As you know by now, I am fascinated with the craft brewing industry for a number of reasons. The community is really unlike any other. Though there are tons of breweries here in CT, there isn’t much competition. Each brewery has their own defining qualities and looks out for one another; like a family.
The more I sit down with these owners and brewers the more my love for the industry grows. Here is what I learned sitting down with Carlisle and Sam from Little House Brewing.
Sam and Carlisle have been friends for a long time and even went to college together. Carlisle was telling me about the first time Sam brought him some delicious craft beer. He put down his cheap college beer and replaced it with an amazing craft creation. Game over. Carlisle was hooked immediately. This moment started the flame that fueled their brewery dream.
They tailored their college education around their dream to eventually open their own brewery. As graduation approached, they went their separate ways while continuing to keep the dream alive. Carlisle did an apprenticeship at Cotrell brewery in Pawcatuck where he eventually became a head brewer. Sam was sitting behind a desk at his marketing job while thinking through water chemistry, yeast microbiology, and his home-brewing experience. Yes, good beer is a science.
After a few years went by, the guys ironed out their plan and went to a planning and zoning meeting for the town of Chester. After the plans were approved they got crackin’!
Sam and Carlisle are amazing guys and have a really interesting story of how they ended up in the brewing world. Their personalities fit perfectly into the CT craft beer community. They are very humble about their success and just want to focus on making great beer. They strive to provide a welcoming environment to anyone paying them a visit, and of course, you will never leave thirsty.
When you pull up Main Street in Chester you are suddenly surrounded by amazing restaurants, bars, and a crowd of people. The brewery is tucked nicely into the downtown scenery. The building is located at 16 Main Street and wasn’t always this amazing spot to grab a beer. Before the building was renovated to accommodate this beer oasis, it was a meat market, post office, barber shop, and a bakery. It has been a member of the Chester community since 1836 and now looks exactly like a friends house you go to on the weekends.
After walking through the front door, you will be greeted by the quaint bar and ‘living room’ as I like to call it. They have couches and tables where you can sit and enjoy a beer and some pizza. Pro Tip: Walk down the street to Otto, they make the most amazing pizza and yes, you can bring it inside the brewery.
Once inside, walk straight back and you will eventually reach the brewing station. You will have the chance to check out where Sam and Carlisle make all their delicious beer. When it’s a little warmer outside, you can head out back to their beer garden and grab a seat underneath the strings of lights. They also have some chairs on their ‘front porch’ where you can overlook everything happening on Main Street. The best part about this building is that it feels like your own house. You have the freedom to walk out back, chill out front, or enjoy your friends inside.
Craft breweries have a lot of faithful followers, this is especially true for the fellas at Little House. Every time I go, I see a lot of the same faces at the bar. Carlisle and Sam said that they were surprised with the following and not just from the community but people coming from out of town.
One of the best things about Little House is that it is dog-friendly. This means as you are enjoying your beer, you might have a furry friend come-up to say hi. Those who bring their pups are always willing to share the puppy love.
When you are at the bar you’ll notice that it’s unlike any other bar. The overall message of the brewery is to “Come on in, have a beer and relax”. Like I said before, it’s like your going over a friends house and you are just hanging out. No one seems to be in a rush, and your hosts, Carlisle and Sam, are always there if you need something. The bar is usually crowded, but you can always see their heads pop over the bar and ask “Anyone need a drink back there?”. You’re always taken care of when you come to their house.
When you Visit
Sam and Carlisle pull everything together. While it’s important to have great guests and great beer, these guys have made this place a special spot in Chester.
There is an indescribable thing about Little House that makes it feel like home. The combination of people, beer, and ownership make this brewery an awesome place to visit. Make sure you get a flight, these guys provide a variety of beers and always have something on tap to please everyone’s taste buds.