A Day of Classic Cars and Craft Beers at Lime Rock Park

Thomas Hooker Brewing Company wins best overall taste at CT Craft Beer Grand Prix


A summer-like afternoon greeted classic car and craft beer enthusiasts on Sunday as Lime Rock Park hosted the Royal’s Garage Car Show and the third-annual Connecticut Craft Beer Grand Prix, part of the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic weekend.


Royal’s Garage Car Show: Nostalgia Meets Purpose
The Royal’s Garage Car Show returned to Lime Rock Park with a stunning array of classic and modern cars and motorcycles lining the Sam Posey Straight. This year, the show had an added layer of significance as it celebrated the centennial anniversary of the Falls Village Fire Department, selected as the non-profit benefactor for the event. Attendees were treated to a glimpse of history with the fire department’s vintage fire truck that was purchased new in 1934.


The car show was not just a feast for the eyes but also a competitive event. The prestigious Royals Crown was awarded to Vinney Lyons for his immaculate Ford Mustang Cobra Jet that he bought new off the lot in 1968. The Veterans Choice accolade went to Dennis Miechaud for his meticulously maintained 1909 Model T. Alan Grunner’s 1911 Model T won the hearts of the attendees, earning him the People’s Choice award. Meanwhile, Len Baker’s 1964 all-original International Travelall was Skip’s Choice, a nod to its authenticity and preservation.


Connecticut Craft Beer Grand Prix: A Celebration of Local Brews
Simultaneously, the Connecticut Craft Beer Grand Prix showcased the state’s brewing talent with 18 local breweries offering 41 arrays of beers. The event was complemented by an assortment of food trucks and the melodic tunes of Brother Other, creating a festive atmosphere.


A committee of seasoned brewers and beer judges evaluated the entries, covering 15 medal categories, each reflecting the diverse styles defined by the BJCP and Great American Beer Festival.


Thomas Hooker Brewing Company of Hartford, Conn., emerged as the overall champion, winning the Best Overall Taste award for its four entries. Still Hill Brewery of Rocky Hill, Conn., won the Best in Show Award for its John Barleywine is Alive barleywine. Connecticut Valley Brewing of Windsor, Conn., won the People’s Choice Award for their Spiked Smoothie – Blueberry Lemonade fruit beer, which was the perfect pairing for the hot day.


Cooling Down with Nature
The unseasonably warm weather added a spontaneous twist to the day. Fans, seeking relief from the heat, flocked to the nearby Salmon Kill. What began as a few people wading in the water quickly turned into an impromptu party. Skipping rocks, splashing and laughter filled the air as attendees and campers cooled off in the refreshing river, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the day’s festivities.


What’s Next
The Trans Am Memorial Day Classic concludes Monday with racing from the Tran Am Series presented by Pirelli, Sportscar Vintage Race Association (SVRA), International GT and Formula Race Promotions. General admission tickets are still available. Active military, veterans and Gold Star families receive free admission. Gates open at 7 a.m. with racing starting at 9:00 a.m. For event information visit: https://limerock.com/events/memorial-day-classic/