Pizza and beer are two of my favorite things. It’s just a guess but I think it’s the same for many of you. It’s also why I was excited when I heard about Brewport, a Bridgeport brewery and pizza house located right off Exit 27 going northbound on I-95. Easy to get to, and easy to head back home, a tidbit most of you had to know if big bad Bridgeport scares you. Don’t front, you know that applies to some of you.
At Brewport the menu relatively simple, with the focus being on “two of my favorite things,” plus salads, cocktails, and one dessert. Beer though, is a focus, and Brewport does brew on the premises. Brewmaster/partner Jeff Browning (formerly of Diglio’s, BAR, Longshore) is doing something cool and is brewing beer based on pre-prohibition era recipes from defunct area breweries Eckert, Hartmann, and Bridgeport Brewing Co., but he’s putting his own new age spin on each style of beer. Chances are, just like with any beer and your personal taste preferences, that you’ll either dig Brewport’s stuff, or you won’t. I tried two and enjoyed both. The Blood Orange Blonde is a good, light option that’s suitable even for your non-craft loving friends. It’s slightly tart from the fresh blood orange juice, but very refreshing. I was a fan of their Doctor Porter’s Stout, a low ABV, creamy and smooth drinking dark beer. Expect coffee and oats in this beer’s notes.
If you wish to try something on tap that’s not one of Brewport’s own eight beers, they have plenty of “guest taps” from local breweries and others from further out. It’s not uncommon to come across some rare finds here, so that’s a plus. For non-beer drinkers, there are half a dozen wines, and six cocktails to choose from, a few of which are beer-based.
If you’re hungry, like I said, it’s simple. Salad, pizza, or both. On both my visits salad wasn’t in the cards, meaning “too healthy” for all the beer and pizza we were about to consume. But next time, for sure. The pizzas are very much in the spirit of New Haven pies; not a perfect circle, sliced every which way, charred crispy, thin crust, bright red sauce. There’s usually a chef’s special each night, so it’s worth inquiring about, but I liked their red pies the most, specifically the sausage, or better yet, the sausage with cherry peppers for an added zing. There are specialty pizzas created by the restaurant, and I liked The Meat Master, loaded up with porky toppings of pepperoni, chunks of sausage, diced ham, and bacon.
For the most part, I did dig the pizza, but the two chef’s specials I tried on two separate visits did miss the mark. The Thanksgiving pie, loaded with every conceivable Turkey Day dish, didn’t earn high marks at the table, neither did the white pizza combo of ricotta, mashed potatoes, garlic, basil, and meatballs. The meatballs were decent, and had lots of flavor, and weren’t spongy, but the potatoes weren’t prominent. I somehow think if they tried a mashed potato and bacon pizza, it might do extremely well.
For dessert, you have one choice, a Wellington’s Root Beer Float, made right at the brewery. It’s a well-spiced, old fashioned soda, with two scoops of vanilla ice cream that’ll satisfy your inner fat kid. Live a little, order one.
My verdict on Brewport is still out, but I’m interested in going back to try more of their beers, and I’ll keep trying pizza specials as long as I have a large sausage on the table too. Ultimately, a place like Brewport is a perfect for gatherings (and they have a game room), it’s family friendly, a big enough parking lot with attendants, and it’s conveniently located by Webster Bank Arena if you’re planning a visit around that. What’s even better is a place like Brewport is a step in the right direction for Bridgeport’s future.