When I began brewing beer at home in the late 1980's I read a book by the godfather of home brewing, Charlie Papazian; The Joy of Home Brewing. At the time I did not realize that I would take it so seriously that I would enter the world of beer brewing for real. From 1994-1998 I owned and operated Harbor Lights Brewing in Dana Point, CA and then, 20 years later opened Housatonic River Brewing right here in New Milford on September 19, 2018.
My wife, Dianne, and I decided not only would New Milford be a great place to build this business, but also to do something that our community would appreciate. The planning began and we opened on Route 7, just north of Bridge Street in a 3,200 square foot building. HRB sits on 7 acres that allows our customers to enjoy our many delicious beers both indoors and out. We are located along the beautiful Housatonic River. We have a huge parking lot and plenty of indoor seating in the Taproom, the outdoor Beer Garden, as well as outdoor covered seating, we even have dedicated motorcycle parking.
I’ve spent countless hours growing, developing and brewing our Housatonic River Brewing brand and and last year, with that growth I added a talented and experienced Brew Master, Steve Medd to my team. Together we have brewed over 150 different beers recipes, of which we always have at least 8 on tap at any given time. We are incredibly proud of our quality and have created an amazing following. Our Mug Club has over 300 members and with a lengthy waiting list, we feel that we must be doing something right.
We brew all our beers on site in our 5 BBL Brewhouse for consumption on site. We also have an off-site production facility for our distribution needs. During the start of Covid-19 restrictions, we shifted gears and decided that ramping up distribution would be the best option for us to not only survive, but to thrive; it turned out to be the right decision. Due to rapid growth we are currently searching for a larger production facility here in CT. Currently we are distributing all over the state of CT and can be found in over 550 package stores, Big Y, and in the New Milford area we have over 50 bars and restaurants that serve HRB beers on tap.
We have a full-time staff of 6, and 10 part-time employees (More like family) and my wonderful wife Dianne is the Events Coordinator for the many birthday celebrations, holiday parties and even the occasional wedding. We have live music, everything from Rock to Blues, to Country as music is part of our culture, even when there is not a band.
We now have a 40' x 60' pavilion allowing additional covered seating in the beer garden so folks can enjoy a beer outside, even when New England weather doesn’t cooperate. Under that pavilion we have added a music stage.
We are fortunate that the brewery scene in Connecticut is active. The Connecticut Brewers Guild, representing 120 breweries in CT has developed the Connecticut Beer Trail that has created great interaction for this industry. With most of the restrictions of the pandemic behind us and the world opening up, Housatonic River Brewing is business as usual. We have seen a strong resurgence in business and our loyal and new following has been amazing.
We have a great selection of wines and hard seltzers for those that are not beer drinkers, and a rotation of great food trucks for a quick bite or full meal.
Stop by and try our signature Gentle On My Mind, Willie Make It, or one of our many other selections, we know that we have a style for every taste.
Cheers to all of our HRB family & friends!
Dave and Dianne Littlefield
Named Best Brewery in Litchfield County
Named #6 Best Beer Label by USA Today: Remedy Imperial Stout "For What Ales You"
The Mug Club
Gentle on the course
Boys of Crazy Bruce
Partytown in Torrington
Fresh Gentle coming off the line
BeerTender KJ graduated!
1st run of Remedy
After the storm
Make Music Day 2021
1st can of Gentle...AHHHH!
Mommies Board Silly
Me and Little Honey
Father Daughter Mug Club
Fran & Michelle
Beertender Jen singing with the band
The Long Winter
Mike & Erica
Vanarillo & G Van
OT in the house!
Merry Christmas 2019
Fire Pits roaring
BeerTender Katie relaxing with hubby Mike and a little Orb Mellon
BeerTender Katie getting it done in the HRB 5K
Henrietta likes Stouts
HRB in Yellowstone
The Remedy for what ales ya!
Pajama Party 2019
First run of Sacred Grounds
Whiskey River winter
Whiskey River in the barrels
Polar Beer Wood Dump
Lovers Leap Passion Fruit Ale
HRB in New Hampshire
Eric & Teresa
BeerTender Katie laying down some truth!
Sometimes Less is More
HRB in San Francisco
Connecticut Magazine Pose
Grain Bag Recycling
HRB at Country Music Hall of Fame
Lakeside Corn Hole
Fresh peaches for our Peach Blonde Ale
Dave - Founder/Brewer/Chief Bottle Washer
Beertenders Katie & Christine
Fireworks over the brewery were awesome!
Bury'd in the Dirt
Team HRB representing in the beer mile!!
John Perry giving his all!
Enjoying a rare day off from brewing.
Holley McCreary crushing it on the HRB stage!
The DA Girls!
Tammy & Bunny
Smilin' Tom James!
Johnny P doing his mason thing!
Future Brewing Area
Bar is coming along nicely
Couple visitors behind the brewery today
Motorcycle parking, check!
Your shade awaits!
Your Cornhole awaits!
Orb Mellon just hit the stage..pickin' cajun style.
All Star Jam!
Shadow of Stout back on tap!
Halloween Costume Winners
WFSB Channel 3
Beer-Tenders Katie & Colin
Dirt Road Pickers
Beautiful day in the beer garden
Don't fear Cornholers, our covered patio to the rescue!
Great time had by all last night!
Locked and loaded!
Beautiful night for HRB Cornhole league!
Fire pits are cranking!
Co-Owner Dianne and Beertender Tammy
Winter cornhole hardcores!!
Fall in the beer garden
Beer garden art
Our first wedding!
Hangin' on the side patio