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Entries in Beer (172)

Friday
Apr172015

Friday Froth: Brewers' Collaboration Beers

Life is better when you're among friends, and people have been gathering together over a beer or a beer-like substance for thousands of years now. Everywhere there are humans, we gather in the sun, the shade of palm fronds, or under a warm tavern roof to enjoy a few drinks and catch up on what's new. We host bottle shares and beer festivals and, increasingly, brewers have been working together across brands to combine their experience, just to see what happens. 

This week, Friday Froth is going to drink a few of the beers resulting from these evanescent partnerships between breweries. The beers themselves are friendship in a glass.

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Tuesday
Apr072015

Celebrate National Beer Day w/ Three Floyds Zombie Dust...If You Can Find It

Apparently today is National Beer Day, so here are my notes from the first time I had Three Floyds Zombie Dust

*Yep - not a Friday at all, but Tuesdays could stand a bit of Fridayness, anyway.

I have a friend out in Indiana who floated the idea of doing a beer trade; he'd send me some of his state's beer, and I'd send him a few selections from Connecticut. I sent him Sea Hag from New England Brewing and Two Roads Lil Heaven, and made one request of him: "Whatever you send, please send me some Zombie Dust, too." He did not disappoint. What follows is the result, word for word:  

Grapefruit hop notes hit from two feet away as soon as it's poured. Barely cloudy amber, head forms and resolves into a thin ring. Big, juicy hops on nose, very fruity. It's hoppy on the tongue like a jungle is green - everywhere and all at once. Far cry from the punch of west coast IPAs. This is a smooth and flavorful pale ale. I want to turn back time and drink it again.

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Friday
Apr032015

Friday Froth: What's In A Name?

The waiter gave me a look that said "Dude - work with me here," because I was mumbling. It started like this: 

Him: "What'll you have?" A perfectly reasonable question, and not an unexpected one, given that I'd just sat down. So I replied:

"Nmm nmm."

"What?"

"Nmm nmm... ee."

And that's when I got the look. So I said it louder, biting off each word:

"Nummy Nummy, please." 

Dammit. 

Look, I get it - it's fun to name your beer something ridiculous like "Buttface" or "Even More Jesus," but please, I humbly beseech you, the brewers of the world: please don't make it something I'm embarrassed to order in public. That said...

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Friday
Mar272015

Friday Froth: A Look At Beer'd Brewing

I like to let my face grow its own sweater for the colder months. Having a glossy layer of man-fur dulls the teeth of the winter wind, people seem to like my more avuncular look, and growing a beard takes slightly less work than shaving every day, so technically I'm conserving the planet's resources. You're welcome

I've noticed the delicate liquid measurements, tweezing of botanicals, and arguing over the perfect shape for a single unit of ice has lead many adherents of cocktail culture to treat their faces like overly manicured topiary. There will always be respect and, above that, love in my heart for those who create finely constructed, strong and delicious cocktails, but an enthusiastic ransacking of my home will never turn up a single tin of mustache wax. 

When I met Aaren Simoncini of Beer'd Brewing in Stonington, he was wearing a shirt that said "beer is art"and his beard didn't look like an aluminum foil swan full of lo mein. We nodded at each other and I approached.  

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Friday
Mar062015

Recap: First Ever CT Beer Summit w/ Live Recording via "Welcome to CT" Podcast

What happens when you get the owners and brewers of five Connecticut breweries in the same room at the same time and ask them pointed questions? 

There's a scene in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou where Bill Murray, as Zissou, explains documentary filmmaking by saying "Nobody knows what's going to happen. And then we film it. That's the whole concept." I kept on thinking about that line as guests filed into a room at the Two Roads brewery in Stratford and watched Tony Pellino of OEC Brewing, Clement Pellani of Two Roads Brewery, Tyler Jones of Black Hog Brewing, Rich Visco of Shebeen Brewing and Conor Horrigan of Half Full Brewery take their seats in front of live mics. Whatever went down, it would all happen on the record

On the record, in this case, means the proceedings would be recorded live for Ken Tuccio's Welcome To Connecticut podcast. The weekly podcast highlights businesses and personalities making an impact here in the Constitution State, and has previously broadcast with guests like Jerry Springer, Aaron Sanchez, Oh, Cassius!, the Nutmeg Curling Club, Miss Connecticut, and Anthony Bourdain's Russian sidekick, Zamir Gotta, among many others. The audio of the beer summit will go live on Thursday, March 19 on WelcomeCT.com, but CTBites was right there to bring you a first look.

