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Entries in Beer (134)


Friday Froth: Seasonal Spring Beer...A New Crop

Dark beers and dark nights are falling away. Fresh life is shouldering its way through the crusty ground, and new batches of lively, energetic spring seasonals are seeing the light of day for the first time in brewery tasting rooms across the country. Spring time is for beer lovers. 

The season lends itself to saisons, the ancient staple of farmers and field hands in need of relief during the planting and cultivation of new life. Stillwater Artisinal Ales is celebrating the arrival of fresh, new life with the release of its Debutante American Farmhouse Ale. This saison, brewed with a combination of spelt and rye, and accented with a blend of heather, honeysuckle, and hyssop, is actually a collaboration between Stillwater and Belgian beer specialists The Brewer's Art, of Baltimore. 

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Cask Republic Stamford Hosts "5C" Bluepoint Beer Dinner w/ 5 Chefs

The new Cask Republic in Stamford is hosting their first ever beer dinner on May 6th, and we hear it's going to be pretty epic. Cask has invited all 5 of their head chef's from Cask Republic and Ginger Man to lead the evening's culinary journey. Each will throw down a dish of their choice to be paired with a hand picked Cask Ale from Blue Point Brewery. Casks in contention will be selected at this weekend's Blue Point Brewery Cask Festival.

Welcome to the neighborhood Cask. We're glad you're here. Details are below:

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The 4B Festival Recap: Didn't Score Tix? Here's What Went Down in New Haven

The first ever 4b Festival had several teething problems, but attendees having fun didn't seem to be one. Well, let me back up a step...

The 4b Festival was a celebration of the bacon, BBQ, beer and bourbon available in Connecticut. Do you like these things? Yes? Then 4b was for you... and you, and you and you, and a lot of other people. Many Americans, let's say most of us, love these alliterative drinks and foodstuffs, and are all about an event which puts them in the same place at the same time. I personally had several B's for the first time at the festival, both food and drink, learned quite a bit, and met some great new people. I also left hungry, and not in a figurative sense.

The inaugural 4b Festival was held at the Old Trolley Barn, a warehouse just off the State Street exit on I-91 in New Haven. Most of the event's parking was several blocks off site (and an extra $5), but it was a sunny day and walking off a few calories before an event like this is for the best, anyway. I walked through the gates just before the fest's second session began at 5:30, and was met with a line of people which would have done the TSA proud. Like I said: people like bacon.  

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Little Pub New England Brewery Dinner 

Join us on April 1st @ Little Pub Ridgefield for a New England Brewing Company beer dinner hosted by New England Brewing Company’s partner/head brewer Matt Westfall. The evening will boast a five course beer pairing menu (view full menu below with pairings), a little education, and some general merry making. 

Matt Westfall will discuss the flavor profile, ingredients, and brewing process for each beer while also sharing stories about New England Brewing Company’s journey to becoming one of the region’s most respected and beloved craft brewers.

Our own beer expert, James Gribbon will be on hand to answer any questions about his Friday Froth column or beer in general.  

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Friday Froth: Take The Black

Springing forward is an effective way to A) add more light to the day, and B) feed the wailing vacuum where Morning People's souls would otherwise reside. Morning people are real-life Dementors who funnel away our sleep, and schedule 8a.m. meetings in their quest to rob us of the precious joy of living, but I say no. No cheap bagels can replace my repose, no tray of institutional eggs, and no bacon cooked under a clothes iron is worth my limited hours on this Earth. So I turn my back on the light, and embrace the dark. Tell 'em, Ray

As you have no doubt already read here on CTBites, The Ginger Man in South Norwalk revived their Great Wall of Stouts last week, allocating fifteen taps to the blackest of beers, and even going so far as to darken their trademark copper tap wall.  

