Lost and Found
Lost Tourist Brewing, Meriden
Lost Tourist is a distribution only brewer with no taproom.
This may sound a bit insane – because it is a bit insane – but I’ve been following Lost Tourist Brewing for years. No, not because I know someone involved (I don’t at all) or because I’d been hearing good things (I hadn’t at all) or because I’m a superfan of cloudy DIPAs and TIPAs (I’m not at all) but rather because I fell in love with their first generation website.
They were always upfront about their plans to become a licensed brewery, so they were added to the CTMQ list of “potential future breweries” which meant I would keep tabs on them. Congratulations are in order for following through on that plan by the way. Lost Tourist can be found in several bars and restaurants in central Connecticut, and have begun distributing cans to a few very local-to-them Meriden package stores in mid-2023.
I have no idea what the future holds, but I tend to think they are cool with this current business model. I’m not entirely sure they are brewing out of their kitchen, but I think they are. (I might be the only person you know that has watched their short-lived YouTube “Beer Odyssey” channel.)
As for their first website, I think that was brewed out of their pothead cousin’s bathroom. Whatever cut-rate offbrand photo editing software they had at their disposal is what made for such joyful browsing. Here’s the team of folks behind the brand!
Here’s an example of their “label art!”
And hey, they had a beer called “My Cousin Robbie.” It was (and maybe still is, I guess) a triple IPA. It was probably more of a triple NEIPA, which is just something that does not need to exist. I think this is Cousin Robbie:
Keep in mind these pictures were grabbed in 2019. Not 1999 when this World Wide Web graphics technology was in vogue via Netscape. Part of me loved that Lost Tourist was just like, “Screw it. This is what we’ve got. We make beer, not web or graphic design.” There’s a certain charm in that for me.
On the flip side, bros, you’re trying to get a professional business off the ground, Meriden Proud! And this is what you put out there in the world?! Come ON!
When they did get licensed and began brewing for dollars, they cleaned up their site. The new site in 2023 is a bit cleaner. They even cleaned off some of the words:
Honestly, I love that. Words can be so unnecessary, y’know? Most small brewery websites all say the same superfluous nonsense anyway. Hats off to you, Lost Tourist. You know what you are and what you are not.
What’s that? You did have something to say on your site for real? And what is that?
No, no, no, no, noooooooo! Stop it! The blank bubble is so much better!
Alright, let’s move on – hey, this is what you get with a distribution only brewer. There’s no “brewery experience” for me to write about, so you get a “website experience” diatribe. If, for some weird reason, you want to see their brewery – or at least the brewery where they got their start, you can watch some old videos they made like I did.
Lost Tourist began homebrewing in 2015 but they share a story that goes back to the 1900’s in Germany. Something about a grandfather’s recipes and how Lost Tourist will always stick to Reinheitsgebot – I wonder if this is still true. I don’t see any goofball beers on their menu, so maybe, even if the only beers they’ve distributed in their first couple of years are DIPA/NEIPAs.
Which brings us to their Wandering Hippie DIPA, described with VW van above. Here it is again:
Transend to a new consciousness and transport yourself to a groovier time. This far out double IPA is packed with hops but still offers a mellow finish. Let it flow, man.
“Transcend,” my guys, transCend. Normally I’d let that slide, but the hippie stuff annoys me. Sorry.
I made my way to Taino’s one evening and I must say, the bar at the Meriden location is very nice. Not one to give up my game – which was that I’d stopped by here twice before over the last year for the sole purpose of having this one beer from this one garage brewery so I could finally write this one CTMQ page – I ordered some wings with some undescribed “Alabama sauce.”
They were delicious.
And the beer was very good. Heavy, at 8%, and mainly Falconer’s Flight hops. This isn’t one of those “I would never guess this is a higher ABV beer” beers. No, I knew it was a higher ABV beer. Which is fine, as it’s a double IPA. I’m guessing that Lost Tourist brews Wandering Hippie 24-7, and squeezes in some other stuff on their smaller rig when possible.
Curious, I set out on another fine evening around Meriden to hit up the package stores they distribute to. I was hoping to find something other than Wandering Hippie.
The wonderful Lost Tourist website claimed their brews were sold at exactly two shops in the early fall of 2023. The first one was next to Taino and I came up empty. The second one, clear across town, is called The Grog Shop of Meriden. It is tiny, and stuffed to the gills with alcoholic beverages.
I looked high and low and behold! Lost Tourist 4-packs! … of… Wandering Hippie. Oh well. (They do can Pharoah’s Secret, which probably tastes more or less the same.)
I couldn’t leave two mom-and-pop shops with nothing, so I wound up with something that was new to me (and, I learned, new to the world at that time): Hard White Birch Beer, a Thimble Island and Foxon Park collaboration. I can’t remember how or why I had a soft Foxon Park Birch Beer with me at the time but here you are:
The hard stuff was sweet, but what the heck, it’s white birch beer. What a perfect gateway beverage for 12-year-olds like my son. (It blows my mind that these types of drinks are so readily available and packaged so innocently. Do you really think my son is going to notice “Hard Soda” on that can? Or even know what that means? Especially because it was really quite delicious.
Sorry to sound like such an old dad, but… yeah. It’s a bit ridiculous.
Over time, assuming things go fairly well for the Lost Tourists, I assume you’ll be able to enjoy more from them other than Wandering Hippie DIPA. But if not, hey, it’s a perfectly fine DIPA.
And no, I don’t know why they call themselves Lost Tourist. Maybe that’s the only way anyone ever ends up on Meriden, Connecticut?