Southport Brewing Company
1950 Dixwell Ave
Visited on November 7, 2010
A couple of years ago I found myself in New Haven, Connecticut on the campus of Yale for an annual conference. Naturally, I had to go seek out the local brewpubs. The one close to campus was pretty decent, but I wouldn’t let myself stop at just the one. Naturally, I caught a cab out to Hamden to check out Southport Brewing Company.
I don’t remember much about the place, which is always a bad side when going back to a review. I remember that it was nice and mostly empty. I also remember it seemed to be trying to be nicer than it actually was, which is probably why nobody bothered to show up. As for the food and beer, I honestly don’t remember much of anything about it. Luckily, this one has a review that I wrote almost immediately after my visit, so maybe that will jog my memory.
There are several SBC’s in the general New Haven area and I certainly hope that they are better than the one I visited, because it was crap.
Located just off of the highway in a non-descript building, the brewpub nonetheless was trying to pull off a swanky, dim, metro club feel that just wasn’t happening for it at all. Trying too hard to be something you’re not just doesn’t appeal to me, whether you’re trying to be a night club or a fake Irish pub. Sure, make the effort and all, but nobody is coming to this place with nightclub in mind.
The food was the one bright spot of my short trip. The pizza was cracker thin and crispy, with enough heft to hold all of the ingredients up without flopping over. I ordered one with lots of sautéed mushrooms, and though there was a bit of grease piled on top, it was still quite tasty. The rest of the menu wasn’t really too impressive, and I doubt there’s anything special on it, judging from the amount of effort they put into their beer.
Though the beer is better than the domestic light beers, it is better than little else. I’d even rather be drinking Killians or Blue Moon. It was pretty much tasteless. Though they went to the trouble of having two cask handles, I honestly could not tell the difference between the amber and the pale ale, though I had pints of both. The rest of the offerings were thin, non-descript shells of their styles.
The service was alright, but I was in such a foul mood from their terrible beer that I didn’t really give them a chance to excel.