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Entries in Beer (207)

Friday
Jun172016

Friday Froth: A Trip To Barcade New Haven, Video Games + Beer

Maybe it's just the freshness of a mind before it reaches pickled adulthood, but childhood memories seem more permanent. I can't remember breakfast on most days, but I recall hopping on bikes with a few friends, ditching our mother-mandated helmets, and riding down to Vic's Variety on Paradise Green in Stratford to buy Crybabies and play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a stand up, four player arcade game. 

Nintendo and Sega Genesis had killed video game arcades as dead as iTunes killed record stores until four guys in Williamsburg thought "What if we bring them back, but with beer?" That was 2004, and in the ensuing years the Barcade franchise has spread around New York, to New Jersey, Philly, and now, New Haven. It was once again time to get my Hadouken! on.

Travel time driving to Barcade is variable, in my case 3 hours in traffic. But by the time I arrived I was seriously ready to blow something up. Centipede, Galaga, Punch Out, four player X-Men and Ninja Turtles, Ms. Pac Man... take your pick, they're all still 25-cents to play. 

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Friday
Jun032016

Kent Falls Brewing Begins Bottle Sales At The Farm: A First Look

If, in an alternate world, you'd bought stock in Kent Falls Brewing Co. the first time you read about the small, Connecticut based brewer here on CTBites, you'd be rich by now. The brewery isn't actually public in the financial sense, but it will welcome the public to its farm in Kent, Conn. for the first time on June 11. Kent Falls beer has previously only been available on tap, in bottles at a few shops, and at single farmer's market. All that changes this summer, and anyone up for a drive to the NW corner will be able to buy it bottled at the source, Saturdays from 11a.m.-5p.m., with a focus on special releases like brewery-only IPAs and barrel aged beers. A special bottle release is planned for the grand opening on the 11th.

Kent Falls has seen its popularity skyrocket lately and, as I've said several times before, the beer justifies the acclaim. The announcement of their new retail sales plan ended up being just the push I needed to finally visit their brewery and the working farm in which it's seated. Here is your first look.

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Friday
May132016

Friday Froth: Big Fuzzy Double And The Harpooned Whale, New England Brewing

Feel free to argue with me in the comments, but New England Brewing Company is currently the biggest whale in Connecticut. Unlike the white whale which drove Ahab mad and dragged him to his doom, no number of obsessive trackers will soon be bringing it down. NEBCO finished doubling the capacity of its brewery over the winter and in short order released a huge batch of its more sought after beers to multiple bars just in time to coincide with St. Patrick's day. 

My base of operations that night was Walrus+Carpenter in Black Rock because they were having a Van Morrison tribute band, and the list of things I will fight you over is not long, but it includes "Astral Weeks." I was several Supernauts and a long awaited Gandhi-Bot deep when I sensed a disturbance in the force, as if thousands of apps had fired up at once, and looked up to watch a steady trickle of bros and bro-ettes flow in, order no drinks, and peruse not a single menu. They just waited. These, then, were the Untappd zombies. Cannibalistic brain-eating being so 20th century, the horde was utterly uninterested in music, roast pig, fried chicken, or a tap list filled with excellent beer - they wanted cheeeeeck-iiiiinnnnsss. It was five minutes before the hour, and the tap was about to open on Fuzzy Baby Ducks. Thumbs hovered - twitching, aching - over phones.

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Friday
May062016

Friday Froth: Two Roads Nor'yeaster Preview + "Junk Food" Pairing via Marcia Selden Catering

Flowers are popping up everywhere this spring, even in our beer. TomorrowMay 7th, will see a special bottle release at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, featuring their newest creation, Roads Garden. The spring  Nor'yeaster event will also include limited supplies of Framboise Noir, a black raspberry lambic, and Road 2 Rouen, the brewery's "wild, Franco-Belgian IPA," based on Road 2 Ruin DIPA.

A sold-out, ticketed preview event was held this past Monday, when the brewery's tasting room is regularly closed, and CTBites was able to taste several of Two Roads' smaller production run beers, paired with "re-imagined junk food," via event partner Marcia Selden catering. 

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Friday
Apr152016

Friday Froth: A First Look At The Hops Company in Derby

I was running late early on a Sunday afternoon when the obligatory traffic jam on I-95 caught me like doomed comet streaking toward the Sun and sudden annihilation. It took the sight of a wrecked Ferrari to remind me I'd forgotten my car. I was driving, yes, but the car I'd forgotten - like the aforementioned comet - was set in motion by gravity, not gasoline. Jack's Abby was hosting a pine car derby at The Hops Company in (quelle apropos), Derby, and I'd planned on making the campaign of my old car from Cub Scouts the B-story to this column. The lapse in memory had left me momentarily enraged until I remembered I'd just seen someone's red F430 Spider completely taco'd by the rear bumper of an 18-wheeler. Score one for perspective. 

