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.
Entries in Beer Dinner (28)
This week will be an all Connecticut-brewed, and intensely hopped version of Friday Froth. We start by wishing happy birthday to one of our state's early modern craft brewing pioneers, Olde Burnside Brewing Company, which turned 15 years old this month. Olde Burnside was initially highly visible due to selling their Ten Penny Scottish Ale in 64oz. growlers at retail in area liquor stores, which was 1) a great deal, 2) useful for refilling with anything you chose, and 3) garnered a $1.50 reimbursement when returned, if you weren't so inclined. This came in handy during the years when Connecticut had around five breweries, instead of our current 30ish, and growler filling stations were rare as sober nights at Owl Farm.
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.
One hundred twenty four. That's how many breweries posted events for the first American Craft Beer Week in 2006. Since then, the number of microbreweries, brewpubs and beers bars has quintupled, and they all bring out their best and brightest for this one week celebration of fermented grain. Last year there were 1,269 individual events reported to the Brewer's Association. with who knows how many slipping under the radar. So, the question rises: where will you be during American Craft Beer Week?
We've compiled a quick primer with a rundown of events for each day of ACBW 2014 to give you all an outline of what Ninkasi has let slip between her delicate fingers and onto your town. There are more events in the Constitution State this week than we can print, but we've tried to find something for everyone in several different counties, and feel free to comment if you know of anything we may have missed. Allons-y!
Like beer? Like food? No? What are you doing here? Get out. Go back to your breatharian compound. Right: now that they're gone, we can lead off with a bit of news involving both beer and food, as Stone Brewing Co. and The Ginger Man in South Norwalk have announced a beer pairing dinner on Monday, May 12.
The five course meal will be paired with five Stone beers, including a cask conditioned batch of their Go To IPA, Matt's Burning Rosids, Ruination, a 2012-vintage Old Guardian barleywine, and a cellared batch of 12.12.12 Vertical Epic, which I reviewed right here in January of 2013. The dinner will be $75/person, and includes tax and tip. For more info, click right here. On to the reviews...
The last time I slid down the fire pole onto my usual spot at the bar at Ginger Man, I noticed a new beer from Omnipollo on the menu. I quite enjoyed my last encounter with the Swedish brewery, despite waking up covered in reindeer bites and lingonberry jam the next day, so I thought I'd give their Nathalius Imperial IPA a shot. There is an immense hop aroma just as soon as the glass makes its way within reach, like you've just stuffed your head into a bag of Chinooks, which... actually isn't a bad idea.
Welcome to the neighborhood Cask. We're glad you're here. Details are below:
Join us on April 1st @ Little Pub Ridgefield for a New England Brewing Company beer dinner hosted by New England Brewing Company’s partner/head brewer Matt Westfall. The evening will boast a five course beer pairing menu (view full menu below with pairings), a little education, and some general merry making.
Matt Westfall will discuss the flavor profile, ingredients, and brewing process for each beer while also sharing stories about New England Brewing Company’s journey to becoming one of the region’s most respected and beloved craft brewers.
Our own beer expert, James Gribbon will be on hand to answer any questions about his Friday Froth column or beer in general.
Monday March 24, Plan B in Stamford presents “Distill it with Willett.” Five courses will be paired with bourbon and bourbon cocktails… and they’ll use bourbon in every single course! 6 pm. $75pp, tax and tip included.
Also on the 24th, Napa & Co in Stamford presents “A look at Sauvignon Blanc the hot white grape!” They’ll guide you through a global look at the varietal in New Zealand, Sancerre, Russian River, Napa Valley, South Africa and Washington! $45pp. 6:30pm.
Brewery Ommegang comes to Harlan Social on Tuesday, March 25th for a 5-course menu paired with their beers. $70 plus tax and tip. 6:30- 9:30pm. Call 203.883.8000 to reserve seats. Event Menu:
Tuesday March 25, Barcelona in West Hartford presents “New England Beers & Tapas.” In celebration of March Madness, Chef Eric is going to prepare some savory tapas to pair with some of New England’s thirst-quenching beers. $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 860.218.2100
March 25 is “Good Meats! An Evening with Charcuterie” at Fairfield Cheese Co. 7-9pm. Call 203.292.8194 for more information.
Wednesday March 26 is the “Iron Bar Gala” at Plan B Burger Bar in Milford.
Celebrate Black Friday with Val’s of Greenwich! Barhill Gin will be hosting a tasting to get us geared-up for the holiday season. This complimentary event will take place from 3-7pm on Friday November 29.
On Monday December 2, Buon Appetito Restaurant will partner with Super Cellar Liquors for a 4 course wine dinner. It begins at 6:30 at the restaurant in Canton, CT. $75 pp. For the menu and reservation information, see https://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs126/1102509927877/img/1248.jpg .
Get an introduction to homebrewing beer on Tuesday December 3. The free event takes place from 6:30-8:30pm at Yale University’s International Center. Learn more and claim a seat at http://eventful.com/newhaven/events/introduction-homebrewing-beer-/E0-001-063499321-0
On Tuesday December 3, Luca Wine Bar and Visco Wines will partner with Harry’s Wine & Liquor to present a wine dinner called “The 4 Big B’s of Italy.” It will feature four of Italy’s coveted wines: Barbera, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, and Barolo. They will be paired with 4 courses including homemade crepes, ravioli, veal shank, and poached pear for dessert. $98 pp, all inclusive. Please call Luca Wine Bar for reservations: (203) 286-5617.