Updated in Fall 2023
For anyone who feels like craft breweries are a dime a dozen these days, we’re here to tell you that the ones in Hartford are gems that should not be overlooked. The city has no shortage of breweries serving up the best Connecticut has to offer in hops, hazy IPA’s, and old-factory-turned-chic-brewery ambiance.
Perfect for a weekend day trip into the city, decompressing after work on a Thursday evening, or maybe the place you stumble into after a Yard Goats, Hartford Athletic, Wolf Pack or UCONN game, casual beer drinkers and enthusiasts alike will find something worth sipping at each of these local spots.
Consider this your official guide to drinking local craft beer in Hartford.
The Neighborhood: Downtown
Welcome home to the newest member of the Pratt Street family! Urban Lodge Brewing’s first location has become a fixture in downtown Manchester since opening its doors in 2019. Now, it is bringing the same energy to Hartford’s Pratt Street Historic District offering a rotating menu of beers on tap along with signature craft cocktails, wines and more! With three floors, three bars, tons of seating and an event space, Urban Lodge Brewing on Pratt Street is the place to be. Plus, they’ve got a full food menu filled with pub food faves that wash down perfectly with a ULBC beer.
The Neighborhood: Downtown
If the rest of the breweries in Hartford are technically Gen-Z, consider City Steam Brewery your resident 90s Kid. Older and wiser than its youthful counterparts, City Steam has been serving up beers since 1997, and they have their whole operation down pat — comedy shows, karaoke, and a game room complete with billiards, Ms. Pac-Man, and cornhole. City Steam feels like more than just a brewery— it’s got that friendly neighborhood-bar charm that makes it a great place to meet new people. It’s also open late and caters nicely to the excitable crowds that erupt from the Dunkin Donuts stadium on any given Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
The Neighborhood: Sheldon Charter Oak
A true Hartford brewery experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Thomas Hooker Brewery. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that back in the 1630s, Reverend Thomas Hooker founded both the city of Hartford and the Colony of Connecticut, so the name has historical importance! That being said, Thomas Hooker beers are far from old and stuffy. Located in the historic Colt Firearms building, the taproom is full of history and style and offers enough options to please almost everyone in your party — even those who don’t like beer! Fear not - there are also cocktails, seltzers, and wines available. Come hungry because they’ve also got a menu full of delicious bar snacks.