As part of the Taste of Manchester 2014 Marketing Committee, Amy has volunteered to write short features on the participating restaurants and share them via our blog here.This year's Taste of Manchester will be held on Tuesday, May 13th from 5:30 to 9 p.m. See the TOM webpage, Facebook page, or Twitter @TastyTownCT (#TOMCT2014) for more information.
You’ve heard of the microbrewery. But did you know there are breweries that create even fresher, more seasonal, more specialized beers? These are known as “nanobreweries,” and there is one right here in Manchester, Connecticut, located in the old mills on Hilliard Street. It's Top Shelf Brewing Company.
Top Shelf (motto "Drink Local!") was opened last fall by friends Mike Boney, Joe Frost and T.J. Lavery whose goal was to bring to Connecticut the nanobrewery experience that is so popular around the rest of the nation. We stopped in recently to chat with Mike about Top Shelf.
As Mike explained, Top Shelf offers about 15 different beers that rotate on a seasonal schedule. Each beer is brewed as a double batch which makes about 80 gallons. Much of this is available at the brewery for tastings (Fridays from 4-7 and Saturdays from 12-4), purchase at the brewery in bottle or by the growler, or, as of this spring, on tap at local restaurants such as All Stars Sports Bar and Hartford Road Cafe, both in Manchester. Speaking of Hartford Road Cafe, this is where you can sample Top Shelf during this year's Taste of Manchester on May 13th! 22-ounce bottles can be found at local liquor stores as well, although Mike tells us they will be transitioning to six-packs this summer. Something to look forward to!
We thought about describing all of Top Shelf's beers for you, but the batches go so quickly this post would be old news before it was published. So we'll let you know that the current beer selection can be found on the Top Shelf website as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages.
We CAN tell, you, though, that the spring/summer brews, to be sold in a 2-to-3-month limited release, sound amazing. There's "Anytime Stout," "Double IPA", "Silk City Saison," and one in particular that is calling Amy's name, "Strawberry Basil." Sounds refreshingly summery!
Be sure to hop the Taste of Manchester bus down to Hartford Road Cafe to welcome Top Shelf Brewing Company to the Silk City and sample some of their nanobrews. Tickets for the Taste of Manchester are going fast, so get them now if you haven't already. We'll see you then!
And remember - Drink Local!