Some Brands We Carry

  • Anchor
  • Beamish
  • Carlsberg
  • Guinness
  • Mackeson
  • Murphy's
  • Samuel Smith
  • Young's




Now if it's speciality beer kegs you're after, and they ARE available here in CT, then you can count on us to special order them for you. That goes for all hard-to-get and odd-ball items - most of the time within a day or two. If you've had it before, and just can't find it, come in to or call your local store and we'll tell you if it is or isn't available.

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Drop us a line via email on our contact us page or contact your local store. Our products are constantly changing, and we can custom order any beers not in stock.

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Newington | Middletown | Wallingford


About Stouts, Porters & Pilsners



Dry Stout

An Irish version of Porter. A rich, dry, extra-dark, black opaque ale. Low to medium bodied, the distinguishing feature is the use of roasted barley to produce a slightly roasted (coffee-like) trait, which is required. It starts with a taste of malt and caramel and ends with a dry-roasted, bitter taste. Hop bitterness is medium to high. There may be low to medium diacetyl. There is just enough English variety hop flavor present to offset the malt. Thus, there is no noticeable hop flavor or aroma. Sweet maltiness and caramel malt should be evident. A small % of soured beer is sometimes added to balance the dry roast flavors. Starting gravities are lower in Ireland, higher elsewhere.

Commercial examples: Guinness, Sierra Nevada, Murphys Irish Stout, Beamish Stout.
O.G.: 1.036 - 1.055; Alcohol: 3 - 6%; IBUs: 25 - 40; SRM: 35 +.


Foreign Stout

This is a stronger version of dry with the additional malt offset by hopping up to 60 IBU for balance. Usually brewed for tropical markets. Some could be described as strong dry stouts, but others are too sweet for that designation. Around 1.060, it becomes difficult to produce a true dry stout, as the malty fullness and the fruity esters take charge.

Commercial example: Guinness Extra Stout, Lion Stout.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.070; Alcohol: 5.5 - 7%; IBUs: 25 - 60; SRM: 35 +.


Imperial Stout (Russian)

Originally brewed for exportation to Russia. A robust and stronger version of dry stout, highly hopped for bitterness, aroma and flavor. High gravity and hops are used to prepare these stouts for export, much as was done with India Pale Ales. Often has an intense "burnt currant" character. Full bodied, it is dark copper to black. The high gravity leads to a notable esters and fruitiness. Alcoholic strength should be evident. Rich maltiness. Low diacetyl is OK. The roastiness melds with smoky, tar-like, burnt, fruity, estery notes and alcohol flavors. There is a suggestion of cocoa, or strong coffee. The fruitiness is reminiscent of the burnt currants on the edge of a cake that has just been removed from the oven, or the Christmas pudding in Britain, heavy with dried and candied fruits. The alcohol suggests that the cocoa or coffee, pudding or cake, has been laced with spirit.

Commercial example: Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout.
O.G.: 1.075 - 1.095+; Alcohol: 7 - 9+%; IBUs: 50 - 90+; SRM: 20 - 35 +.


Sweet Stout

The British version of Stout. Differentiated by lower gravity than dry and possessing a unique chocolate-caramel malt flavor. The overall character is sweet. Lacks most of the hop bitterness and roasted barley character. The flavor is derived from the use of chocolate malt and milk sugar (lactose). No hop flavor or aroma. Medium to full body. There may be low diacetyl detected. The color is black opaque. Often called "Farm Stout", "Milk Stout" and "Cream Stout".

Commercial example: Mackeson Stout, Samuel Adams Cream Stout.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4 - 6%; IBUs: 15 - 25; SRM: 35 +.


Oatmeal Stout

This beer is a variation of the sweet stout but has oatmeal added to increase the fullness of body and flavor. The result of this mixture is often described as firm, smooth, silky body, and a hint of nuttiness in their complex of coffee, chocolate and roast flavors. Because oats gelatinize, they can make mashing difficult.

