Sign Me Up!

Sign Me Up For:

Our Sponsors





Our Partners


Search CT Bites
2015 Gift Guide

CT Food Lover's Gift Guide: 16 creative and delicious local CT gifts.

Our Sponsors


We Wrote A Book!

Entries in Beer (194)


9 Events to Check Out for CT Beer Week

Connecticut Beer Week has officially begun, and CTBites is here to bring you a sampling of events and other news of note. This week is a celebration of both beers made in Connecticut, and the restaurants and bars who help our small state be such a big part of the national beer scene. 

The hashtag for searching on social media is #CTBeerWeek, and a further list of events can be found here. Many links to further events and information are included below, and please let us know in the comments if there's anything we may have missed. 

1. Kent Falls Debuts Shruggie - Kent Falls will drop its brand-newest IPA, Shruggie (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) this week, starting in Litchfield on Nov. 18. Kent Falls calls this part of their "bartender interaction series." I may have agreed to order one through interpretive dance. Their next event will be at J. Timothy's.

2. Get Beer'd - J. Tim's will host a Beer'd Brewing tap takeover Nov. 17, including Elihue, This Side Of Paradise, and Midnight Oil.

Click to read more ...


First Look: Rothbard Ale + Larder European Gastropub Opens in Westport 

Rothbard Ale + Larder European Gastropub quietly opened its doors last week in downtown Westport. The menu focuses on central European fare with dishes drawing inspiration from the cuisines of Alsace, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. The beer and wine list mirror this sentiment, and a beautiful interior renovation transports diners to a cozy chalet in the depths of the Bavarian Alps. Chef Adam Roytman's commitment to both the cuisine and "larder" concept are tangible in every detail of this new speakeasy-esque venture with longtime partner Joseph Farrell (Walrus + Carpenter).  From the crispy schnitzel and rich hearty bratwurst (house-made) to the authentic absinthe fountain and German beer steins, Rothbard Ale + Larder is the real deal. 

Click to read more ...


Friday Froth: Iceland And Sweetwater Come To Connecticut

Reykjavik and Atlanta usually don't have anything in common besides yours truly, but we've all come full circle this week. The daisy chain works like this: I love Iceland, and have done some work for the country here in the U.S. which allowed me to to visit the land of fire and ice, eat hákarl, and learn the correct pronunciation of Eyjafjallajökull. I also have a degree in history from the University of Georgia, where I became acquainted with Sweetwater Brewing Company. Just recently, Two Roads and Evil Twin conspired to produce Geyser Gose, using Icelandic ingredients, and Sweetwater made their Connecticut debut. Hell yes.

Click to read more ...


Friday Froth: I Give You IPA...Firefly Hollow, Victory & Beer'd Brewing Co.

We're going to ignore the seasonal background noise this week, and focus on the always topical subject of IPAs. Two of the beers we taste in today's Froth are Connecticut originals, and I'm also taking the opportunity to introduce the newborn Vital IPA from Victory Brewing. A single can of this last made its way into my sinister grasp a few days before its official introduction to the world, and your first look is below the jump.

First, though, I have to geek out about some Firefly Hollow trivia...

Firefly is located in Bristol, and run by partners Rich Loomis, Bill Collins, and brewmaster Dana Bourque. Two out of three at UConn grads, and I've mentioned their beers here before. A while back I had the opportunity to try another one of their beers, Lil Troll session IPA. As the name suggests, this one is just under 5% abv, and pours golden with a big head. The hop aroma is earthy, and maybe even a bit sour on the nose.

Click to read more ...


Friday Froth: Take Your Own Advice (Southern Tier, Two Roads & Victory Breweries)

Ernest Hemingway told us to always do sober what we said we'd do drunk. "That will teach you to keep your mouth shut," was his lesson. I don't get space here on Fridays for keeping my metaphorical mouth shut, and a few weeks ago I could be found pleading with you to hold off on All Pumpkin Errthang, and take the limited time we have at summer's end to enjoy the brief grunion-run of harvest ales. 

The same day Froth published, I went out, slapped my modest gains on a counter, and walked out, brown bottles with orange labels in my hands. I've found some good ones for you, so here's a sampler.  

Southern Tier Harvest special ale is an Extra Special Bitter, and pours with a golden ruby color. Decent head foams up at first and settles into thickish ring. The first whiff is bready malt, bouncing with hops. Rich and bitter, but mellow, Harvest is a hedge fund divorcee on xanax. It is also terrifically easy to drink, which means the robust 6.7%ABV tends to sneak up on you. The world is not exactly full of beers which aren't heavy, or beset with fruits or lactose, and still manage to feel like a treat, but Harvest is the exact recipe. It is decadent despite a deceptively simple formula, and a prototypical autumn beer.

