Jason Sobocinksi, one of the owners of Black Hog Brewing in Oxford. (photo by Frank Cohen, photo by Frank Cohen)
Scholars have learned that brewing beer was a culinary art developed by the ancients on several continents. Before America’s craft beer revolution that was begun by home brewers in the late 1970s and really gained steam in the 1990s, we looked primarily to Europe for great beer, especially to the Germans, Czechs, Belgians and Brits. Beer brewing is a legitimate skill, a combination of art and craft, but let’s face it — you don’t have to be an Oxford scholar to produce top brew. Well, maybe you do. Oxford, Conn., at least.
Breweries are springing up in the Nutmeg State like mushrooms after a summer rain and one of the most compelling is Black Hog Brewing Co. It is owned by entrepreneurial siblings Jason and Tom Sobocinski of Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro and Ordinary in New Haven and Smoke Box BBQ in Hamden, along with their friend Tyler Jones, a graduate of the master brewers program at UC-Davis who formerly worked at Mercury Brewing Company, Smuttynose Brewing Company and Portsmouth Brewery. The name of the brewery reflects the brothers’ affection for pig roasts, at which they prefer Berkshire hogs.
Black Hog Brewing’s tasting area is contained within its 3,500-square-foot brewing operation. Currently, the tasting room is open for limited hours on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or by appointment. There are eight tap lines, and sample flights, squealers (32 ounces) and merchandise. Nitro Coffee Milk Stout is available year round, and you may be lucky enough to find the Disco Pig series which is offered only at the brewery in 500-milliliter bottles.
The draught list at the time we went to press included: Easy Rye’ Da Rye Session IPA; Ginga’ Ninja Red IPA brewed with fresh ginger; Granola Brown Ale; The Hop Collective: Chinook; Wet Hop CT Love Bomb, Farmland Series Basil Pail Ale; and Farmland Series Rosemary Dunkelweizen. These beers have already been turning up locally to great reviews.
Don’t have a degree in beer speak? It’s OK — that’s what the tasting room is for.
Black Hog Brewing Company, 115 Hurley Road. Bldg. 9A, Oxford; 203-262-6075; blackhogbrewing.com
From the Hartford Courant – http://www.courant.com/hc-hm-nh-food-postcard2-december-20141122-story.html