Saturdays are Equilibrium can release days. The social media site with the best information is the Equilibrium Instagram Page.
Parking: The brewery is located directly across the street from the Middletown police station.That should be incentive enough to obey the parking rules. The brewery has a main lot but it will fill up on Equilibrium can release days. The other businesses in the neighborhood have had some issues over parking and I hear cars have been towed. My advice? If you drive into the lot and its full, continue through the lot and you’ll see a long and narrow lot between Hanford and Mill Street. That usually handles most of the overflow parking.
The line: The brewery uses a numbered ticketing system and tickets are given out beginning around 5:30 a.m. (opening at 11:30 a.m.) If you arrive later in the morning, you’ll have to find the person with the tickets. Everyone can help you spot him. The idea is that you have a reserved place in line and you are free to leave/come back or partake in the bottle share. At opening everyone attempts to find their place in line. There’s a lot of “hey, what ticket number do you have?” No one from the brewery checks and it relies on self-policing. There are some unscrupulous characters, but as you draw closer to the front, the number checking intensifies. On this particular Saturday, I arrived at 8:30 and got number 259. I was served at nearly 1:00.
When you get to the front of the line, you tell them what you want (no forms).
The Bottle Share: It must begin pretty early as the table was filled with empties by 8:30 a.m. I didn’t intend to partake, but I did bring a few cans of Tree House, in case there were some trading opportunities. I had to laugh as I did put out a couple cans of Tree House onto the table and some guy who just arrived (empty-handed) picks it up and checks the date before he gave himself a pour. If you do partake, bring a Solo cup as I didn’t see any around the table (maybe they were all gone). They do ask that if you partake in the share, that you stay within the fenced area. The day I was there, the brewery was pouring samples.
Other points: There are two doorways at the brewery that are open at release. One is the main release door (closest to the bottle share area). That’s where the Equilibrium can release happens. If there are special release glasses, you buy them on the can line. On the far corner, the other door is a small merchandise shop but worth a stop as they also sell crowlers.
Restrooms: It’s nice that the brewery has restrooms inside that are available. You’ll see the door by the bottle share area. It’s easy to spot as it’s got a lot of foot traffic. The bathrooms are upstairs and it will have a line.
Food: Not much food in the area, but the brewery has a griddle set up outside and they make egg sandwiches. No charge, just pay what you feel. Later in the morning, they broke out a nice looking piece of smoked brisket. At one time, the brewery had a tap room inside a connected restaurant. From what I gather there was a falling out. Look for a new tap room at the brewery.
As far as my haul at this particular week’s Equilibrium can release day, all three offerings were spectacular.
Beer # 1,130: Dream Wave Fluctuation: The main event of the day. It certainly doesn’t disappoint. Mellow, elegant, juicy, pineapple, wonderful mouth feel. Could be the best IPA I’ve had this year, 97 points.
Beer # 1,131: Fluctuation: As they described, this is the base beer for Dream Wave Fluctuation. Other Half Brewing applied their “dream” technique. As for the original, really nice. I’d say 95 points.
Beer # 1,132: dHop4: I was completely surprised at this beer. It was an add-on and I wish I bought more. Well-balanced, juicy as you’d expect. 96 points