Two Roads is one of the most iconic breweries here in CT, so Dan was more than excited when he got a special media event this past Tuesday. The epic day consisted of picking hops off the vine and gathering them, a special release vault tasting of beers such as all their sours and every single vintage of Igor’s Dream, and a guided tour with founder and Headbrewer Phil Markowski and founders Brad Hittle and Clem Pellani. It all wrapped up with a special catered dinner from Marcia Selden Catering at Stratford Point overlooking the ocean and a lighthouse. That dinner? Woahh! Four courses with each representing a season . . . in terms of food and beer.
Needless to say, this was an amazing experience that won’t soon be forgotten. So, we compiled a list of 16 things that you just might not know about Two Roads, based off what we learned.
1) Two Roads is an official Pokestop. Open up Pokémon GO, click on Two Roads, swirl that Pokestop and let it rain pokeballs, eggs, and more. Then continue your drinking and let this happen all damn day.
2) Two Roads took a lot of work to open. Before their opening, they had to clear through inches of dirt and grime before they could move ahead. Yes, literal inches.
3) They grow some of their own hops to the right of the brewery. You’ll see the climbing vines along the wall that leads into the newly opened Hopyard. Come down to the booth to get your brews on tap, play some cornhole, or just hang out. Those hops get handpicked (we helped with that during the event) then get dry hopped for batches. In fact, Phil was using our hops to dry hop that very night.
4) Two Juicy is a beer that all the fanboys (and girls) will be going crazy over . . . and it was just released Wednesday. Expect to see more and more of it. It’s a ridiculously hazy + juicy unfiltered DIPA that has all the right things going on. Some of the big hops in there include Citra and Mandarina Bavaria. Plus, it’s interesting to note that this beer started as Pilot #6, then with some tweaks was released as OJIPA, and now we come to its final form: the 8.1% Two Juicy. Dan is a major fan and is already planning to head back to get a growler fill.
5) Do you know those amazingly massive tanks on the brewery floor? Dude, you can walk through the bottom of them! It’s like an intricate maze down there . . . truly amazing to see this and to picture brewers checking levels and how the beer is doing.
6) Their hop storeroom isn’t just a shelf . . . it’s huge, with nearly every variety that you can name (and even some you’ve never heard of). But, even more surprising is that they go through all those hops in about half a week. Some of those hops go into their own beer and some go into their contract brews.
7) Brad shared that 300 lbs. of hops go into every batch of Road 2 Ruin. Hot damn that’s a lot.
8) The hot water for the brewery floor is run via solar power.
9) They just opened up a new Sensory Lab at the brewery. At the station, workers and brewers will taste a beer then comment and evaluate. Yes, we know . . . how do you get that job? Well, wouldn’t you like to know . . .
10) Attached to the Sensory Lab is another lab. This will give beer geeks serious wood . . . beakers, Petri dishes, graduated cylinders, flashing lights, ahh. It’s where all the hardcore science, research, analyzation, and development go down.
11) Headbrewer Phil Markowski became widely known in the beer community as headbrewer at Southampton Publick House and for his book on farmhouse ales. Well, there’s still a little bit of Southampton at Two Roads with their small batch system. Phil uses this, especially for his S.H.O.P. (Single Hop Original Pilot) Series.
12) See that large tank outside the left of the brewery? That’s the souring tank. Phil had the idea to use this 600 barrel tank to add in more sours into the Two Roads arsenal. It also frees up the tanks on the brew floor for more beer! Expect to see more sours from them, even on a year-round basis.
13) Everyone at Two Roads loves that breweries are popping up nearby. Actually, Brad is excited to be a part of beer tours now that more spots like Brewport, Fairfield Craft Ales, and Aspetuck Brew Lab are nearby.
14) The iconic Two Roads Bus Variety Pack is hand packed on the brewery floor. They set up the cases that go in the pack, then divide the cans out into the bus.
15) The Ok2berfest Marzen isn’t an easy beer to brew at all. Phil shared that he decoction mashes the hell out of it. This is much tougher and more time-consuming, but the end results show more depth. It’s also worth noting that very few breweries (even in Germany) use this traditional process anymore. Oh, but not Two Roads!
16) It’s not all just beer . . . Two Road also loves to give back to the community. As they grow, Stratford grows. Case in point: Stratford Point. Their annual Shore 2 the Pour race raises vital funds to help beautify it and to make the Audubon park even more amazing. Over 300 species have been spotted at Stratford Point along with one of the rarest: a White-Tailed Kite. But, Stratford Point wasn’t always a beautiful park. Remington owned it and it was known as the premier trap and shooting range. Shot would go off into the ocean and sink, literally like lead. So, when Dupont came along and bought the property, they had to spend millions to clean it up. And now with Two Roads’ help, they have added things like a freshwater garden for the birds. Future plans include expanding the porch to host bigger events and expand observation spots.
Are there any little-known facts that you know about Two Roads that you wish everyone would know? Let us know right here by commenting.