Over the Highway and Through the Crazy Intersection…”
Overshores Brewing Company, East Haven
August 9, 2014
“Over the Highway and Through the Crazy Intersection… To Overshores Brewing We Goooo.” Fact: Overshores is right off of I-95. Another fact: It is way more difficult to get to than you’d think.
So if you’ve never been, just be sure to have your GPS/map-app/brain and wits at the ready. I may be wrong here, but as I figure it, you have to sort of go away from the highway and the major road and through a little neighborhood in order to cross back over to the northern side of I-95 to get there. It’s weird. It’s East Haven.
Regardless, it is worth your effort to get there – as long as you are familiar with, and enjoy, Belgian beers. Because Overshores (after their first year anyway, only brews and serves Belgian style beers.
The brewery itself is on a weird, half-suburban, half-industrious dead-end street. But the white building with the nautical flag motif stand out. If you get to the right road, you won’t miss it.
Once inside, you’ll notice a fairly unique tap room set up. It is more or less a dimly lit bar with the actual brewery hidden away behind walls. I like this, as how many breweries with tap rooms need to showcase their tanks these days? We get it, you brew beer in big tanks. (Note: some places do the opposite, like Two Roads, and the effect is striking and attractive.)
Speaking of Two Roads, they remain the lone Connecticut brewery who don’t allow children in their doors. While I readily admit that taking kids to breweries is not the best choice of activities, I still do it all the time.
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
My kids rule.
I’m not saying Overshores necessarily WANTS kids there, but they don’t hate them and burn them at the stake. And that’s nice.
At the bar, you are offered a rather impressive choice of Belgian beers from all over. You have your Overshores beers, of course, but they also have (or had during my first visit) NEBCO 668, Delirium Tremens, La Fin du Monde, Saison DuPont, Corsendunk, Hennepin, Maudite, Duvel, and more. Seriously.
Adding to the Belgian feel of this place, Overshores was rockin’ some old timey French songs that seemed like they were out of the 1930’s or so. The lights are dim. The art on the walls is a mix of nautical and European. This is an attractive little tap room – with the very attractive beer list I noted. They also bring in local jazz musicians on some nights to really Frenchify this place. I love that.
Of course, being at Overshores, I went with their Tripel Brun. Hoang, a creature of habit, took down a bottle of La Fin du Monde, which we both know and love.
As per weird-Steve usual, I didn’t say but 3 words to the dude manning the bar. (I did apologize for taking his picture, which we both hated doing, but whatever.) No, I retreated to be with my family and just eavesdropped on the other people speaking with him.
The other visitors all expected samples and/or taps. Nope. All Overshores beers are bottle conditioned, so you have to buy a bottle. I think they may change this situation though, if only because everyone expects samples. If you want my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the brewery’s own dark beers or the Belle Fermiere saison.
Here’s more about the brewery, from the brewery:
We love Belgian beer. We love strong beers. We like funky beers. Malty, smooth, rich, crisp, the beers we love take many forms, but they are all delicious and remind us that drinking beer is an act to savor, to contemplate, and to enjoy.
One year in, they haven’t released any “funky” beers. And this is a GOOD thing, as a good sour or wild or lambic take a long time to ferment and age. Though I do hope this portend good “funky” things to come.
We love sharing beers. All our beers are available in 750ml bottles because we believe that beers should be shared with friends, family, or even friendly strangers.
We have our favorites, but we’re also inspired by others. Craft brewing in America is one of the most collaborative, supportive, encouraging, and inspiring communities in the world. The beer fans, the brewers, the specialty wholesalers and retailers all contribute to making America the world leader in brewing quality and creativity.
We are proud to enter into that tradition, to inspire others, to excite our community about beer, and to brew the beer we love.
Overshores Brewing Company is dedicated to the Belgian style of making beers. To be “Belgian” means to never compromise on taste, richness, strength of alcohol, and enjoy total freedom in choosing ingredients. If it makes the beer better and more interesting, put it in.
This little area east of New Haven suddenly has a brewery scene. Overshores in East Haven (2013), Duvig in Branford (2014), Thimble Island in Branford (2012), and Stony Brook in Branford (2015). Each of these is different, but their proximity does make for a nice beer day out.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a superhero with you to drive.
Two final thoughts – I’m sure you can tour the brewery here if you feel the need to do so. I’m sure it’s lovely.
Also, the maritime flags that Overshores is branded with? I looked them up (of course I did) and they spell out what you’d expect: OBC – Overshores Brewing Company.