Connecticut Spirits Trail (plus others)
Until November 2016, I used to lump CT’s distilleries and spirits purveyors in with our cideries and “other booze makers” on this page. It worked for me. Then someone went and made a Connecticut Spirits Trail so I figure the industry has graduated to deserve their own page here in the CTMQ universe.
Also, I actually have a page wherein I have challenged myself to purchase and drink some of this stuff. I don’t know why, but here it is.
Let’s call it the CALO movement. It’s everywhere and for the most part, it’s wonderful. In the alcohol world, it’s pretty impossible to satisfy all four of the CALO tenets because we can’t really grow enough hops or good wine grapes or wheat or corn here to make it viable to distill, vint, or brew.
Connecticut wineries are now open in every corner of the state (there are over 35 now). And Connecticut breweries have exploded and have gone from a handful in 2010 to what will be around 50 by the end of 2017.
But our distilleries are still pretty rare. On May 31, 2013, Connecticut passed a bill to allow for tours and tastings at distilleries. The guy from Hartford Flavor Company decided to create the Spirits Trail, so he reached out to the other producers in the state and voila! Here we are.
For what it’s worth, some on the trail don’t actually distill anything at all. Hence, “Spirits Trail” rather than “Distillery Trail.” I don’t know, but that seems purposeful – and smart – to me.
They have a passport and the winner gets… CT booze. Not exactly the Wine Trail’s Trips to Italy, but it’s a start. And, of course, there’s no state support like the wineries get. And, to date, there’s no actual CT Brewery Trail because… because we just don’t.
Connecticut Spirits Trail
Check to see if they’re open. Some of these aren’t opening until mid-2017 or don’t yet allow random visits.
Westford Hill Distillers, Ashford, 6/8/2013
Waypoint Spirits, Bloomfield, 8/7/2015
Hickory Ledges Farm and Distillery, Canton, Multiple Visits
Onyx Spirits, East Hartford, 2/13/2016
Connecticut Valley Distillery, Ellington
Hartford Flavor Company, Hartford
John Fitch Distilling Company, South Windsor
Litchfield Distillery, Litchfield, 3/12/2016
Maple Lane Spirits, Preston
Mine Hill Distillery, Roxbury
Non-CT Spirits Trail Spirits Makers
Buoncello, Bethel (May be closed)
AppStraw Brandies, Branford
Polly & Joan’s Cordial Company, Wallingford
Peel Liqueur (Contracted at Westford Hill)