Skip to content

Introducing the Spigot

Upon our arrival in Hartford, CT, Janet and I set out to explore our neighborhood. The first thing that we looked for was a good bar to hang out in. We were lucky, because right around the corner is a great bar called The Spigot.

The Spigot is a "Beers of the World" sort of bar. They have 19 taps and 150+ varieties of bottled beers, but unlike the Toronado in San Francisco, it is not a micro-brew focus. Still, they happen to stock a number of local craft beers, as well as many favorites from San Francisco.

When we walked in, we noticed the first difference between Connecticut bars and San Francisco bars: they have a cigarette machine, and people were smoking cigarettes and cigars without fear of the police coming in and giving them a ticket.

Unlike the Toronado, The Spigot offers munchies (popcorn, peanuts, chips and frozen pizzas&#41… which is necessary, because unlike the Lower Haight strip (which is replete with restaurants&#41, The Spigot is in a no-mans land with the only surrounding restaurants being a Papa John's Pizza and a TCBY yogurt and ice cream stand.

We immediately checked out the tap list. Unexpectedly, only one beer available on tap was the typical "Macro-Brewed" beer, specifically: Bud Light. Dundee's Honey Brown and Killians Red, both produced by large breweries, but moderately more interesting than Bud Light were also available. Then you have the Fosters (Bud of Australia&#41 and Labatt's Blue (Bud of Canada&#41 which appeal to the Bud drinkers who want something a little different. Following those beers were a number of British/Irish beers: Guinness, Beamish, Boddington's, Newcastle and Tetley's. Add a couple of pilsners (Staropramen, a Czech pilsner and Warsteiner, a German pilsner&#41 and you have space to put up a number of local craft brews (Magic Hat #9, Brooklyn East India IPA, Sam Adams IPA, Sierra Nevada&#41.

But what I wanted to check out was the bottle selection which won the Best of Hartford designation for the last 8 years. I asked the bartender for a list, and he coolly responded that I should just go to the coolers and look for myself.

You see, unlike any other bar I have ever seen, the Spigot works on a fixed-price honor system for bottled beers. Every beer is $3.00 (except for the Sam Smith imports which are $4.00&#41, and the case is open for you to pick your own. You grab the beer you want, go to the bartender, and he opens it up for you… and upon request will even furnish a glass.

The 150 beers were, as mentioned, beers of the world. Unfortunately, these beers of the world included such drinks as Zima, Seagrams Wine Coolers, Bud, Coors and all of the beers of that ilk. Still, even if you leave out those swill-like beers, that leaves over 100 types of interesting beers. Notable beers included Anchor Steam (and Porter and Liberty Ale&#41, Sierra Nevada Wheat (and Stout&#41, 15 or 20 locally brewed beers (Cotrell's, Shipyard, Hammer and Nail, Geary's, Wolaver's to name a few&#41 and a great selection of German beers (Salvator, Paulaner Lager, Optimator, Franziskaner, Dinkel Acter, Wurzberg&#41.  No Belgian beers though, but a quick trip to Crazy Bruce's (a local liquor supermarket&#41 supplied us with enough Chimay and Duvel to stock our fridge.

I don't think that The Spigot will ever become as fond in my mind as the Toronado is. The bartenders are nice here, and there's enough beer to keep me happy for years, but the're no replacing the bar where you had your first pint of Anderson Valley Boont Amber.

Posted in Barflies At Large.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.