East Rock Brewing Company is named after the iconic ridge and city park that overlook the East Rock area of New Haven. Our brewery is in the heart of the neighborhood, a stone’s throw across the Mill River from the former Rock Brewery, one of New Haven’s historically celebrated German breweries. Before it was known as East Rock, our neighborhood was aptly referred to as Goatville, where goats amusingly shared the land with its residents. The community goats developed a peculiar reputation for devouring garments from clothing lines and entering homes to feed on freshly laundered linens. One account claims that the goats developed a fondness for red flannel, but we believe this anecdote may be more literary humor than truth. Coincidentally, goats also are associated with a style of beer pioneered in Germany known as bock, which loosely translates to “billy goat.” While German goats may not be known for snacking on clothing, we are proud to pay tribute to our neighborhood and the motherland of brewing in our logo.
The story of our brewery does not end with goats. In the late nineteenth century, our property was home to Miller’s Garden, an outdoor venue where hundreds of townspeople gathered for weekly functions in the warmer months. Attendees both young and old set up picnics while a local band held the attention of the crowd, performing traditional German songs and dance tunes. While there is no mention of it in the history books, we like to picture the jovial neighborhood crowd swaying to the drones of the oom-pah while drinking beer from one of the local breweries.
Given the storied past of the neighborhood and property, we are honored to rekindle the history of beer making in New Haven and hope you will join us in celebration at our brewery and beer hall.