It seems like a year doesn’t pass without a new brewery opening up shop in Connecticut, and with good reason: Beer is awesome, and craft beer is even better! 2017 saw the opening of Bad Sons Beer Company in Derby, and The Connecticut Weekender finally got out there to see what it’s all about. Without further ado, here is Ryan’s review of Bad Sons Beer Co.
My Bad Son Brewery trip was nothing short of amazing. I went on a warm March afternoon with a buddy of mine, who had also never been. We pulled into the parking lot in the heart of Derby, right along the Housatonic River and just a stone’s throw from the Dew Drop Inn.
The brewery itself is housed in one of the industrial buildings that is so representative of the Valley’s industrial past, but once you step inside you’re welcomed with a fresh, fun, and modern atmosphere. As we walked into the brewery, I couldn’t help but look up at the huge ceilings. The taproom is in a giant area which houses the rustic but modern business, with a large rectangular bar with 10 beers on tap.
But you don’t have to drink to have a good time at Bad Sons. The tap room also features a giant Connect-Four set up, cornhole, and a shuffleboard table for fun. And the place always seems to be full of friendly people to talk to: It’s already become a popular hangout spot among the locals, which speaks to the quality of their beer and atmosphere.
As I was sitting there and observing people I noticed that the bartenders knew a lot of the customers that were sitting at the bar. They’d ask questions about family, friends, or just how their week was. It was interesting to see such a comradery between customer and employee and really gave this place a local feel.
Outside, there’s a little patio-like set up with chairs and a fire pit, which makes for an awesome place to relax and have a couple of drinks with friends, especially on a warm spring day.
If you’re someone who likes variety or who wants to sample a little bit of everything before making a decision, you’re in luck: Bad Sons offers reasonably-priced flights to help you find a favorite beer, which is the route that I went.
Even though I enjoyed all of my samples, I ultimately went with their Light Rider, which is an American ale brewed with German hops. My friend had their Conn Ale, a light malt beer that he really enjoyed. And even though he’s never been, Tim has tried their Doobius Hazy IPA and liked it, despite not liking IPAs in general.
Other popular beers include Big Whoop, an imperial/double IPA, the Twisted Pretzel Porter, Bad Billy Brown, and others. (They have a huge selection of IPAs, which is a huge plus for all of you IPA lovers out there.) You can check out their full beer list here.
Besides buying a growler and bringing it home, you might even be lucky enough to spot your favorite Bad Sons beer in can form at your local package store. Their cans are bright and colorful, their art intriguing, and the insides delicious. (This is how Tim stumbled upon the Doobius.)
I think that it is hard to build something into the “local” spot. Something like that really has to happen on its own. Having said that, Bad Son has done a really nice job of fostering a creative and local atmosphere for the community. I didn’t even realize that their name was a combination of the surrounding towns until I had left the brewery, when I visited their website and saw this explanation:
“Bad Sons is not only our name but also an acronym for all the true grittowns that comprise “The Valley” —the place where we were born and raised: “B” Beacon Falls / “A” Ansonia / “D” Derby / “S” Seymour / “O” Oxford / “N” Naugatuck / “S” Shelton.”
Overall, Bad Sons really sets the bar high for other local breweries, and we’d recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy some great beer and fun vibes.