The Legend and Our Story for our Beers

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There is perhaps no greater Connecticut legend than that of the Charter Oak.  This is why we named our brewery after this historic event and our beers after events from the tale.

In 1662, the colony of Connecticut, owned and governed by England, was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II. The “Connecticut Charter” permitted the colony to make some of its own rules and to elect certain officials. Charles’ death in 1685 brought his brother, James II, to the throne. James disapproved of the Royal Charters and demanded their return. The charters interfered with James’s plan to establish the Dominion of New England – a combination of the New England colonies and the colony of New York under the leadership of one royal official.

In 1687, Sir Edmond Andros, the Royal Governor of the New England Dominion, met with leaders of the Connecticut colony in Hartford. Debates continued for hours as the colonists steadfastly refused to give up the Charter. According to legend, all of the candles in the meeting house, Sanford’s Tavern suddenly blew out and, during the confusion, the  1662 Charter disappeared. Captain Joseph Wadsworth was positioned outside the tavern and in the chaos of the darkness rode off to George Wyllys farm where a huge Oak tree stood.  It was hidden in the trunk of a large white oak tree where it was protected from the King and from Andros.  .... known from this day forward as the Charter Oak tree and became Connecticut’s state tree.... not only did the tree become famous, but 325 years later, a craft beer was born.

Despite Connecticut’s resistance, it became part of the Dominion of New England for the next two years. In 1689 James II was overthrown and Andros lost power in the colonies. The Connecticut Charter emerged from hiding and was used to govern Connecticut until 1818, when the Constitution was introduced. In 2011, the Charter Oak Brewing Company was founded, A True Legend!

On August 21, 1856, the Charter Oak, estimated at nearly 1,000 years old and 33 feet circumference, fell down during a violent storm.

BUT, the brewery lives on to tell the tale....

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