16b Center St
Wallingford, CT 06492
Hours: Sunday: Closed Monday: Closed Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: Closed Thursday: Closed Friday: 5-9PM Saturday: 12-9PM
Let’s get right down to it. I may have a new hang out! This brewery is right in front of your face and there is a good possibility you’ve never noticed. Located in the heart of Wallingford, it’s easy to get to, there is usually parking on Center Street, and it’s a very welcoming establishment. That’s right, you don’t have to fear that you’re going to be abducted as you navigate the desolate loading dock, looking for an entrance. It’s right there, folks! Well-lit, inviting, not in the back of some shady industrial park. (We do still like those, but this is a welcome change.)
Upon entering the building, you’re greeted by a bright, clean, and organized seating area resembling more of a cafe than a storage unit rented by kids prolonging responsibility and chasing their impossible dream. The room has six tables, a lounge area, and an eight person counter top that runs along the wall. Straight ahead, into a secondary area, separated only by a wall that comes about a quarter of the way across the room, is the counter where you order your drinks. The menus are on two digital monitors. Welcome to the 21st century, breweries; we’ve been waiting for you. Their clean facility and new age technology doesn’t take anything away from the atmosphere you would expect from a chalkboard menu-having, graffiti on the walls, dingy garage space brewery. This is an establishment that the owner clearly put time, energy, and money into, and thankfully managed to keep the character we seek in our local breweries. We appreciate his efforts.
The brewery itself is hidden on the other side of the wall behind the bar, only accessible by a door marked “Employees Only.” It’s unclear if they offer tours of that area, but they seemed lax so I imagine they wouldn’t be offended if you asked.
They have eight beers on tap—seven of their own and one guest. To my dismay, this day happened to be a Two Roads beer that I could have done without. Stupid need for unique check-ins! I’d have much rather a second 5oz taster of Cliffside Brewery’s own delicious fruit beer, “Enlightenment.” It’s a beer I would definitely order out at a bar if offered. In fact, of their seven brews, there was only one I didn’t care for, and that was their IPA, Synaptic Misfire, but I’m not a huge IPA guy anyhow. And seven out of nine good beers are pretty solid odds. Please note: I said, “good beers,” as in these were more than tolerable. These were beers I would be happy to go back and get again.
The pricing on everything was fair. Flights were $8 (or $2 for a single 5oz taster). Pints cost $6 across the board. They did have merchandise for your purchasing pleasure; T-shirts cost $20 while glassware was only $8. They also offered free popcorn!
They offer a decent selection of board games. I asked if dogs were allowed and I was told they were, but with a strong implication towards smaller ones. You might want to call before you bring your Bull Mastiff in. That’s all I’m saying.
I discovered this brewery on Instagram and without any logical reasons had high hopes for the place even though I’ve probably walked by it a hundred times since they opened last October (2017) and had never heard of them. I am glad I followed my heart and checked them, because they delivered! However, with the good comes the bad, and they do not have their own Growlers/Crowlers yet! I am under the impression that you can bring your own and they’ll charge you accordingly. With any luck, they’ll have Cliffside Brewing options soon. I’ll also drop a little hint for my own personal benefit. We’re always looking for a new place to shoot darts on a Friday/Saturday evening, and that corner taken up by the board game shelf is a lovely spot for a board. I’m just throwing it out there.
What I am saying is, I would highly recommend this brewery if you want to hang out with your friends and drink good beer in a place that looks like they actually give a shit about you and didn’t just throw an elementary school playground picnic table into a storage unit. At the same time, I fear that this is going to turn into a hangout for kids that go home and play records, because “nothing sounds as good as a record,” and prefer the
sweet taste of vegan lattes in the morning, and I kind of want this place all to myself.
Parking: Street (free), Lot (about a block away behind the buildings)
Entertainment: Board Games
Dogs: Depends on if your dog is jerk
Snacks: Free popcorn
Merch: T-Shirts, glassware