Commercial example: Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Youngs Oatmeal Stout.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4 - 6%; IBUs: 15 - 25; SRM: 35 +.


Strong Ale / Old Ale

High-alcohol version of pale ale though generally not as strong or rich as a barleywine. Often regarded as winter warmers. Old ales have a fruity character although the finish may be dry. A bit syrupy when young, but improve with up to five years of aging. Long term aging in the bottle or tun may give old ales oxidative flavors like a fine old port or Madeira wine. Very full-bodied, with a nutty malt sweetness, and are very estery. Usually not very thoroughly fermented, so to leave some of the sweetness, flavor and body of the malt sugars in the beer. Color is usually light amber to very dark red. Hopping is assertive, but hop aroma is low from the aging process. Well-attenuated. Alcoholic strength should be recognizable. Low diacetyl is OK.

Commercial examples: Youngs Winter Warmer.
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.075+; Alcohol: 6.5 - 8.5+%; IBUs: 30 - 60; SRM: 10 - 16.


Trappist Ale (Abbey Beer)

Only beer brewed in one of the six remaining brewing abbeys may use the term "Trappist". They are the Westmalle, Orval, Rochefort, Sint Sixtus at Westvleteren, and Chimay breweries in Belgium, and the Trappists of Schaapskooi at Koningshoeven in the Netherlands. The six Trappist abbeys produce around 20 beers. Strong, amber to copper colored, fruity, aromatic beer with a spiciness and slight acidity that sets them apart. They are all bottle conditioned, with plenty of yeast sediment. 3 varieties are made.

House Brew
Commercial examples: Chimay Premiere (Capsule Rouge), Orval, Rochefort 6, Westmalle Extra, Westvleteren 4 Dubbel.
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.065; Alcohol: 6 - 7%; IBUs: 25 - 40; SRM: 10 - 25.


Special (Dubbel)

Dark amber-brown ales with a sweet malty flavor and a slightly nutty aroma that may give way to some hoppy dryness in the finish. Medium- to full-bodied. Low bitterness. Low diacetyl is OK. Aromas and flavors are sometimes derived from unique yeast strains. Small amounts of spices may be added.

Commercial examples: Grimbergen Dubbel, Affligem Dubbel, Rochefort 8, Chimay Cinq Cents (Capsule Blanche), Chimay Grande Reserve (Capsule Bleue), La Trappe Dubbel, Westmalle Dubbel, Westvleteren 6 Special.
O.G.: 1.075 - 1.085; Alcohol: 7.5 - 8%; IBUs: 30 - 45; SRM: 10 - 30.


Extra special (Triple)

A paler and stronger ale, brewed from pale pilsner malts with candy sugar added to boost the O.G.. Complex aroma and palate with delicate aromatic hop characteristics and a light citric fruitness. Medium- to full-bodied. As with dubbels, aromas and flavors are sometimes derived from unique yeast strains and small amounts of spice are sometimes added. Deep golden. Alcoholic, but best examples do not taste strongly of alcohol.

Commercial examples: Grimbergen Tripel, Mateen, Affligem Tripel, Westmalle Tripel, Rochefort 10, La Trappe Tripel, La Trappe Quadrupel, Westvleteren 8 Extra, Westvleteren 12 Abbot.
O.G.:1.090 - 1.100; Alcohol: 8 - 10%; IBUs: 20 - 50; SRM: 20 - 30.



The classic amber lager style. Originally brewed in Austria by the famous brewer, Anton Dreher, in 1841. It has now become rare in Austria. Reminiscent of Octoberfest but with a less robust sweet malt character. This distinctive style owes much of its character to the method of malting. Vienna malt provides the dominant toasty flavor, aroma, and unique color. May have low sweetness on the palate but should have a fairly dry finish. Low to medium bitterness from "noble-type" hops. This beer is light to medium bodied with a reddish-amber color. Very mild hop flavor and aroma from "noble-type" hops put the emphasis on the malt. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl is OK.

