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Entries in Beer (159)

Friday
Nov212014

Friday Froth: Beer Pairings For A Very Merry Thanksgiving

You can smash that wine bottle against a new ship's prow, because I'm drinking beer this Thanksgiving. I enjoy wine, but the waveform of my interest in it describes a gentle curve approaching zero on this particular day of the year. There's very little you can put on the table in late November that will get my personal circuits firing like a nice beer pairing.

This week's Froth will be a selection of suggested beers for both Thanksgiving hosts and guests, presented in the order you may like them to appear during our country's great feast. I enjoy typing that word. Say it with me: "FEAST!" I wish I had a relative with an eight foot tall fireplace suitable for roasting an entire ox. I hope at least one of you reading this is going to attempt a feat of inadvisable open flame cookery next week. Bonus points if you have to bribe a child so they don't tell a spouse what you're doing. 

A quick note to begin: I wrote a Thanksgiving column back in 2011, and this new post is an update/overhaul.

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Friday
Nov072014

Friday Froth: Recap of Sourcopia w/ Chef Plum & Two Roads Brewing Co.

OK, ok: I know I've gone all 2Roads2Furious on you, but I did say these events arrive in pairs. Connecticut Beer Week ended as it began this October, with me sitting at a table and listening to brewmaster Phil Markowski explain his newest beers, this time beside Chef Plum, of Plum Luv Foods and The TasteThe event, Sourcopia, was the pre-release party for Two Roads' new collection of sour beers, a kriek, a gueuze, and the concoction 2R calls "Philsamic" against - it should be noted - the wishes of one Phil. He was pretty, pret-tay clear on that last part. 

This was a beer dinner, but the portion sizes Chef Plum provided were more akin to a tasting menu. I appreciated this, since I've walked out of some previous pairing events in dire jeopardy of tipping over like a one legged T. Rex. I'm not sure if this was the plan all along, or it was a result of Chef Plum et al. having to work in an ad hoc kitchen on site.

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Wednesday
Nov052014

CT Beer Week Recap, Part 1: Two Roads Brewing & Cask Republic Talk Beer & Eat Good Food

Sometimes, when it comes to beer, I envy starfish. Nature can tear the humble sea star in half and it just returns with backup, like a teeny Lernaean Hydra. The creature that is "Connecticut Beer Week" underwent a similar duplication for 2014 - with one week in May and another in October - and, after trying to be everywhere at once, I failed, regenerated, and present the first in this three part recap. 

Starfish likewise have the remarkable ability to turn inside out to eat. I like to think this would give them infinite eating capacity, which would be handy at your average multi-course beer pairing dinner. Fittingly, beer pairing events with Two Roads appear to be binate: the first of which was held at The Cask Republic in Stamford to kick off Connecticut Beer Week: The Revenge, this October.

The hosts for the night were Two Roads Brewmaster Phil Markowski, who was debuting his Unothrodox Russian Imperial Stout, and Executive Chef Carl Carrion, whom I've mentioned before

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Friday
Oct102014

Friday Froth: Holy Schnitzengiggles

"I wish it was winter so we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it!"

Beerfest is a movie by Broken Lizard (the Super Troopers guys), who take the "unlikely hero saves the rec center" trope and get it knee-walking drunk in front of horrified loved ones. I'm a big fan. 

The action centers on the proprietors of Schnitzengiggle Tavern, a family of German descendants on a quest to regain both a long lost lager recipe, and America's beer drinking honor. The movie is extravagantly crass, usually leaves me sore both from laughing and a hangover, and MAY have been the inspiration for New England Brewing Company's Schnitzengiggles Festbier. Allegedly.

Schnitzengiggles pours a distinctly brassy color, with a respectably sticky head. There are more hops to the nose than most märzens, and just a light whiff of malt. It is a beautifully smooth, slightly dry lager, and it has a very nice marbling of grainy richness. The hop character comes through in terms of a fruity flavor, rather than the more staid, traditional bitterness, and I'd say that's to be expected from the brewery that brought us Gandhi-Bot and Coriolis. I could and would drink this by the stein, liter, or glass boot.  

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Friday
Sep192014

Two Roads Brewing Hosts First Connecticut Brewers Festival October 6th

As a prelude to CT Beer Week (October 13-20), over 20 breweries from around the state will be converging a week early on Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford for the first ever Connecticut Brewers Festival on Monday, October 6th from 6-9 p.m. Over 20 breweries will be in attendance with only 250 tickets available for festival-goers.

Tickets are $25, which gets patrons a pint glass commemorating the event as well as unlimited three ounce pours of some of their favorite CT beers. The event is 21+. All proceeds to this event benefit the Connecticut Brewers Guild. 

Food Trucks include: LobstercraftLocal Meatball and Bounty Burger.

Connecticut, like most places around the country, is seeing a boom in craft beer. In 2011, there were only a handful of breweries and today, over 25 breweries are operating within the Nutmeg State with more and more opening every month. 

