New Britain Bees
Team: New Britain Bees
Affiliate: N/A (Atlantic League)
Pulling into the vast parking lot that surrounds New Britain Stadium, it gives the ballpark a much more substantial feel. A boxey grandstand built with brick and topped with a green metal roof. For a town that uses the bee as a its inspiration (more on that below) the team does a good job of continuing this theme throughout the park. On top of the team name, the concourse is painted in the team’s trademark yellow and black and honeycomb designs dot the walls.
The expansive concourse sits behind the seating area. While you can’t see the game while walking around they have added TV’s so you can keep up with the action on the field while not in your seat. There is also a wide concourse in the middle of the grandstand that separates that two seating areas. This one is plenty wide to walk around if you just want to walk around the park and see the game from different vantage points.
For groups attending a game there is a picnic area in the left field corner, a party suite, and another picnic area along the first-base side. A kids area is tucked behind the seating area in the right field corner.
Best Spot For Beer: There are multiple concession areas in the lower concourse and most of them carry the same beers. However,you will find the most local options at the Alvarium Beer Rooftop Beerhive above the seating bowl along the third base side. Here you will find four options from the local brewery that is only couple of miles from the ballpark.
While New Britain Stadium may not have all of the amenities that Dunkin’ Donuts Park has a few miles away it was a pleasant place to take in a game. The crowd that was there on the night we visited also shows that the Bees are able to hold their own when it comes to baseball in central Connecticut.
Alvarium Beer Company
Brew Basics: A bee themed brewery that has created quite a buzz.
Googling “what’s with New Britain and the bee theme?” will give you many results, that can be(e?) summed up to say New Britain uses the hive concept to highlight their industrial history, and the worker “bees” both past and present who have helped shape the city. You’ll see the bees on street signs, in the name and identity of their sports teams, and entwined in many of the local businesses, Alvarium Beer Company being no exception. Latin for “beehive”, Alvarium has embraced the bee motif from their tap handles and logos to the really cool green and yellow honeycomb hive glowing on the silver bar.
Even though we were there on the second weekend the tap room was open, the big cinder-block room was abuzz with activity. It’s a large square of a building done mostly in wood, wrought iron and gray. To the left, fermenting tanks share space with shuffleboard. The center is a large, square hardwood box that serves as the bar and to the right there are tables and standing room.
Brew Breakdown: The whole place was a home run, from the friendly greetings (no less than 4 when we walked in) to the food (pretzels and kielbasa, what could be better?) to the beer. Don’t let their relative youth fool you. Alvarium is brewing a wide variety of styles, with unique flavors that all hold their own.
Fade (4.1% ABV) – This brown porter actually pours coffee black and has smoke and chocolate malts for aroma. The palate is a nutty front with a malted smoke finish. Though the beer is thin, we mean this in the “not thick” kind of way, as the flavor is solid and substantial.
Trockenhofpen (5.4%) – This is a hefeweizen hopped with Huell Melon, a newer style of hops whose profile is sort of a twist on the more typical Cascade hop. Trocken has a yeasty smell and a lemony, earthy taste with a bit of cracker. To some of the tasters, it also had a funky soaplike aftertaste. It pours an opaque, clarified butter color.
Phresh (7.5%) – Phresh is an IPA in true (what else?) New England style. There is a bit of peach nectar in the aroma and the sparkly taste that has solid hops upfront also ends peachy. Bright golden yellow in color with a hint of that NEIPA haze.
Nektar (4.8%) – Nektar surprised us with a bit of a nutty, malted bouquet. The taste is also good and nutty, but light on bitters for an ESB. Overall a nice malt blend with a caramel malt and toast-like finish and a honeyed front end. Visible carbonation in this thinner side, syrup hued beer.
365 John Downey Drive B
New Britain, CT 06051