Questing after Relics

Type of Post: 
Best of Show
Destination: 
Hartford via US44
Best of Show: 
Finally finding the Relic ales

The Mark Twain House in HartfordWe took the scenic route to Hartford, getting on US44 in Plymouth and following it all the way (with some inevitable missed turns) through Providence to Hartford.  There are faster ways to Hartford, but this was a great ride with winter scenery, the back streets of Providence and Hartford, and treasures along the way in Putnam and more.

Driving along US44 near Putnam, CTOf course, US44 has been a major road for over a century, so any place that can be built up has been built up. It winds its way through Raynham and Taunton, Dighton and Rehoboth, Chepachet and Pomfret, and most of these towns have a certain homey charm if you are open to it. And of course, there's plenty of open country in Connecticut's NE corner.

Yacht Club SodaOne of my favorite finds was the old Yacht Club Soda factory in Providence. It's not retro - it's old. And it hasn't changed much in a hundred years. I got some of their tonic water in hopes it's less sweet than the big brands. They have many flavors, often available at farmers' markets around Providence and as far as Plymouth.

Relic BrewingBest of Show has to go to Relic Brewing, near the end of our route in Plainville, CT.

I had been questing after the much-tweeted and highly-regarded Relic ales for months, but could never get any. Numerous attempts, ever-closer to Hartford, had always ended in failure.

There's a reason for that. The brewery is a one-man operation, and he concentrates more on making what he pleases than in getting wide distribution. For the most part, to get a Relic, you have to go to the source. I finally did, and I am very satisfied.

Relic Falconess with Roast PorkI got two growlers: the Falconess, a wild American Strong Ale with New Zealand hops and orange blossom honey that went great with a roast pork today, and the Queen Anne's Revenge, an old 19th-century English-style porter (a real relic, that!) that would really go well with goose or duck in a Colonial Tavern Dinner.

Communist CocktailThe drive home took us back along Route 44 in the dark, but it was worth it for a fine dinner at 85Main in Putnam, CT, featuring a Communist cocktail expertly made by Stephanie.

All in all it was a great trip, although we didn't cover nearly as many miles as we usually do, it was fun to stay off the highways for a change!