Black Hog Brewing Company
My visit to Black Hog Brewing Company is here.
CT Love Bomb, D
Rosemary Dunkelweizen, C-
Strawberry Gose, F++
The Hop Collective (THC) Series
Disco Pig Bottle Series
Disco Pig #1: Brett Brown Braggot, C
Disco Pig #2: Brett Golden Sour
Out with the old Cavalry, bring in the new!
The first “brewery turnover” during this crazy Connecticut craft brewery boom happened in an industrial park out in Oxford. Cavalry ceased operation in May 2014, sold everything to the folks from Black Hog and three months later we had a new brewery.
Black Hog didn’t mess around. They brought in the head brewer from Portsmouth in New Hampshire. They gathered the industry minds behind the highly successful Caseus/Ordinary empire in New Haven. They brought on some great marketers and graphic designers. They signed on to a far-reaching and influential distributor.
And they brewed a crap-ton of beer out of the gate.
In short, I’m not sure there are many people lamenting the loss of Cavalry. Black Hog has done a great job making us all forget their overly-carbonated and boring British-style beers.
But what will Black Hog bring to the table? Will they challenge the current kings of Connecticut beer? New England? Time will tell, of course, but early on it is clear they have done a great job getting their name “out there” and their product in way, way more bars and restaurants than you’d think possible so quickly.
They’ve also somehow co-opted two other hot trends – obviously from the owners’ restaurant background. Like the whole farm-to-table thing and the snout to tail thing.
They are all over the “local hops” (and other botanicals) bandwagon* and their logo is, of course, a hog ripe for the butchering (which is what they had at their grand opening, by the way). They know what they are doing.
*I feel compelled to note that Thomas Hooker Brewing has had a hop farm in New Hartford for as many years as the new “We’re growing local hops!” breweries have been in existence – combined. (To my reckoning, that’s Black Hog, OEC, Shebeen, Relic and impending Kent Falls Brewing. Though Relic is a little different, because Mark’s hop-growing “program” is so quaint and wholesome.) Local botanicals in local beer is a great thing, and I don’t want to diminish that, but you know… hops from Oregon, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia are pretty freaking great.
Let’s hope the beer is worth it.