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Entries in Beer (149)


Friday Froth: Madness In Every Direction

I enjoy large scale beer events, music festivals, and Halloween for most of the same reasons. They include many of my favorite things in the same place, and all offer an equal possibility of seeing a bear in a hockey sweater dancing with Deadpool. A certain degree of madness (encouraged, tolerated or otherwise) is the ichor which circulates and gives these events life. Sound becomes emotion, quirks become costumes - the variegated states of being human, all our inner worlds, come crashing together and go supernova. Yes, I like that. So I tend to seek out the far out

Danes seem to have a bit of a knack for madness, whether in front of the camera like Mads Mikkelen, behind it like Lars von Trier, or creating the liquor of its inspiration, like Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin. The brand staggers its production around the world, even brewing some of its beers in Connecticut, but it all comes back to Jeppe, the Danish Willy Wonka: creations like Femme Fatale, an IPA brewed with Yuzu fruit and enough brettanomyces yeast to make the hop aroma fight it out with the smell of wet horse.

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OEC Brewing & B. United August Beer Events

This just in from OEC Brewing & B. United International. Two outstanding beer events are going down in August. You'll want to put these in your calendar. For more inforamtion on these unique breweries, check out James Gribbon's recent article here.

"The Empire On Which The Sun Never Sets..." Tuesday 08/05/2014 from 5-8 p.m. & enjoy some new and classic ales and cider from the UK. More info here. 

Guest Ales/Cider:
Wild Beer Company - Evolover IPA
Thornbridge - Raven Black IPA
Sandford Orchards - Ashton Bitter & Dabinett
Harviestoun - Ola Dubh 21 year
Harviestoun - Zymatore Bitter & Twisted 

We also have two (2) very special prefilled growlers available for take home purchase, limited one (1) each per customer:

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Friday Froth: This Is The Point, or Connecticut Beer From Overshores & Thimble Island

The statement's very intonation was a dare.  

"There is no difference at all, I'm telling you." 

A quick glance past my right shoulder revealed two men who stared at each other with furrowed brows, half grinning. I began to turn back, but was arrested by a series of clunking sounds as two shot glasses and two bottles of beer fell onto the bar like hailstones. The bartender was smiling: finally, some action.

I was at a Plan B with the guys from Branford, Connecticut's Thimble Island Brewing, and it seems the challenge was met. 

Just in case you're wondering, a lot of thirsty people walk into places like Plan B, look at over a dozen beers on tap, peruse a list showing tens of bottles of foreign and domestic craft brews, and then order a Coors Light. This was how it started, and why a giggling someone was now secretively pouring small servings of Budweiser and PBR into tiny, bucket shaped glasses. Five of us took the Pepsi challenge, and (I'll protect the innocent here) only three of us got the gold star. 

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Ginger Man Sono Hosts Home Brew Competition

Ginger Man hosts a Home Brew Competition! Entry is free all you need to do is call 203-354-0163 to sign up - all skill levels welcomed. The first pint of beer for the brewers is on the house.

Entry Rules: Brew up two large format bottles or three 12oz bottles required for drop-off.

Date of Event/Party/Final Judging:  August 5th from 5pm-8pm

Brew Drop Off Deadline: Saturday, Aug 2nd

For more information visit the Ginger Man web site.  

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Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun now offers a three-course pre-fixe menu for $38 from Sunday-Thursday.  You can also add sommelier wine pairings for $18. 

New Canaan Taste Tours begin Tuesday July 15th with three of Elm Street’s favorite restaurants; elm, Picador, and Chef Luis before finishing the evening at South End. These special will continue for four weeks offering special menus each Tuesday and Wednesday with either a 6:30 or 7:30 start time. 

Dinosaur BBQ continues its Wednesday night “Rock n Roasts,” a party on the Dino Patio featuring a whole, smoked hog with a sound track of live rock'n'roll.  This week, enjoy music by Jeff Tuohy.

NEW Lunch menus every week @ Match: Every two weeks Matt changes the menu into either one of his favorite restaurants or destinations to eat lunch.  From Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield to his old high school job and hang out Tacos or what to an ode to the classic roadside clam/lobster shack. Next week...ASIAN!  Every Wed, Thurs & Friday from 11:30 to 2ish @ Match.

Also on Tuesday the 15th, Barcelona Greenwich invites you to a night of “Summer Sangria, Cocktails & Light Bites.” 

