheel. He stopped the car and with an unenthusiastic “uhh” and a point to my right, he asked, “like that?” “Yes!” I shouted and with hypothermia lurking right around the corner he made the right turn into the decently sized parking lot.
The sign just outside the door read, ‘Front Porch Brewing’ and the big steel door was anything but inviting. “Perfect,” I thought, as I opened the big door and entered the brewery. Additional lighting hung strewn about the ceiling as if this laboratory of beer wasn’t already inviting enough. The inside was small, but not too small. We were lucky to have run into people from our past who were also trying to survive the harsh temperatures January had wrought. Lucky for us, the group had two left over seats at one of the four long picnic type tables inside the establishment. Behind the bar hung a large chalk board with all sorts of drink and snack type options. Hesitant to ask the bartender what it all meant, we both ordered a flight of four of Front Porch’s original brews and decided to see if we could make heads or tails of this strange place. There were a lot of local folks in there, playing games, laughing, yassa bossin. We sat down to enjoy our first four tasters before continuing onto our second flight. The second would hold three more of Front Porch originals, while the last spot would be filled with a New England Cider Company pour. What did this mean? It all started coming back to us, the familiarity with the area, the style of the venue… We were just down the street from the Cider Company!
The biggest mystery of the evening wasn’t how or why we ended up here. It wasn’t even how I could have such an assortment of pours for just $10 a flight. No! It was how any brewing company could take the greatest beer style of all time, the stout, and mix it with the worst, the sour? I couldn’t tell you who these mad scientists were, or what other concoctions they had up their sleeves, but I did know one thing for sure, they definitely played with creepy crawlers as children. Crepsecular wasn’t the only mixture I had never tried before. These mad men also mixed the classic IPA with a Sour with their unique brew, “Finger Guns.”
As far as their selection went, the only beer I would dare call standard was the “Ego Death.” It was also my favorite, even trumping the American Stout: “Short and Sweet.” I think these guys really have something special here with how experimental their beers are, but I wouldn’t be offended if they offered one more pale ale or IPA.
While the night had taken a turn for the better once we entered the brewery, we weren’t in the clear just yet. A game of Trivial Pursuit had left us flabbergasted. How could a board game be so difficult? It just didn’t make sense. Tensions ran high and friendships had wedges jammed between them as both teams fought to answer the final question and win the game. Things escalated quickly and by the time we were able to get to our next activity we tragically lost one of our own… but that’s a story for another day. We weren’t quite done drinking and thus, we weren’t quite done gaming. Two arcade games, a SNES mini, and a Gamecube were all occupied, which sent us back to the board game shelf. We knew a wrong choice could send this evening spiraling into the abyss, so we did the only thing we could and played it safe. Boggle was brought to the table and the six of us fought tirelessly to reign supreme. There could be just one… And it wasn’t me, so screw this part of the story.
We pet a random dog visiting the brewery, paid our tabs, and then left to go eat some delicious noodles at the local noodle bar, Roodle.
Edit: After posting the picture on the social media, I have to request that these guys find a way (chalkboard paint and chalk, maybe?) label the tasters, just so we know exactly what we’re drinking!*
Activities: Arcade games, board games, video games, and a TV mounted on the wall.
Dog Friendly: Yes