Two Roads Brewing Company
1700 Stratford Ave
Stratford, CT 06615
Hours: Sunday: 12-9PM Monday: 12-9PM Tuesday: 12-9PM Wednesday: 12-9PM Thursday: 12-9PM Friday: 12-9PM Saturday: 12-9PM
I have made it pretty clear that I’m not a huge fan of the big time breweries. They are super commercial and not very welcoming. They make us feel more like customers than visitors, more like under appreciated dollar signs than patrons; this is going to be one of those reviews.
I arrived at Two Roads in Stratford on a Saturday afternoon around 3:30PM. The main lot was full, the back lot was full, and I eventually found myself a spot in the far back corner of a muddy lot. At least they had a parking attendant there. I made my trek across the two lots and entered into the enormous building. You walk into a small entryway, a mud room of sorts, with some beer information on a chalkboard and a few beer bottles displayed in a glass case, before making your way up the rather long flight of stairs. As you approach the top, you better have your ID ready to get your hand stamp.
Side note: I went to Two Roads once with a couple of friends who had their baby. Trust me, I’m the first guy to get angry when a baby is at a bar and/or brewery but this kid just sits there in his car seat or on one of their laps and doesn’t make a peep. We were literally turned away on the grounds that he wasn’t 21 years old. This was an infant. But I digress.
Get your hand stamp and make your way past their event rooms into the giant taproom. To your left you have the main bar, to your immediate right you have the secondary, growler fill bar, and finally on your far right, you have a third bar. Straight ahead is a wall of windows overlooking the brewery. You won’t be able to tell, though, because of the hundreds of people flooding the entire room, blocking your way to everything.
We quickly picked the smaller growler fill bar, which only offers growler, crowler and select pint fills. That means if you want a flight, you better head on over to the main bar where you’ll be at least three rows deep from the actual bar top. We ordered our beers and stepped roughly two feet to the side, because, literally, that’s the only spot that was open to awkwardly stand and drink your pour.
The overall beer list is extensive–this is not your local microbrewery, this is the big time. Brewery tours were being announced over the PA system. A food truck is always outside but on this particular day, it was rainy and they were serving with hot trays inside. We couldn’t really make our way over to them and even if we could, there was no chance a seat was going to open up.
Of all the brews Two Roads has to offer, there are but a few I actually care for. The Geyser Gose, while not my favorite type of beer, is one I always get in a flight. I probably couldn’t do a full pint of it, though. Their Espressway was a favorite of mine. You’ll notice that is past tense because they went and turned it into a Nitro beer which, under normal circumstances, is my absolute favorite, a nitro coffee stout. I really don’t know how they missed the mark on this one but they took a delicious beer, added positive aspects, and somehow managed to ruin it.
I stayed about as long as it took to finish my beer. The drive, one-way, was longer than the time I spent being bumped, and screaming to hear my friends a foot away. Make sure you swing by their relatively large gift shop to buy some beers and merch on your way out.
I’m not going to tell you not to go to Two Roads but I will tell you not to go on a weekend or after work. It’s just not worth it. If it’s your first brewery visit and you want to take the tour, drink a ton of samples, and get the big brewery experience, then I would absolutely tell you to go here… on a weekday before 3PM. And if you’re going to open your own brewery, I’d do it next door to Two Roads and I’d be open Monday and Tuesday, because I guarantee you’ll get enough overflow to stay in business until you too can turn away babies.