Highlights of the event included a 2011 vintage of the impeccable Imperial Stout Trooper from New England Brewing, the deservedly popular Founder's Breakfast Stout (made with coffee, naturally), boozy, heavy offerings which drink like a meal,

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Friday Froth: The Good Earth

Someone - I don't recall who, and I'm forced to paraphrase here - once said the amazing thing about books is that a writer who may be hundreds of miles away or hundreds of years dead can speak directly from their mind into that of the reader. A recipes is the same, because what is a recipe but another cook speaking into your head and guiding your hands? A recipe is thus a combination of people and ingredients -  ideas of taste and texture made physical manifest. In this way a chef is the same as a brewer, and a dish is like a beer. 

Artisinal foods and beers are the result of obsessive dedication to recipes using prime ingredients to produce an idealized flavor. How much closer can you get to your ingredients than visting the actual dirt from which they spring? That's the idea behind Victory Brewing Company's Ranch series of double IPAs. 

The name comes from Victory working with family owned hop farms, which are sometimes called hop ranches, as if the hops detach themselves and wander the moonlit world when the humans aren't watching. Victory worked with growers from Roy Farms, Carpenter and Seagal Ranches, and and Perrault Farms, among others, to create this series. 

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The Ginger Man Hosts 2nd Annual Great Wall of Stouts

The Gingerman in South Norwalk is hosting their second annual Wall of Stouts running from March 10th - March 16th. They will be taking over 26 of their lines just like last year's event to pull some amazing beer from their private vintage collection.  Vintage bottles will also come out of the back room this year. If you're serious about your Stout, here's where you'll want to be. 

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Friday Froth: Steam Heat

The business of craft beer is expanding rapidly. Every Friday Froth column I've ever published on this site has been a celebration of that fact. I - and I'd guess you, if you're reading this - revel in the vast landscape of offerings which slake our thirst, delight our palette, and expand our notions of what beer can be. An article in the March issue of Forbes stated there are over 2,700 craft breweries in the U.S. right now, and the industry is currently worth roughly $100 billion per year. Unfortunately, that's money worth fighting for. 

Lawyers in the employ of San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing Company have taken legal action against Hartford craft beer touchstone City Steam Brewery over the use of the word "steam." As of this week, I am officially boycotting Anchor beers until they drop this petty lawsuit, and I encourage anyone who cares about the craft beer landscape of Connecticut to do the same. Here's why...

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Friday Froth: BigBrew NYC News and Alex Le Rouge

Every once in a while I like to spike the gruel of my disjointed ramblings in this column with some actual news, which is why I'm going to lead off by telling you all about a beer festival that is about to happen a short drive/train ride away pretty soon. The Big Brew NY Beer Festival will have its inaugural event on Saturday, February 8th, at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.The organizers expect 1,500 to 2,500 people, which is positively tiny by beer fest standards, so there should be plenty of access to over 300 beers. General admission tickets are $50, designated drivers get in for $10 (in advance) and VIP tickets, which allow access to more beers, an extra hour of tasting time, and a buffet designed by Chef Anthony Goncalves of 42 The Restaurant, go for $80 in advance, or $90 at the door

All attendees will have the opportunity to discuss beer and food pairing with John Holl, author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook, and are invited to 42 The Restaurant for an after party and a 10% discount on their bill.

I discussed the impending launch of this year's batch of Igor's Dream Russian Imperial Stout in the last edition of Friday Froth,

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Friday Froth: CT Pour Tour At Two Roads, Plus Reviews And Assorted Nonsense

Mark Twain once said the best thing about writing was having written. I tend to enjoy drinking more than having drunken (which is to say, I like drankin'), but it's especially nice to have a built-in justification. Todd Ruggere has given all of us in the Constitution State just such an excuse with the CT Pour Tour, in which he will drink at least one beer this year in all 169 towns in Connecticut, and raise money at every stop for Yale Children's Hospital. Todd has published a list of when and where he'll be over the course of 2014, and I caught up with him at the CT Pour Tour launch party at Two Roads in Stratford this past Saturday. 

Todd spent 2013 completing his first pour tour, traveling through all 351 towns in his home state of Massachusetts.

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