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Friday Froth: New Beers From Jack's Abbey And OEC Brewing

Few sensations enliven the mind like eye-catching novelty. Our minds have evolved such a predilection to find the next new thing, it's a compulsion. This is why slot machines are addictive even though they're so repetitive: there's something new every time. The new glass house is made of screens. Status, tweet, pin... tap, tap, tap.

It's easy to read about how this river of information which flows to us has made Americans indistinguishable from the couches which we permanently inhabit, but I think this is losing sight of the fact that rivers are also a means of transport. Ideas are hardly stationary. This week, let's take a look at a few novelties which have arrived on the Connecticut beer scene, and see if we can get some wheels turning. 

Jack's Abbey launched just three years ago up in Massachusetts and has seemingly been winning awards ever since. The company is run by Jack, Eric and Sam Hendler, scions of an ice manufacturing family, whose Hendler Farms supplies man of the ingredients found in their beers. The brand name comes from Jack (who earned a degree in brewing in '07) and his wife, Abbey - whose name worked out pretty well as a reference to monkish beer brewing traditions. I started off with their Mass Rising Imperial Pils

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Friday Froth: Sweet, Sour and Stout

You're hungry, but you sit there, getting hungrier, because you don't know what you want to eat. Spoiled for choice, you end up ravenous and choosing the closest, quickest option for an ultimately unsatisfying resolution. An Italian combo sub is good, but Thai would have been better. Barbeque usually hits the spot, but enchiladas suizas are what you were really craving. Sometimes having fewer options can lead to happier conclusions. This week I'm going to give you a few options in three categories, and hopefully it will make your decisions a little easier the next time you're faced with a giant wall of six packs, or a tap list with fifty options.

How about something fruitier to start? A drink almost like a punch, or a cocktail you'd get at a tiki bar? One answer to sate this need is Birrificio del Ducato Frambozschella. This is an Italian beer made with fresh raspberries and lactic acid, then aged in wooden barrels. It pours a deep, dark ruby red, and had almost no head at all as it was poured for me. You'll be able to smell the pH from four inches away and it's sour, but it never threatened to turn my face inside out.

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An Exclusive Look @ The New OEC Brewing in Oxford (Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores)

You read it here first back in April, and now CTbites is bringing you an absolutely exclusive first look at OEC Brewing, days before the grand opening party this Saturday. The party, by the way, is open to everyone, and will take place at 7 Fox Hollow Rd., Oxford, CT, from noon to 5p.m. We have the tap and bottle list for the event below. 

As a reminder, OEC stands for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores, a bit of muddled Latin roughly translating to the "Order of Eccentric Boilers," and is the work of Ben Neidhart and Jie Yu. Ben designed the name, logo, and all associated labels and artwork as a bit of a spoof on medieval guilds and secret societies, and framed examples of this art can be found decorating the walls of OEC's combined brewery and tasting room.   

The Grounds

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Port Chester Hall & Beer Garden is Now Open!


This just in from the folks at PORT CHESTER HALL:

After undergoing a full renovation and transformation into the first ever food hall, beer pavilion and garden in one venue, Port Chester Railroad Station is proud to announce the opening of PORT CHESTER HALL & BEER GARDEN.

The Hall will be pouring 12 unique craft beer selections, created by Kelly Taylor, Director of Brewing for Port Chester Hall (in addition to Houston Hall and Flatiron Hall in Manhattan). These specialty beer styles include English, Belgian, German, and American, however all use mostly American ingredients. In addition to the proprietary beer selection, the Hall is serving imaginative cocktails by the in-house mixologist, as well as top shelf spirits and a variety of wines.

The station's historic architecture, originally designed in 1890, was preserved and retooled with vintage lighting, seating, and century-old murals.  The Pavilion combines the original railroad steel design with communal wood tables and a towering stone fireplace.  

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Friday Froth: Two Roads, Half Full, Stone Brewing, Vapeur Cochonne & More

Satan's favorite sin may be vanity, but I like to think I've earned a curt nod of his horned head with my recent achievements in the fields of gluttony and sloth. A detailed recap of my travels during American Craft Beer Week would run about 20,000 words, and even I don't think I'm that interesting, so I've put reviews of some of the sweet, sweet beer I lucked into below, interspersed with a few tidbits of news. The gems which did not make this week's column will be coming your way soon, though - I took a LOT of notes. 

Biggest news [by size]: Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, already the largest brewery in the state, has announced plans for an expansion which will more than double their output, from ~80,000 barrels per year to over 175,000 barrels, at an estimated cost of $2.4million. Two Roads has expanded its reach from Connecticut to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York, so demand has obviously increased, but only 25% of current capacity goes to brewing their own portfolio.

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