One hundred twenty four. That's how many breweries posted events for the first American Craft Beer Week in 2006. Since then, the number of microbreweries, brewpubs and beers bars has quintupled, and they all bring out their best and brightest for this one week celebration of fermented grain. Last year there were 1,269 individual events reported to the Brewer's Association. with who knows how many slipping under the radar. So, the question rises: where will you be during American Craft Beer Week?
We've compiled a quick primer with a rundown of events for each day of ACBW 2014 to give you all an outline of what Ninkasi has let slip between her delicate fingers and onto your town. There are more events in the Constitution State this week than we can print, but we've tried to find something for everyone in several different counties, and feel free to comment if you know of anything we may have missed. Allons-y!
Some of the most familiar locations to Fairfield and New Haven County residents for craft beer will be The Ginger Man and Cask Republic restaurant/pubs, and each of their four locations will have its own unique events for every day of the week.
The Ginger Man Greenwich will host a beer dinner featuring Goose Island Brewery on Wednesday, May 14, and follow that up the next day with new releases from Two Roads as part of the Pour Tour:
The Cask Republic in Stamford will go all Biggie v. Tupac to open up the week with a battle between east coast and west coast IPAs on Monday, followed by Connecticut tap and cask takeover night on Wednesday and vintage and barrel aged beers Thursday and Friday:
Elsewhere in Stamford, Coalhouse Pizza will not only sell entire pitchers of any Connecticut-brewed beer for just 12 freakin' dollars (which is less than just two of most of these beers cost per pint), but will also be making all their pizza dough with Two Roads Road 2 Ruin double IPA all week long.
Coalhouse will start the week slow and low with a night of session beers (none above 5%ABV) on Monday, which will be followed by New England Brewing flight night, plus Coalhouse Beer Academy on Tuesday, as Ben Neidhart from B.United exlpores the world of sour beers starting at 6:30, four different Bright Ales being poured by the crew from Stamford's own Half Full Brewery on Wednesday... it just goes on from there. Check it out:
The Ginger Man in South Norwalk is leading of ACBW with a multi-course beer pairing dinner with Stone Brewing on Monday, May 12, a food and beer tasting night hosted by Chef Mike Bogacz that Friday, with a rare beer release from New England Brewing Co. happening in between on Thursday:
Southport Brewing Company (SBC) and Willimantic Brewing have worked together on a collaboration beer for ACBW to be called White Willi, which will be offered at SBC locations around Connecticut.
Two Roads Brewing will play host to Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing on May 15 for their Meet The Brewers event. He's made the trip all the way from Denmark, so maybe a trip to Stratford isn't as far as it seems.
The Dew Drop Inn in Derby has joined with Make A Wish and the Hard Rock Hotel for a charity event on May 13 wherein a $50 tickets gets its holder a couple free beers, drink specials, free wings and a chance to win a three day, four night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with all proceeds going to the fight against cancer.
[Steph: Dew Drop Inn poster here]
The Cask Republic in New Haven starts their CT beer celebration early on Monday, shifts things westward to Colorado with specials from Oskar Blues on Tuesday, and features a special collaboration beer night on Friday the 16th:
You can also be reasonably certain of finding American Craft Beer Week specials at Craft 260 in Fairfield, J. Tomothy's in Plainville,Walrus+Carpenter in Bridgeport, and Prime 16 in Orange and New Haven.
So get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids this week, because next week will be absolutely awash in ridiculously good beer.