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Entries in Brewery (12)


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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Friday Froth: Around A Square State With Stubborn Beauty, Black Hog and Overshores

What shape is Connecticut? Kind of a cleaver-shape, I think. I live down in the that cleaver's handle - along with you, by statistical probability - and the myriad horrors of highway travel in Connecticut tend to keep me there, but I'm wired to explore. If Lando can escape the Sarlacc, I can get out of Fairfield freaking County. 

This is especially useful as I paddle my canoe up the rivers of craft beer this state has to offer, because breweries don't usually spring up next to yacht clubs, son. Train that spyglass further afield, and you'll spot Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company in increasingly craft beer dense Middletown, Black Hog Beer Company in Oxford, and Overshores Brewing Co. in East Haven. It's about time I gave each of them their due. 

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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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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: 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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Friday Froth: This Is The Point, or Connecticut Beer From Overshores & Thimble Island

The statement's very intonation was a dare.  

"There is no difference at all, I'm telling you." 

A quick glance past my right shoulder revealed two men who stared at each other with furrowed brows, half grinning. I began to turn back, but was arrested by a series of clunking sounds as two shot glasses and two bottles of beer fell onto the bar like hailstones. The bartender was smiling: finally, some action.

I was at a Plan B with the guys from Branford, Connecticut's Thimble Island Brewing, and it seems the challenge was met. 

Just in case you're wondering, a lot of thirsty people walk into places like Plan B, look at over a dozen beers on tap, peruse a list showing tens of bottles of foreign and domestic craft brews, and then order a Coors Light. This was how it started, and why a giggling someone was now secretively pouring small servings of Budweiser and PBR into tiny, bucket shaped glasses. Five of us took the Pepsi challenge, and (I'll protect the innocent here) only three of us got the gold star. 

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Friday Froth: New Beers From Jack's Abbey And OEC Brewing

Few sensations enliven the mind like eye-catching novelty. Our minds have evolved such a predilection to find the next new thing, it's a compulsion. This is why slot machines are addictive even though they're so repetitive: there's something new every time. The new glass house is made of screens. Status, tweet, pin... tap, tap, tap.

It's easy to read about how this river of information which flows to us has made Americans indistinguishable from the couches which we permanently inhabit, but I think this is losing sight of the fact that rivers are also a means of transport. Ideas are hardly stationary. This week, let's take a look at a few novelties which have arrived on the Connecticut beer scene, and see if we can get some wheels turning. 

Jack's Abbey launched just three years ago up in Massachusetts and has seemingly been winning awards ever since. The company is run by Jack, Eric and Sam Hendler, scions of an ice manufacturing family, whose Hendler Farms supplies man of the ingredients found in their beers. The brand name comes from Jack (who earned a degree in brewing in '07) and his wife, Abbey - whose name worked out pretty well as a reference to monkish beer brewing traditions. I started off with their Mass Rising Imperial Pils

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An Exclusive Look @ The New OEC Brewing in Oxford (Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores)

You read it here first back in April, and now CTbites is bringing you an absolutely exclusive first look at OEC Brewing, days before the grand opening party this Saturday. The party, by the way, is open to everyone, and will take place at 7 Fox Hollow Rd., Oxford, CT, from noon to 5p.m. We have the tap and bottle list for the event below. 

As a reminder, OEC stands for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores, a bit of muddled Latin roughly translating to the "Order of Eccentric Boilers," and is the work of Ben Neidhart and Jie Yu. Ben designed the name, logo, and all associated labels and artwork as a bit of a spoof on medieval guilds and secret societies, and framed examples of this art can be found decorating the walls of OEC's combined brewery and tasting room.   

The Grounds

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Friday Froth: Two Roads, Half Full, Stone Brewing, Vapeur Cochonne & More

Satan's favorite sin may be vanity, but I like to think I've earned a curt nod of his horned head with my recent achievements in the fields of gluttony and sloth. A detailed recap of my travels during American Craft Beer Week would run about 20,000 words, and even I don't think I'm that interesting, so I've put reviews of some of the sweet, sweet beer I lucked into below, interspersed with a few tidbits of news. The gems which did not make this week's column will be coming your way soon, though - I took a LOT of notes. 

Biggest news [by size]: Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, already the largest brewery in the state, has announced plans for an expansion which will more than double their output, from ~80,000 barrels per year to over 175,000 barrels, at an estimated cost of $2.4million. Two Roads has expanded its reach from Connecticut to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York, so demand has obviously increased, but only 25% of current capacity goes to brewing their own portfolio.

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OEC Brewery Opens In Oxford

Ben Neidhart of Beverage United International, importer of vanishingly rare and obscenely delicious beers from Europe, Africa and Asia, has announced the finalization of his brand new brewery, OEC Brewing, which will open its doors alongside B.United's headquarters facility in Oxford.  A public grand opening party will take place on Saturday, June 7th, at noon.

B.United imports have appeared numerous times in Friday Froth, and I had a chance to tour the facility last year as part of their Nepenthia event. BU has consistently been years ahead of the curve in barrel aging beers in creative and exotic ways as part of the ongoing experiment they call Zymatore, and OEC, while a separate entity, will be able to benefit from the other facilities on site. 

The new brewery, called OEC, for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores or "Order of Eccentric Boilers" (they know their Latin is less than perfect), gives the mad scientist Neidhart family a chance to bring creations wholly their own to the market, along with a tasting room which will feature six taps of OEC beers, B.United imports, and at least one of the ultra-rare Zymatore barrel aged special brews. 

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Friday Froth: Age Of Exploration

Due to the relativistic effects of recent travel Friday Froth only APPEARS to have posted on Saturday. Adjust your perceptions accordingly.

We are explorers in this place. Early people trudged or sailed the natural world to see what had never been seen before, as far as they knew - to discover just what was out there. Incredibly daunting missions had deceivingly simple directions: Sail to India. Find the north pole. Go get spices. Head west. When the pilot on the conquistador Francisco Pizarro's ship was asked by another navigator how to find Peru when sailing from Mexico's Pacific coast he answered "Sail south along the coast until you no longer see trees. Then you are in Peru."

Like most people from the 19th century on, it's easy to think we've seen everything. There is only so much to the surface of the Earth, and the natural world often changes too slowly for us to see. Go to Hawaii or Iceland and you can see new Earth being made, but it seems we've already mapped out or looked down on the rest of it, right? The Earth may remake itself slowly, but its people gush creativity. We produce what is new under the Sun. The world of craft beer is a particularly fertile valley.

Evil Twin is the label created by one Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, of Denmark.

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