A few weeks ago, we found ourselves back at Relic Brewing Company in Plainville, Conn. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small batch brewery is somewhat hard to find. Relic is located in a small industrial building that is tucked back from the street. The first time we visited, they had a sandwich board on the side of the road and even then, we drove right past it. But this brewery is definitely worth the course correction. Just keep an eye out for the Relic sign on the building!
The space at Relic is small and unassuming without any plans for expansion at this time. The taproom has an industrial warehouse feel with a small bar on one side of the room and a few barrel tables at the other side. The brewing space is just next to the taproom, and Relic also bottles at Thomas Hooker Brewing Company in Bloomfield. The area opposite of the bar is dedicated to showcasing local artists, which makes for great conversation while you are sipping your beers. However, if you are the only patrons in the taproom, as we were on that early Saturday afternoon, you may be lucky enough to chat with the owner. Aside from talking about Halloween, which was just two days away, we spent a lot of time asking him about their space and the Relic beers we have already tried.
On that Saturday, Relic had five different beers on draft (they usually have 4 or 5 beers on tap). We started off with Centrifuge (5.1% ABV), which was a very drinkable American pale ale (APA). The beer had great fruity notes with a subtle sweet taste. Next we tried a Belgian copper ale called Jacqueline (6% ABV). This had a beautiful copper color with a citrusy, malt flavor. The finish was distinctively Belgian. Then we moved onto the Sorceress Double IPA (8% ABV). This very drinkable DIPA, which as you know can be a dangerous thing, had great apricot and citrus notes. The Sorceress is one of the beers that Relic brews at Hooker. We followed this up with their Witching Hour Dunkelweizen (5.3% ABV). This smooth, beautifully dark dunkle was very chocolatey in flavor with hints of banana and brown sugar. Needless to say it was unique! Finally we rounded out our tasting with the Violet Ray IPA (7.1% ABV), which was dry hopped with both Citra and Mosaic hops making it hoppy, but not too bitter. It had great notes of fresh melon and a slightly dry finish.
The tastings at Relic are free, but you can also buy a pint and 32 or 64-ounce growlers. They also have six-packs and single bottles for sale along with some great merchandise (glasses, t-shirts, etc.). We left with a mixed four-pack that day. Relic also has limited releases that you can purchase at the brewery from time to time – definitely keep an eye on their social media to catch those. They are also on BeerMenus so you can find out which bars and stores have Relic available.
She said: “Relic’s space is perfect for them – small and chill. My favorite Relic beer (so far) is their Tropicale DIPA, which is brewed with honey. Definitely pick it up when you see it!”
He said: “All of the beers I’ve tried by Relic have been impressive. I like how they mix and meld styles to create new and interesting combinations.”
While you can purchase Relic at most Hartford area liquor stores, definitely make it a point to visit the source. The owner’s knowledge and passion about beer comes through in every pour. You never know what Relic will come out with next!
Relic Brewing Company
95B Whiting Street
Plainville, CT 06062