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Friday
Feb132015

Friday Froth: Notes From Big Brew NY Beer Festival

Session beers are popular now, but a single drinking session rarely includes 250 different beers. The Big Brew NY Beer Festival returned to White Plains on Feb. 7 with hundreds of kegged and bottled beers, plus a VIP area with almost 30 casks of special ales. It's tough to write with a beer in one hand and camera in the other, but I managed to record a few notes and observations from what has become a very good midsize beer festival.

First: it may look crowded in a few of these photos, but the crowd was never an issue. Beer fest attendees tend to be pretty easy going. Most seem happy just to be in a place where they can simply stick out their glass and have it filled, and it's exciting to try new brands and styles without running the risk of taking your first sip and realizing you're now stuck with a six pack of beer you wouldn't use to poison driveway weeds.

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Friday
Feb062015

Friday Froth: Tröegs, Jack's and Zoë

Tröegs Brewing Company made its Connecticut debut this week at The Cask Republic, The Ginger Man, Coalhouse Pizza, Craft 260, Max Burger and other locations around the state. Troeg's, from Pennsylvania, has a large portfolio of highly rated beers which are welcome additions to the universe of options currently available in the Constitution State. This week's installment of Froth starts with Troeg's Nugget Nectar, one of the darlings of the current American beer scene, and a limited release for the late winter.  

Nugget Nectar is a 7.5% imperial amber made with traditional European malts and fancy American hops. It pours the color of bourbon with an enticing meringue of head. There are very sweet, peachy hops to the nose, probably due to the Nugget and Simcoe varieties which make part of the hop bill, and a good balance of flavors to the first sip. The color is a faithful predictor of the maltiness in this one, but the fruity hop character is fully apparent early on. 

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Friday
Jan302015

Friday Froth: Snowed In With Barleywine

Deep snow requires strong booze. Our ancestors knew it, we know it, and every year around the winter solstice we can see a certain class of beer made specifically for snow days start to take up shelf space. Barleywine is beer better served at 55º than 35º, and best enjoyed when it's 25º outside. It's usually sold in large format bottles of the 22-26oz. variety, and will wrap you in an invisible sweater of at least 10% alcohol. Blizzards are a good thing when you're properly stocked. 

Barleywine has been deployed as a winter knock out drop by bored or insufficiently rowdy residents of the frostier climes for centuries. It is NyQuil by another name, and it is a blessed boon to those of us who seek to replace the lost hours of sunlight with - in order - hijinks and oblivion. 

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Wednesday
Jan212015

Wildly Different Beer Class: Wild Beer Co. & B. United @ Harry's in Fairfield

Harry's Wine & Spirits is teaming up with B. United & Wild Beer Co for a very unique beer class and tasting on Thursday, February 19th 7-9pm. The Wild Beer Co was set up in September 2012 by Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis to brew beers with a bit of a difference. Their goal is to focus on different ingredients, different yeasts and different barrel aging techniques. Which will be discussed throughout the tasting class. 

Their Evolver IPA that was featured in Draft Magazine as a one of the TOP 25 beers of2014.

Wild Beer Co's beer is not brewed to style but are inspired by ingredients, occasions or experiences.

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Friday
Jan162015

Friday Froth: Down With Anchor!

A California brewer reached across the country to attack Hartford's City Steam and, distressingly, they've won. At issue? Anchor thinks they own the word "steam." Regular Friday Froth readers may remember when I first mentioned the lawsuit brought by Anchor Brewing against City Steam Brewery Cafe almost a year ago. This week a judge ruled Anchor Brewing in San Francisco can force City Steam in Hartford to chance its name. The lawsuit was upsetting then, and it's dead-fish-on-a-hot-sidewalk repellant now. 

I'm urging every craft beer drinker in Connecticut to boycott Anchor beer. Just don't buy it. It's that easy. Our voices and and dollars will be noticed. Just this week, Lagunitas dropped a similarly frivolous lawsuit against Sierra Nevada due to overwhelming consumer derision. Let's tell Anchor we in Connecticut are not going to take it laying down. 

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