Welp, About That Name…
Hell or High Water Brewpub, Norwalk
This place closed in October 2017. Pictures below were stolen from Yelp I think.
I never visited Hell or High Water Brewpub.
Since I began keeping track of and caring about Connecticut breweries in 2008 or so, I’ve visited and written about well over 100 of these places. The list of those I missed consists of two breweries: Hell or High Water Brewpub of 136 Washington Street in South Norwalk and… Guvnor’s Brewery of 136 Washington Street in South Norwalk.
I did, however, get a chance to enjoy Iron Brewing Company, located at 136 Washington Street in South Norwalk before it closed.
Sense a theme? Like, perhaps, don’t open a brewery at 136 Washington Street in SoNo? (Post Iron Brewing, a little bistro opened there and it seems to be surviving the curse of the space.)
Of course I can’t exactly write about my experiences here, but I felt it was still worthwhile to create a page. A memorial of sorts. An epitaph.
Hell or High Water Brewpub
April 2017 – October 2017
I’m sorry, what? Are the years written above correct?
Yes. They are correct. HoHW Brewpub lasted a baseball season. Guvnor’s Brewery, which occupied this space previously, made it to 14 months. Iron Brewing? 30 months. But yeah, HoHW… six months.
They even ran a Groupon campaign in that short time and, well, judging by the people who bought them and got their 20% off or whatever, this place had issues. Yelp was similar. Check out these soothsayers:
Good call, Max, good call.
The thing about the Guvnor’s, this particular Hell, and Iron Brewing thing that always puzzled me was if they were an all-grain brewery or not. The size of the place and the styles brewed (and the quality) clearly told me that no, they weren’t. They were all extract breweries. But the weird this is they all said they weren’t.
In fact, HoHW brewer Anderson Sant’anna Delima went so far as to say in an article, “I mill the grains myself. It’s a real brew pub.” Doth protest too much? This joint cranked out eight styles with very little equipment that I could see – of course, there very well may have been a whole underground set up like at City Steam in Hartford or something.
The little brewpub that couldn’t also served what they called a “gourmet tavern menu” which ran the gamut from “local standards like oysters on the half shell, to nibbles like an artisanal cheese and meat platter, to unusual entrees like roasted bone marrow.” I’m sure it was all… great?
As for the beers, the lineup was what you’d get at an extract brewpub in 1995. A dubbel, a red ale, a kolsch, a brown, an ipa. You know the drill. But again, who knows.
What I do know, and what prompted me to quickly write this page, is that the head brewer of Hell or High Water, Anderson Sant’anna Delima, went from this place closing in six months to later heading up the brewing operations at Velvet Libations in Wolcott.
Velvet Libations lasted for… wanna guess? C’mon, throw out a number!
It lasted for six months. I am almost positive that Hell or High Water and Velvet Libations are the two shorted-lived breweries in Connecticut in the 21st century. That’s… an amazing coincidence.
Now, in 2023, Delima is still head of brewing operations of The Brewery Collective which oversaw Velvet Libations and is opening Black Horse Garage Brewery in Bridgeport. I’ll be sure to get to that when it opens, just in case the pattern continues.
I promise, come hell or high water.