is a good place, and right in downtown. Not quite in Hartford, but for grains and some good info and conversation you can check out Zok's
in Willimantic, it's about 1/2 hour from hartford, I was at The Connecticut Real Ale Fest this weekend and the guy's from Zok's were there with one of their brews and it was delicious, it was a Flemish Red with sour cherries. They called it RodenZok. If you make it to Willimantic go to the Willimantic Brewing Co.
they have great beer and food and it's in an historic post office with some beautiful architecture. There's also a John Harvard's
in Manchester, maybe 10 minutes from hartford but their beer isn't very good anymore. Iwas there a couple months ago, got the oatmeal stout, it tasted like brown water...