The Willimantic Brewing Company and Main Street Cafe, of Willimantic, CT is one of the nation's best brewpubs in my opinion. It is my favorite brewpub of all time, and there are plenty of good reasons for that. I have visited this place literally dozens upon dozens of times, and each and every time I have come away happy. The atmosphere, the service, the food, are all fantastic, but beer is the true star here. Willimantic's house brewed beers are tremendous. Name a beer style and Willimantic has brewed it, and they have brewed it very well. This place is small enough that they can be innovative and creative, and that is a wonderful thing for an adventurous beer lover.
A great example of this is a beer I tried on draught last week on a recent visit to Willimantic. That beer is their Flower Infusion. This beer is billed as a Curvee de Fluers style Farmhouse Ale. It is brewed with European malts, wild flower honey, hopped with Marynka, and infused with Lavender, Caendula, Chamomile, Rose buds, and Hibiscus. Coming in at 6.7% abv, this is a beer to be sipped and savored.
This is a very complex, delicious, bold, flavorful beer with lots of interesting aromas and flavors. It came on draught at the brewpub on July 13th, 2010 so get on over to Willimantic before this one runs dry, as it is not your typical beer, and one well worth the time and effort to try.
Flower Infusion pours to a hazy, light amber color, with a tight, white head that slowly fades, and a moderate to soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is really fragrant and wonderful. Marynka is a Polish hop variety that has very "rooty" licorice aroma. You get those aromas in this beer and it marries well with the sweet and herbal aromas for the flowers used in this beer. It is amazing how well the flower aromas come though in the nose. It is literally like sticking your nose in a fresh bouquet of flowers and getting those sweet, fresh cut flowers aromas of lavender, caendula, chamomile, rose buds, and hibiscus. Sweet, herbal, and very pleasing this beer awakes your senses. The palate is just fanatic with a nice, soft malty base, with a wonderful back drop of honey sweetness ,that is slightly vicious as it rolls over the tongue. Flower Infusion finishes with more really great malt flavor and honey sweetness, then ends with a wonderful herbal flavor, a touch of licorice, and some hop bitterness that cuts the sweetness of this beer.
Amazing, unique, complex, interesting beer. It is the kind of beer you really have to taste for yourself. 1/2 gallon growlers are available to take this one home with you if you like. Willimantic Brewing continues to impress the hell out of me. For more information about this fantastic beer and the brewpub, visit their site at: http://www.willibrew.com/