Wedding Venue Feature: The Garden at the Hops

Vibe and FeaturesAuthentic beer garden experience, unique food experience with food truck approval
Guest Capacity200+
Location77 Sodom Ln.
Derby, CT 06418
Similar VenuesThe Overlook at Geer Tree Farm, Lyman Orchards, Pond House Café

There are plenty of you engaged couples out there who like to wear sweatpants from time to time. For you, fresh brews beat wine or champagne all day. Pizza is a delicacy and you like your Saturdays laid back. If all of this sounds appealing to you, then you should definitely consider a Garden at the Hops wedding at The Hops Company / THC in Derby.

This post contains images I captured while working for my friends Megan and Mark of Mermaid’s Reel.

History of The Garden at The Hops Company

A bride embraces the groom with her orange bouquet and white veil during their wedding at The Garden at The Hops Company.
A bride and groom pose for a portrait during their hops company wedding.
A wedding party walks side by side before a wedding ceremony at The Hops Company in Derby CT.

Owner Umberto Morale opened The Hops Company / THC in 2015 as a 300-seat, indoor-outdoor beer bar in Derby. The atmosphere was intended to be casual, the perfect destination for everything from couples on dates to big groups of beer lovers.

A wedding ceremony takes place at The Garden at The Hops.

Multiple times over the years, The Hops Company received honors as Connecticut’s best beer garden from Connecticut Magazine, most recently in 2021.

The Garden at the Hops

Then, in 2018, The Hops Company expanded its event hosting capabilities on the rear of its property. This area became a semi-rustic hidden gem focused on beer, dubbed The Garden at The Hops.

A bride and groom dance their way into their reception during their Hops Company wedding in Derby CT.

This makes The Hops Company very unique among New Haven County locations for weddings, given its roots in craft beer. It’s definitely a top choice as a brewery wedding venue in Connecticut.

Ironically, The Hops Company sits on five acres of land which used to belong to former venue Grassy Hill Lodge.

Venue Vibe and Features

A groom adjusts his cuff links before his Garden at The Hops wedding at THC Derby.

Getting Ready at The Hops Company

Conveniently, The Garden at The Hops has space for getting ready. This takes place in a small house house on the property, over to the left of the main parking lot when you drive onto the property.

A bride shows off her shoes before her Hops Company wedding.

The interior is stark white with nice lighting, a departure from the industrial feel of The Hops Company beer garden itself. Similar to Allen Hill Farm, however, this getting ready suite is pretty cozy. Therefore, you may want to consider handling most of your getting ready off site, such as at a nearby hotel.

The Garden at The Hops Building and Bar

When you enter The Garden at The Hops Company area, perhaps the first thing you’ll notice is the venue’s main building to the left. This part of the venue offers a full bar, rest rooms, and a large rectangular room.

The main building of The Garden at The Hops wedding venue area at THC Derby.

Having worked summer weddings at The Garden at The Hops, noticed that this indoor space is especially popular during cocktail hour. This is for the drinks served at the full bar, yes, but also for the cooler temperatures and chance to get out of the sun.

Ceremony Patio

A ceremony takes place on the patio at The Garden at The Hops Company in Derby CT.

The first time I photographed a wedding at The Garden at the Hops Company, the ceremony took place in front of an arch sitting on grass. Since then, however, a stone patio has been installed in this area where you’ll exchange vows. This new setup is much nicer (and safer).

Reception Tent

The bride and groom enjoy their first dance during the reception of their Garden at The Hops Company wedding.

With a wooden dance floor surrounded by concrete and a gravel border, The Garden at the Hops’ reception tent is spacious and comfortable.

The Rest of the Grounds

A groom has an emotion reaction to seeing the bride in her dress and veil before their wedding at The Garden at The Hops at THC Derby.
The cascading waterfall at The Garden at The Hops during a wedding.
The groom poses with his groomsmen during a Hops Company wedding.

Wonderfully flat and easily walkable, the rest of The Garden at the Hops’ outdoor areas include:

  • A beautiful lawn with trees as a backdrop
  • An area with tasteful hardscaping, including cascading waterfalls
  • Lovers of fire pits will appreciate The Garden’s setup, complete with comfortable furniture

The Hops Company Beer Garden

Although it’s a great spot with great beer, the THC Derby beer garden is not included as part of a standard wedding day. It’s still open to the general public during normal hours even when a wedding is happening.

A bride and groom sit and pose before their Hops Company wedding.

Fortunately, you’re able to book The Hops Company beer garden for an afterparty. You two and your guests can party the night away at family style tables and order from the beer bar.

To top off your wedding experience here, The Hops Company beer garden does serve food. Currently, they’ve partnered with Zuppardi’s Apizza (a New Haven staple) to make and serve pizza on site. There’s also snacks available from the Grant’s Canteen arm of the kitchen.

The Garden at The Hops Wedding Catering

Perhaps surprisingly, Connecticut’s best beer bar doesn’t offer in-house catering for weddings at The Hops Company. This is definitely a good thing. The Hops Company has an experienced and dedicated team for weddings at The Garden which focuses on the wedding event itself.

A food truck caters a wedding at The Garden at the Hops, with a full spread of pretzels during cocktail hour.

For your special day, The Hops Company has preferred outside caterers which they partner with for weddings. For an additional fee, however, you can book your own chosen food truck for your wedding at The Garden at The Hops.

A cocktail hour spread of meats, cheeses, and vegetables is served during cocktail hour of a Hops Company wedding in Derby CT.

Again, the closeness to New Haven means that you’ll have great food options for your wedding catering at this venue. Also, your wedding afterparty at THC Derby will give you the chance to get great snacks from the beer bar.

Hotels Near The Garden at The Hops

Located in greater New Haven in Derby CT, The Garden at The Hops has plenty of nearby hotels. A few choices are Hilton Garden Inn Shelton, Homewood Suites by Hilton Stratford, and Courtyard by Marriott New Haven at Yale.

Another great option near this beer bar venue is Hyatt House Shelton, which provides a complimentary shuttle service to the wedding venue if you reserve a block of 20 or more rooms.

The Hops Company / THC Wedding Photos

Here are some more wedding photos from Hops Company weddings:

Learn More

To reach the amazing staff at The Garden at The Hops, you can use the links here:

By the way, I’m a kick-ass wedding photographer and would love to talk with you about your wedding plans. Here’s how to learn more about my work:

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