The Hops Company is the work of Umberto Morale, who spent his early life in his native Rome before coming to the U.S. and bouncing between the restaurant scene, college, and Wall Street. He had the vision of an inclusive, German style beer hall in his head, and looked at properties all over the state before seeing the location in Derby and signing immediately.

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Thursday
Apr072016

Little Pub Opening in Fairfield on Black Rock Turnpike @ Dolan's Corner

If the "EXPECT BIG THINGS" train station platform signs or the Little Pub "adopt a highway" sign by exit 23 weren't enough of a hint, Owner, Doug Grabe, is happy to confirm that Little Pub is in fact coming to Fairfield's Dolan's Corner this summer.

Located at the intersection of Stillson Avenue and Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield, "Dolan's Corner" was the original hub of Black Rock Turnpike's thriving business district and home to various incarnations of the Angus restaurant for almost 70 years. Grabe told CTbites,

"It's a cute and cozy building in a perfect neighborhood for Little Pub and we’re really looking forward to serving the community. And besides, how could an iconic Fairfield address known as "Dolan's Corner" not have a neighborhood pub?"

Little Pub Fairfield will share the traditional old world charm of our other little pubs with thick plaster walls, hand hewn beams, and antique iron light fixtures. "We have some really great stuff planned and of course, fun is mandatory," Says Grabe. 

Stay tuned for interior photos and opening news as the renovation gets underway. 

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Sunday
Mar272016

Rothbard Ale + Larder: Westport's European Gastropub

Rothbard Ale + Larder opened in Westport last November, the second restaurant by Chef Adam Roytman and his business partner, Joseph Farrell. The pair also own Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport. Roytman and Farrell’s original idea was to recreate a German beer hall, but as the concept of the restaurant progressed, the vision was slightly modified to design a restaurant that would offer comfort food based on the regional cuisines of central Europe including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Alsace, Switzerland, with an occasional side trip to Italy.

Access to Rothbard is a throwback to a 1920's speakeasy, with its unassuming side entrance leading to the lower level. Once inside, you are surrounded by a central European ambience, with its reclaimed wood and brick walls and cement and metal beams protruding from the ceiling. To the left of the entrance is a bar with several high-tables plus nine stools in front of antler-topped beer taps, plus a refrigerator that houses up to 45 traditional and unique European beers including Einbecker, Tripel Karmeliet, Del Ducato, Christian Drouin and Abbaye. Wine, aperitifs, an array of Schnapps and Absinthe are also available. With low-lighting illuminating the entire space, the atmosphere is very European gastro-pubbish.

 

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Sunday
Mar062016

Barrel House in Stamford: Pizza, Beer and Burgers 

What is the result of combining an incredible selection of local beers, a wide choice of meats and vegetables to join delicious Mozzarella and red sauce atop a great pizza crust, with an atmosphere that is simultaneously relaxed and exciting? Barrel House in Stamford.

Barrel House opened last December in the space that formerly housed Market and Patrizia's restaurants with a focus on pizza, burgers and and a vast array of local small brewed beers. The second restaurant by the owners of Cotto Wine Bar down the street, Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi, designed a very different atmosphere and menu. Silvy told CTbites, “We wanted people to come to Barrel House and enjoy pizza and burgers with friends.” From the moment you walk through the door, you know this will be a lively and fun-filled experience.

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Wednesday
Mar022016

Recap: Kent Falls Brewing Visits Little Pub in Ridgefield

This March only marks a year since Kent Falls Brewing Company released their first beer, and somehow it doesn't feel too early to call them "renowned." The Litchfield County operation has already become one of Connecticut's most productive, releasing 37 different beers and variants in their first ten months. That level of output is preposterous, and all the more remarkable not just due to the high volume of recipes, but for their excellence. Small wonder then, that Little Pub in Ridgefield chose to host the Kent Falls crew for a rare beer pairing dinner event early this February.  

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Friday
Jan082016

Friday Froth: The Tale Of The Commodore from Ballast Point

Hello! Welcome back to Friday Froth, 2016 edition: the semi-weekly beer column eagerly awaited by literally tens of people. This week, as in most weeks, I will start off with discussion on a topic which has nothing at all to do with beer. Continue reading at your own peril. 

I have a friend who moved to Germany because of a girl. I think we can all agree emigrating from the country of your birth to one across a large ocean whose language you don't speak while relying on an intimate interpersonal relationship for success and happiness with no fall-back plan usually works out perfectly, and I'm sure you'll all be relieved to learn that has been precisely the case with him. If anything, he has more hair on his head than when he left - a fact about which we can all be magnanimous, and definitely not introduce small amounts of arsenic into the care packages of American peanut butter and bourbon whiskey we send him, because we are not envious monsters. 

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