Fox Farm Brewery in Salem

Jake Snyder / Red Sky Photography

Fox Farm Brewery

62 Music Vale Road, Salem

When driving down Music Vale Road in rural Salem, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by a coop of chickens before you get to the tavern.

Once parked, enter the red and white barn, with a grain silo in the far left, because the word “farm” in Fox Farm isn’t kitschy. You are on a real farm growing grapes, raspberries, blackberries and other brambles used to fruit the farm’s beers and sours.

But don’t get me wrong with the beer selection, it’s not all fruity and it’s not a heavy IPA juice bomb. Fox Farm has perhaps the most balanced list of styles in the state, and each one is incredibly well done. While Burst is an unfiltered New England-style IPA that will delight juice lovers, Fox Farm is loud and proud with a roster of Czech pilsners, smoked helles lagers, and sweet, malty doppelbocks. They even have barrel-aged stouts, pour drinkable table ales, and throw an ESB (extra special bitters) on nitro.

For most of Connecticut, Salem is a difficult course to reach. Forget distance and traffic. Fox Farm and their beer is a destination. Stay a while. Try a 7 or 13 ounce pile on the spot. BYO food and board game. Get cans and bottles to take home. Well worth the day trip. —Andrew Dominic