Click to read more ...


Friday Froth: Love The Harvest

Screw pumpkin beer and the sell sheet it rode in on. Screw it in September, and double-dog screw it in August, when I first start seeing it in stores. The fact I wasn't arrested for petty vandalism last month is a minor miracle. If you complain about summer being over to soon while ordering a late fall seasonal I hope you step in something wet while wearing socks. Such are the depths of my disdain. 

I say all this, even though I don't dislike pumpkin beers as such, because the end of summer and early fall are excellent times for beer. Hops and grain are both being harvested this time of year, and I encourage you to take full advantage of the brilliant little season between light, summer beers, and the heavy, spiced beers of winter, because that middleground is fertile, delicious,and short-lived. Let's do this.

Click to read more ...


Friday Froth: 3 Beers for Day, Dusk and Dark

The summer wind-down is on us, but I am holding onto the season like a starfish attacking a clam. The days are starting their slow slide, and I've been thinking about light changing over to dark, so that will be our theme this week - day to dusk to demonic.


Southern Tier Tangier is your high-noon-in-summer brew. It's a session IPA - light in alcohol and color - but heavily dosed with Azacca hops and tangerine peels to arrive with swirling flavor. Tangier pours a cloudy amber with a thick head. The flowery Azaccas pair excellently with the citrus in the creation of a very, very nice drink that is more IPA-ish, than straight up IPA. Sometimes a beer can get in its own way, and the heavier malting of other citri-fied IPAs like grapefruit Sculpin can sometimes lend them a bit of drag in some situations, but Tangier's weight and execution make it outstanding for hot, humid days.

Click to read more ...


SE Uncorked Opens in New Canaan: Snacks & Taps + A Great Vibe

Chef Nick Martschenko’s (South End) newest venture, SE Uncorked, is already creating an incredible buzz throughout New Canaan for its great food and great vibe. Inspired by the speakeasies of the Prohibition era and taverns in the UK and Australia, Chef Nick told CTbites that his vision is for “guests to be comfortable and relaxed in a heavily beverage, comfortable environment with foods designed for a pub versus restaurant theme.” 

Located at 15 Elm Street, both the exterior and interior have been completely redesigned. The brick-faced exterior features a drop-down wood shelf, windows at eye-level  and a wood carved sign announcing “Uncorked” with the familiar South End circle-logo with the additional prelude... “Snacks & Taps.”

Click to read more ...


Friday Froth: Negative And Positive

I like beers from Otter Creek and Jack's Abby, but their collaboration beer, Joint Custody, is a can full of nope. Thankfully it's also exceedingly rare, so chances are you'll be spared from drinking one. I don't usually talk about bad beer experiences in this column - and feel free to skip down to the two contrasting examples I give below - but this one's been nagging at me.  

The collective German heritage of the OC and JA brewmasters inspired them to seek out two newborn German hop strains, Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria, in the creation of what they call a Nouveau Pilsner. Joint Custody pours cloudy gold, and has a slightly odd lemony scent - both fine - and then you take a drink and taste fresh Band-Aid. There is the unmistakable pils malt underneath, but what in the hell with this plasticky flavor? In beer-nerd terms, we sometimes call this ortho-chlorophenolic, because it's a medicinal smell/flavor which usually comes from residual sanitizers, or using chlorinated water to make the beer. I don't think that's what happened here, we're dealing with seriously talented brewers, so the only remaining explanation is they've done this on purpose.

Click to read more ...


Rothbard Ale + Larder, European Beer Bar, To Open In Westport (By Walrus + Carpenter Team)

Walrus + Carpenter owners, Adam Roytman and Joseph Farrell, are teaming up again with a new restaurant concept in downtown Westport. This new venture, housed in the cozy subterranean dining space that was once Tierrra, will maintain the casual neighborhood vibe diners have grown accustomed to at Walrus, but this duo will leave the BBQ in Black Rock and head to Europe for a completely different approach to comfort food. Westport has its first European Beer Bar (right by Old Town Hall). 

Rothbard Ale + Larder will open this fall with a menu focused on Central European fare. Rothbard will draw inspiration from the cuisines of Alsace, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, with a little Northern Italy thrown in for good measure. A preview of the menu in progress reveals specialties including Spatzle, Mussels, Rabbit Goulash, Steak Frites (Fleisher’s), housemade Jagershnitzel and Raclette, (a Swiss cheese, melted table side and draped over potatoes, bacon and onions). Hearty fare will be complimented by more delicate salads and fish entrees. “There will be something for everyone” says Roytman. Farrell and Roytman are particularly enthusiastic about the “For The Table,” section of the menu where diners can order entrees for 4, in the communal spirit of a true beer hall. 

Click to read more ...