Commercial examples: Dos Equis Amber, Negra Modelo.
O.G.: 1.046 - 1.052; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 18 - 30; SRM: 8 - 20.



Bohemian Pilsner 

This beer originally debuted in Plzen, Czechoslovakia in 1842, and quickly gained popularity in other brewing countries. Light to medium bodied, the beer benefits from extremely soft water. Creamy dense head and well-carbonated. Low accent of rich, sweet malt in aroma and flavor. Bitterness, flavor and aroma from the Saaz hop is very noticeable. Clean, crisp, hop-spicy bitter with malty overtones. Esters are not appropriate in pilsners, but, in some of the classic renditions, such as Pilsner Urquell, low diacetyl adds a complexity. Light gold to deep copper-gold.

Commercial examples: Pilsner Urquell.
OG: 1.044 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4 - 5.5%; IBUs: 25 - 45; SRM: 2 - 5.


German Pilsner 

German Pilsner - More bitter, drier, less malty, simpler, cleaner and from a lower extract then Czech Pilsner. The distinctive characteristic is the flowery, medium hop bouquet and flavor from "noble" hops and its dry finish from a more thorough fermentation. Light gold to medium gold. Crisp flavor with prominent high hop bitterness. Low maltiness in aroma and flavor. No fruitness or esters. Very low diacetyl is OK. Light to medium in body.

Commercial examples: Warsteiner, Becks, Pinkus Ur-Pils.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4 - 5%; IBUs: 30 - 45; SRM: 2.5 - 4.5



Scandinavian / Dutch Pilsner 

Similar to German pilsners but with somewhat lower original gravities, dryer flavor, and lighter palate. The hop character in flavor and aroma is considerably lower. Usually paler than German pilsners. Rice or corn may be used as adjuncts.

Commercial examples: Carlsberg, Grolsch, Heineken.



Robust Porter

A medium to full body in a balanced beer that has a noticeably coffee-like dryness, malty sweet flavor. Chocolate and black malts add a sharp bitterness, but do so without roasted or charcoal notes. Hop bitterness is medium to high. Hop flavor and aroma is none to medium. Fruitiness, esters and low diacetyl are OK. The color is deep with red hues, but not opaque.

Commercial examples: Anchor Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Black Hook Porter.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.058; Alcohol: 4.5 - 6%; IBUs: 25 - 40; SRM: 25 - 35


Brown Porter

A bit lighter than the robust, with light to medium body and generally lower in alcohol. The malt sweetness is low to medium and well-balanced with the hops. Color is deep with reddish tones. None to medium hop aroma and flavor. Fruitiness, esters and low diacetyl are OK. Some versions are made with lager yeast.

Commercial examples: Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter, Youngs London Porter, .
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 20 - 35.



Smoked-flavored beer in the tradition of Bamberg, Germany. Oktoberfest style made with malts that have been dried over moist beechwood log flames to give this beer its assertive smoky aroma and flavor. The beer presents a full body and a generally sweet, malty taste beneath the smoke. The color is dark amber to dark brown. Hop bitterness and aroma is low to medium. Intensity of the smoke is medium to high. Low diacetyl is OK.

O.G.: 1.048 - 1.060; Alcohol: 5 - 6%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 10 - 20.


Rye Beer

Rye bread or flour is used as the basis of kvass and similar beer-like fermented drinks that were, and sometimes still are, traditional in many parts of eastern, central and Baltic Europe. It is not an easy grain with which to work, in that, like wheat, it has no husk. It also absorbs and retains water more than other brewing grains.



The traditional Estonian and Finnish brew sahti is often made with rye or oats. One or other of these grains, or a blend of both, may comprise half the mash, the remainder being malted barley. Juniper is the traditional seasoning, although hops are also used. In the past, a proportion of raw rye was used, although the grain was malted for the finest brews. Traditionally, the brew is filtered through straw, reeds and juniper twigs, in a distinctively shaped wooden trough, called a kuurna, and bakers yeast is typically employed. It has a rusty, reddish-brown color, with a considerable haze; a relatively low, but lasting, head and carbonation (like a British cask-conditioned ale); a slightly sticky, oily, but soft body (reminiscent of a fortified wine); and a winy, spicy, smokey, almondy palate.