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Friday
Sep192014

Friday Froth: Oktoberfest Was Born In March 

I'm forever tempted to geek out in FrothHop varieties from New Zealand, Gemini astronauts on labels, fat tankers, coolships - I'm curious about everything, and I'll drink most of it once. Today I'll attempt to make a few points, mention beer early, then get out. Here we go: 

Oktoberfest is not a style of beer. In fact, it has more to do with a horse race than anything we drink. 

Most beer drinkers have heard the basic origin story: On October 12, 1810, crown prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen and everyone in Munich was invited to party on the fields in front of the city gates, which have been known as Theresienwiese, or "Theresa's meadow" ever since. Everyone had a great time, and you know damn well there was some beer involved, but the highlight of the party for everyone but the non-royals (probably) were the horse races which closed the jubilation. It was the desire to have the horse races again the next year which lead to Oktoberfest becoming an annual tradition.

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Thursday
Sep182014

New Canaan Nature Center Hosts Harvest Festival w/ Beer, Music & More 

On October 4th New Canaan Nature Center will be hosting their third annual Harvest Festival from 7-10pm.  This event is a fundraiser for the Nature Center, and is also the party everyone loves to attend but doesn’t want to host anymore.  Boots, jeans, and a jacket in the meadow with beer, a bit of wine, music, and food for one ticket price.  A local band called the Jazzholes will be performing, and Half Full Brewery and Two Roads Brewery, will be coming to serve party go-ers. 

There will be a wide variety of beer and wine to choose from and some great eats.  Last year, vendors pouring beer and wine included Half Full, Two Roads, Estrella, GW Beer, Berkshire, DogFish Head, Widmer, Murphy’s and Charter Oak along with 3 liquor stores pouring a selection of wines and a few signature cocktails. This year they will also have a selection of gluten free labels.

For more information about the location/time/etc.: http://www.newcanaannature.org/programs/adult/index.php

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Saturday
Sep132014

Two Roads Brewing Company's "OK2BERFEST" September 27 & 28th!

It may be known as Oktoberfest but the real fun begins later this September. Stratford, CT's Two Roads Brewing Company will be celebrating their 2nd annual "Ok2berfest" on the grounds of their 100+ year old brewery and it promises to be two days of beer, food, music and… more beer!

Building on the success of last year's event, this year's Ok2berfest will be a must-attend festival for beer lovers. And speaking of beer, Two Roads has brewed up two different Oktoberfest style beers just for the occasion dubbed "Ein" and "Zwei," that honor the Bavarian Oktoberfest tradition that originated in 1810.

And since nothing goes better with flavorful craft beers than good food, great local eats will be served by some of the area's top food trucks. If you've ever been to Two Roads, you'll be familiar with some of the amazing culinary creations area chefs have been serving up in these fun gastro-mobiles!

Tickets are on sale through Two Roads website: www.tworoadsbrewing.com where you will also find more information about the day including band schedule, the food truck line up and other pertinent information. 

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Wednesday
Sep102014

The Harbor Brew Fest is Back @ Harbor Yard w/ A Bounty of Beer & Food Trucks

This in from the folks @ The Harbor Brew Fest...

On a perfect fall day, there is no better place to sip a frosty than at The Harbor Brew Fest. The festival will feature international, domestic and local beers, CT’s most popular food trucks and talented bands. Harbor Brew Fest is taking place on September 20, 2014 at the Bluefish Stadium at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, CT.

The Harbor Brew Fest will tap off with a Brewers Special from 12pm – 1pm. General Admission will begin at 1pm and we will pour until 5pm. In addition to adding more Brewers (100!) and 13 food trucks (view full list below) for our 2014 brew fest we will have our CT Craft beer tent, which will feature all of the best CT Craft Beers. Ticket sales will be limited and will sell out before the day of the event. A percentage of proceeds will benefit Harbor Light Foundation. Ticket info here.

 

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Friday
Sep052014

Friday Froth: Here's Where To Get A Good Beer in CT

"Man, that sounds good. Where can I get some?" I hear this, in some variation, frequently. The answers vary: if you want OEC beer, you have to go to the brewery in Oxford on a Saturday; if you want Avery Maharaja, you have to go to 2008, before some dastardly deal blocked its distribution in the state.This week we're going to step away from specific beer reviews and focus instead on restaurants and bars where you (yes, you, specifically) can find good craft beers - bottles, cans and draft.

So that's the bait, and here's the hook: I'm inviting all of you to contribute to the list.
 I can't know everywhere a firkin is being tapped, and I'm especially light on taprooms outside of Fairfield County, so let's make the comments section a living document, a resource for craft beer exploration. The list below will encompass places where I've actually bent an elbow, not just places I heard of, so fill in any omissions I've made in the comments. 

We're going to start by working our way northeast from:

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