After a most tepid and enjoyable winter, it is now May and even in New England we have reached a safe harbor from snow. After suffering through months of dark and cold, nothing is more welcome in Sad City than the break of spring. Our whole life one of the great markers of spring time has been the start of the baseball season. While that has been enhanced with the advent of the internet bringing the widespread popularity of fantasy baseball and Hakaan annually bludgeoning Jumper in their fantasy leagues, a local brewery has added another great spring time tradition.
The coming of spring in the Hartford area has come to mean the return of the much loved Hooker Watermelon Ale. There simply is nothing as unique as the Watermelon Ale, and with all due respect to the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, no fruity beer even comes close to the Watermelon Ale. It's like a watermelon Jolly Rancher in a beer, but in the best possible way.
A true local gem located just over the Hartford line in Bloomfield, the Hooker Brewery has a fine line of beers (winter beer Nor'Easter is another favorite) and hosts tastings every other Friday and every Saturday. Fridays are $10 and you get a Hooker beer glass at the end. Saturday's are $5 and include a tour of the brewery. The Friday event used to be all you can drink, but you are now limited to ten mini sample drinks. We were informed by a staff member that "people were getting drunk" with the "all you can drink" options. Shocking, we know. These events always have a good turnout and are well worth the trip.
Be sure to check out the brewery or some Hooker beer at a local liquor store (now open Sundays!) We've become so enamored with the Watermelon Ale that we make almost weekly trips to fill up our growlers on Saturdays. On this particular Saturday we were very happy to see school buses visiting the brewery! If there is anything that brings a tear to our eyes, it's the idea of young children enjoying some fine glasses of ale on a Saturday!