Recap: Beers & Bites at Half Full Brewery with Knot Norms and Hapa Food Truck

Andrew Dominick

Did you ever hear the one about the food truck chef and the restaurant chef at a local brewery? 

Wait, that’s a real thing. There’s no punchline. 

What I’m talking about here is the first ever Beers & Bites event that was held on April 5, 2018 at Half Full Brewery in Stamford. Beers & Bites is a collaboration between CTbites, Half Full Brewery, local food trucks and chefs. 

The idea behind Beers & Bites is to team a food truck chef and a restaurant chef to collaborate on a menu that gets paired with Half Full’s thirst-quenching brews. Think of it as a beer dinner where you won’t leave feeling overstuffed; it’s just enough food and drink. For $50 you get four-courses, four beers (refills were common so it’s a little more than four), a commemorative Beers & Bites snifter glass, and a damn good time in a non-pretentious, not overcrowded taproom. 


The first Beers & Bites featured Chris Gonzalez of Hapa Food Truck, known for that epic purple yam bun burger and tasty tacos, and Jay LeBlanc of Knot Norm’s who’s making waves in East Norwalk with one of Connecticut’s best lobster rolls, and one of my favorite new places that’s opened in recent memory. 


Given the chefs, it’s no surprise the teamwork menu would be a creative mashup of both their styles; seafood influences from LeBlanc and Asian-American street food from Gonzalez. 


Out first was Half Full’s Without Rhyme or Reason #5 “Emil”, a double dry hopped IPA, paired with “Toast” that was topped with Boquerones (fresh anchovies), bonito butter, and Spanish onion. Next was a duo of seafood stew dumplings to be washed down with the smooth, but hoppy Sensible Decision, an India pale lager fermented with lager yeast.


The final savory dish was a bowl of white clam sauce tossed Shanxi noodles with spicy cornflakes and a couple of meaty clams, served with “George,” a German-inspired dunkelweizen brewed with loads of toasted marshmallows that tastes like liquid banana bread. Last out was Grace & Darkness, a local oyster stout brewed with Copps Island Oysters, alongside a soft/chewy purple yam cookie with caramel made from Grace & Darkness. 


Normally telling you about an event that already passed isn’t something I like to do. You can’t rewind time and go to it. As far as Beers & Bites is concerned, you might have missed Hapa and Knot Norms, but you can catch another one of these featuring new chefs, and different beers! 

The remaining three Beers & Bites events are as follows: 

Wednesday, May 23

Beers: Within Reach, WROR #6, WROR #7, Bee Enlightened

Bites: Chef Matt Stanczak of Eggz and Chef Brian Reilly of Mecha Noodle Bar 


Wednesday, August 15

Beers: Refresh, WROR #9, WROR #10, Transcend Hoppiness

Bites: Chef Jeff Borofsky of Skinny Pines and Chef Geoff Lazlo


Wednesday, November 14

Beers: Positively Pumpkin, WROR #11, WROR #12, Rise & Shine

Bites: Chefs Sam Rolbovsky and Maycie Maringer of Nosh Hound (other chef TBD)


For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite Page

See you at the next one!