Six beverage companies with CT roots to keep you refreshed all summer long

Looking to sip on something refreshing this summer while supporting your Nutmegger neighbors? Look no further than these CT based or connected beverage companies. Whether you’re looking to imbibe on something boozy or bubbly, check out these six companies that offer up a variety of flavor and health conscious options all summer long.

Litchfield Distillery

While Litchfield Distillery is known for their whiskeys and bourbons, the company has also branched out into selling three canned cocktails. The Litchfielder is made with the company’s whiskey bourbon, maple syrup and lemon juice. They also offer a Spiked Lemonade featuring their vodka and their margarita inspired cocktail, the Bacherita.

“A few years ago, we saw the emergence of several ready-to-drink cocktails in cans and thought the growth potential of this category segment was attractive. So we decided to enter with a couple of cocktails that we regularly made and sampled at various events. Consumers consistently told us how much they loved The Litchfielder and our Spiked Lemonade, so we introduced those two cocktails first,” Litchfield Distillery rep Tony Vengrove said. “In 2020, we added the Batcherita, which is our take on a classic margarita.”

Athletic Brewing

In Stratford, Athletic Brewing is all about offering IPA flavors while being health conscious and avoiding a hangover with their nonalcoholic beers.

Bill Shufelt, the co-founder ofAthletic Brewing Company, said he created his company because he wanted an alternative to alcoholic beverages when he was having a night out.

“Nonalcoholic beer emerged as an authentic need in my lifestyle. I was turning 30, about to get married, taking my job more seriously as I got older, and starting to monitor the quality of my diet more,” Shufelt said. “I noticed that everything in my life was pointing towards performance-oriented, healthy decisions, and mindfulness ... except one thing — alcohol.”

Athletic Brewing is currently offering eight different nonalcoholic flavors, including three limited release flavors. Rainbow Wall, one of the three limited release IPAs was released for Pride month in June and the profits from the sales will be donated to Athlete Ally, a nonprofit that promotes inclusivity in sports.


Last month a Branford couple, Ryan and Justine Whalen launched their company Weekday, which sells low alcohol wine. The Whalens started their company when they noticed there weren’t many low alcohol wines available, which led them to create their rosé.

“The key values for us are that people are able to enjoy the ritual of drinking and relaxation that comes along with it, without the stress, the guilt, the anxiety that might come along with enjoying a drink and potentially waking up with a surprise hangover the next day,” Ryan said.

Weekday’s wine contains 9 percent alcohol and is 80 calories per serving. Weekday’s rosé is available online only at

Cool Cat wine spritzers

New Canaan native Rocco Venneri founded Cool Cat wine spritzers which offers up a Miami summer vibe year round. Venneri said he was inspired to create his product a few years earlier after learning about how the beverage market was expanding and decided to jump into the industry. “So I, in typical Rocco style, dove right into it and started to think about how a lifestyle brand could launch into a beverage, because I really hadn’t seen that out there,” Venneri said.

While Venneri lives in Florida, his product is available in Connecticut and comes in two flavors, elderberry mint-lime and citrus.

East Coast Kombucha

Steve Gaskin, co-founder of the East Coast Kombucha Company based in South Norwalk, said his company was created because he wanted to have a healthier alternative to nonalcoholic beverages.

His company makes and sells seven flavors of kombucha, a fermented tea that’s low in sugar and is packed with probiotics. Flavors include hibiscus, blueberry ginger, peach rose, grapefruit hops, cherry rosemary, ginger and classic.

“Non-drinkers or designated drivers out socializing with friends up until now have had limited and not-so-exciting options; tea, sugary soda, coffee, juice or a mocktail, and due to social pressure, may not feel as included as their beer/cocktail drinking friends. Kombucha is a delicious and exciting new option,” Gaskin added.

Charlie’s Chaga

Charlie Hibbin, the founder of Charlie’s Chaga, said created his Chaga soda to be a healthier soda alternative. The Westport-based craft soda company sells soda containing Chaga mushrooms that offers a low sugar, antioxidant filled beverage.

“I wanted to create a craft soda that anyone can drink and not feel guilty about,” Hibbin said. “It doesn’t give you the caffeine or sugar rush that is typical of other sodas, but a steady light energy from the melanin and healing compounds in the Chaga.”

In addition to the chaga soda, Hibbin’s company also sells black truffle chai, raspberry rose chaga lemonade and hibiscus mint chaga tea.

Sarajane Sullivan contributed to reporting on this story.