It’s fun to make friends in the beer world . . . because the beer world employs some of the coolest, down-to-earth, nicest peeps we’ve ever met. Case in point: Peter Cowles and Tara Kasaks Cowles from Aspetuck Brew Lab (see all the background details in our February post).
It all started with a casual conversation at Harbor Brew Fest 2014 where they were sampling some of their brews. After a little bit of talk about the CT beer scene, we learned about their plans to open up in Fairfield (plans would change when they found a Black Rock spot).
Well, fast forward to July 2015 when Peter reached out to us and threw an enticing offer out: if you’re ever going through Black Rock, let me know, we’ll do a beer sampling. Needless to say, we planned a day of decadence and brewery hopping all around a visit to Aspetuck Brew Lab to kick things off right.
At the time of our visit everything was pretty barren inside as they were just getting the build out started, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time. We talked with Peter and Tara for a bit about their plans for the space, and just like that, the tasting began.
Belgian Wit, about 5%. This was a nice, light, and easy beer to drink. You could taste hints of coriander and there was a nice gentle wheatiness going on.
Raspberry Berliner Weisse, about 3%. There was a sweet, fragrant raspberry nose to this beer. On taste it had a sour start, but then it smoothed out, and was pretty light. This was a refreshing drink for a hot day. Peter shared that he mashes the sour for about two days to really bring out the flavors.
Saison. There was a little wheatiness coming through with a slightly malty finish. Again, refreshing. This, friends, is the real deal . . . a super sessionable beer sure to please lots of peeps with a nice little sour tinge.
West Coast Red. Made with Munich and a few other kinds of malts. It’s nicely balanced (not too sweet), has a beautiful malt character, and a smooth hop finish.
Since our visit things have progressed really nicely on the build out. As soon as you enter, you’ll see the 11-seat bar where you can sit down, relax, and have a few brews with friends and there are also four tables if the bar ain’t yo thang. Off to the side in the room to the right are the brew tanks and equipment. Because of licensing, Aspetuck can sell ya pints of beer, so get ready to make this your new go-to spot!
At launch, there will be 4-6 brews on tap regularly, then they plan to try out some experiments (going with the whole brew lab theme of course) such as using a single malt or single hop. They’ll also be selling their beer to local bars so you’ll get to enjoy your faves when you’re out on the town. When asked if he’d ever bottle, Peter told us, “Not initially,” which we come to think of as “I want to, but need to work out the kinks after opening.”
And, finishing off this preview, we got some intel after Harbor Brew Fest this year. Peter spent all day Friday installing the brew tanks and he should be ready to open in about a month. “In time for Thanksgiving?” Dan asked. “That’s the plan,” Peter said with a smile as he handed a pour of his saison to a new convert. Now that’s something to be grateful for.
Aspetuck Brew Lab
3389 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT (Black Rock area)
Phone: (203) 253-9423