First stop: The ACTUAL Hog River! It meanders through my backyard, and is easily one of my favorite spots to photograph. So naturally Jenna, Jasmine and I ended up at the Hog River Brewery in Hartford CT, a hop skip and a scoot from my house. But let me back up a smidge here… so back when Jenna, Jasmine and I first met at my house for their initial consult when we were seeing if we were a fit for their wedding, I discovered their love of all things brewery. If that’s even how you say it, which it’s clearly not, but you feel me! Jasmine in particular is super knowledgeable about beer and brewery’s and we both got excited about all of the brewery’s that are popping up in Connecticut. There are so many amazing ones that have existed, like City Steam, located in downtown Hartford (which is the beer they choose to drink on the first leg of our session in the Hog River, it was a Naughty Nurse, to be exact) to Thomas Hooker , Back East Brewing and New Park Brewing Co. Since going gluten free a while back I have avoided going, because… well. Beer. But I was informed that many breweries have ciders, which I LOVE, so I made the choice to just go and see and support these local craftspeople who are making a living doing what they love!
Hog River Brewery holds a super special place in my heart because their namesake, the Hog River, has been a huge and meaningful part of my childhood, and now my children’s childhood. I are up afraid of it; my Mom was super worried we would go back there and drown so she scared us with tales of HUGE river rats that lived there and so I avoided it at all costs growing up. Once I moved back into my childhood home after my Mom died, I reclaimed my Hog River and created some new memories there with my kids. On hot days we bring low chairs and plop them in the river to cool down- other times I have even gone so far as to construct a massive charcuterie board complete with Del’s Shandy Lemonade cooling in the river! It has become my meditation spot, a reprieve for me and a space for me to create amazing portraits of my children during all of the seasons. You should see it after a fresh snowfall, it is stunning and the colors of fall make my heart sing. A little known fact is that is goes underground right by my house, and you can actually canoe or kayak underground (insert scared face emoji here ha ha!)
When Jenna and Jasmine agreed to a brewery engagement session I was beyond ecstatic. I love changing up locations and learning new spots around the state for portraits, and a brewery sounded like fun to me! I was (not so ) secretly hoping to do it at the Hog River Brewery since, well, you know. They both happily agreed and we were off!
The river was cool and perfect on the day of their engagement session, it felt so good to just have our feet in the water, sipping on an ice cold beer on a perfect Spring day!
With views like this, it is super hard to believe that we are literally in the CITY OF HARTFORD right now! It’s my oasis and I love it with all my heart and soul.
Jenna and Jasmine met at The University of Hartford, so they brought special pint glasses to celebrate this!
The logo for the Hog River Brewery has a big gear on it, and you may wonder why… until you see their actual spot! It has a giant gear hoo ha thing there, and it’s quite stunning! I found this on the Hog River Brewery site: “Besides our shiny brewhouse and tanks, we’re most proud of the two turn-of-the-century, 20 ft. machine presses tucked (ha!) in the corner of our taproom. These towering monsters tell their own story of the history of Hartford and our Parkville neighborhood. Used to hammer parts for the first pneumatic tires manufactured for automobiles and bicycles in the country, they are the last remaining vestiges from when the building served as Hartford Rubber Works, and later Pope Manufacturing Company.” I am a sucker for some Hartford history, and found this little gem super interesting!
The variety of light inside made the photographer in me SHREIK with delight. The brewery is flooded with gorgeous natural light at every turn.
Their interior has such a cool industrial vibe, I absolutely LOVE it and would host some parties here if I ever needed to!
I wish I liked IPA’s… I just haven’t gotten my palate to adjust to them! Sacrilege, I know…because they are literally everywhere at every brewery and they are touted as the thing for true beer drinkers to love. Honestly as a Mexican who hates cilantro, I am over it, but I secretly do wish I liked them.
Ladies, I had so much fun with you both, I am even more excited for your wedding than I thought possible. I love your energy together, how kind and sweet and funny you are and can’t wait to know you both more! XOXOXO
For more Hartford engagements, check out these posts:
As always, all photographs were created and copyrighted to Carla Ten Eyck a Hartford Connecticut Photographer
For a fun list of breweries in Connecticut check out this article by The Hartford Courant