O.G.: 1.080 - 1.100; Alcohol: 7.5 - 8.75%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 10 - 20.


Schwarzbier (Black Beer)

Judicious amounts of roasted malts so as to not impart a burnt flavor. Moderate bitterness from hops and roasted malt. Medium body with malty aroma and low sweetness in aroma and flavor. Should have a distinctive bitter-chocolate palate. Hop flavor and aroma from "noble-types" is OK. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl is OK. Color is dark brown to black. This style is hard to find in the U.S.

O.G.: 1.040 - 1.052; Alcohol: 3.5 - 5%; IBUs: 20 - 35; SRM: 25 - 40


Scottish Ale

Judicious amounts of roasted malts so as to not impart a burnt flavor. Moderate bitterness from hops and roasted malt. Medium body with malty aroma and low sweetness in aroma and flavor. Should have a distinctive bitter-chocolate palate. Hop flavor and aroma from "noble-types" is OK. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl is OK. Color is dark brown to black. This style is hard to find in the U.S.

Commercial examples: Belhaven.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.052; Alcohol: 3.5 - 5%; IBUs: 20 - 35; SRM: 25 - 40


Light 60/- - Gold to amber. Low carbonation. Low bitterness. May or may not have hop flavor or aroma. Medium maltiness. Medium-bodied. Low to medium diacetyl is OK. Fruitiness and esters are OK. Faint smoky character is OK.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.035; Alcohol: 3 - 4%; IBUs: 9 - 15; SRM: 10 - 17.

Heavy 70/- - Gold to dark brown. Low carbonation. Low bitterness. May or may not have hop flavor or aroma. Medium to high maltiness. Medium to full bodied. Low to medium diacetyl is OK. Fruitiness and esters are OK. Faint smoky character is OK.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.040; Alcohol: 3.5 - 4%; IBUs: 10 - 17; SRM: 10 - 19

Export 80/- - Gold to dark brown. Low carbonation. Low to medium bitterness. May or may not have hop flavor or aroma. High maltinerss. Full bodied, drier, more bitter. Low to medium diacetyl is OK. Fruitiness and esters are OK. Faint smoky character is OK.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4 - 5.5%; IBUs:10 - 20; SRM: 10 - 19

Scottish Strong Ale 90/- - The fermentation is roused so the yeast will stay in suspension and attenuate the beer. This is a full bodied beer with color that is deep copper to brown. There can be medium diacetyl present. These beers are much less hopped than English versions, and therefore are maltier with some kettle caramelization. Slight roasted malt qualities may be provide by the limited use of dark roasted malt or roasted barley.
O.G.: 1.072 - 1.085; Alcohol: 6 - 8%; IBUs:14 - 35; SRM: 11 - 25.


Specialty Beers

These are beers that do not fit the other descriptions. The purposeful inclusion of additives (other than fruit) combine to impart unique characteristics. Maple syrup, sorghum, honey, chocolate, pumpkin and smoke flavor can be added to create a specialty beer. The major style characteristics must still be readily recognized.

Commercial examples: Post Road Pumpkin Ale, Otter Creek Brewery Smoked Porter.


Steinbier (Stone Beer)

This is actually more of a method of brewing then a style but it does add a special flavor to any beer made in this method. Porous stones (graywacke, a type of sandstone) are superheated and lowered into the beer wort, causing that to boil. They are then removed, and when the resulting beer has begun to ferment and the stones are cool, they are again lowered into the beer. The yeast ferments the strong sugars crystalized on the stones. The result is a delicious, rare and somewhat smokey beer. It has a smokey, treacle-toffee palate, less dry than smooth, and a long, roundish finish. This beertype has recently been revived in Germany.

O.G.: 1.048; Alcohol: 4.7%; IBUs: 27; SRM: 9.