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21

Oct

Ah…Halloween. That time of year when it becomes incredibly cold, yet people get dressed up (well, partially dressed up) in their favorite costume. Yes, it’s an excuse to expose body parts that normally aren’t exposed…and it’s a wicked good time to go out and party. Drink, party, eat, and engage in lots of ravenous activities! Well, we thought we’d help you out whether you’re going to dress as Little Red Riding Hood, in an Ebola-safe hazmat suit (a new use for your Breaking Bad costume from last year), as a brooding and sparkly-skinned vampire, a sexy arrow-slinging Katniss, or that bro who just wears a shirt that says “This is my costume.” Yeah, let’s do it:

Greenwich

Ginger Man’s Great Pumpkin Ball

Date and time: 10/31 from 9-2 am

Cost: n/a

Description: The Great Pumpkin Ball hits Greenwich and rocks the avenue all night long! Plenty of great pumpkin brews will be on tap and DJ Abasto will be spinning.


Stamford

Alternative Control Halloween Comp Release Extravaganza at Fiddler’s Green— in Stamford

Date and time:  10/31 starting at 8 pm

Cost: n/a

Description: Celebrate Halloween like how it’s meant to be celebrated: with kickass metal music! And, who better to provide an experience than Alternative Control who has not only set up free live music, but will also be giving out free copies of their most recent compilation album. Jimmy Junk Bird will play from 9:15-9:45, Lyra will be on from 10-10:45, 60 Grit will play from 11-11:30, and Headgun will finish things up from 11:45-whenever the hell they want to stop. There will also be a costume contest for funniest, sexiest, scariest, and best overall…also, there will be a 50/50 raffle to help raise money for Alternative Control and all they do to help promote the metal and music scene here in CT.

Bar BQ Ghost Town Throwdown

Date and time: 10/31 and 11/1

Cost:

Description: $5 Dos Equis drafts, $5 Boo-BQ shots, DJ Mikey V, and plenty of prizes! On Friday you can win a ton of Dos Equis prizes and on Saturday win up to $1,000 in cash and prizes!

Cask Republic

Date and time: 10/31

Cost: n/a

Description: $5 Victory Hop Devil pints (an excellent beer, btw) and $5 Halloween themed shots.

Coalhouse Pizza

Date and time: 10/31 from 11-11 pm

Cost: n/a

Description: Gerard is hosting a tap takeover of seasonal brews with a specific focus on all things pumpkin. Our suggestion? Do a flight, compare thoughts with friend…pick your fave. You’d be out of your gourd not to come here and celebrate with some great brews.

Fairway Market Pumpkin Carving Contest

Date and time: 10/25 from 1-3

Cost: n/a

Description: For the youngins, take ‘em to Fairway for a pumpkin carving contest, ages 8-12. Two lucky carvers will won $25 gift cards to Fairway along with a killer pumpkin pie. Prizes will be given for scariest and funniest!

Half Full’s Halloween Bash

Date and time: 10/25 from 5-10

Cost: $43.19

Description: Half Full’s 3rd Annual Halloween Bash is the place to be to celebrate Halloween! Your ticket get you live music, unlimited drinks including their awesome pumpkin beers, and even a goodie bag. Full details here. 

McFadden’s Nightmare on Main Street

Date and time: 10/31 and 11/1

Cost: n/a

Description: $5 Dos Equis drafts, $5 Blood Sucker shots, DJ Alex, and plenty of prizes! On Friday you can win a ton of Dos Equis prizes and on Saturday win up to $1,000 in cash and prizes!

Tigin‘s Nightmare on Bedford Street

Date and time: 10/31 starting at 10 pm

Cost: n/a

Description: Scratch (Uncle Scratch?) will be playing some killer live music, there will be drink specials, the Tigin staff will be dressed up, and…yes…there will be beer and plenty of food! 


New Canaan

South End Halloween Party

Date and time: 10/29 starting at 9

Cost: $42

Description: Come to one of Fairfield County’s best restaurants for a kickass Halloween party. $42 gets you unlimited beer, wine, and speciality cocktails as well as snacks. There will be live music from the Butch Taylor Band and even some prizes for best costume.


Norwalk

The Spread and Barcelona‘s Halloween Bash

Date and time: 10/31 starting at 9 pm

Cost: n/a

Description: The theme for this year’s Halloween Bash is American Horror Story. Just show up to The Spread and/or Barcelona all dressed up as your favorite character from an of the seasons including Murder House, Asylum, Coven, and Freak Show. We guess you could dress however else you want too, but it’d be SICK to see lots of Bearded Women, Lobster-handed Men, and Two-Headed People. Anybody brave enough to be the Leather Man from Season 1? Drinks specials, DJs at both spots, and a costume contest with prizes too.

Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge Halloween Spooktacular

Date and time: 10/31 from 9 ’til close

Cost: n/a

Description: Greer and Chef Chaz ???? have been brewing up a Halloween Spooktacular just for ya! There will be live music from Otis and the Hurricanes, there will be food and drink specials, and prizes for best costume.

Ginger Man

Date and time: 10/31

Cost: n/a

Description: Special Halloween infusion shots and also pumpkin/seasonal beers on tap. If you’ve been a good boy or girl, you just might see some other great deals, too…

Washington Primes Yelloween

Date and time: 10/31 from 9-2 am

Cost: n/a

Description: Washington Prime is one of just a few spots across the US that have been selected to host a very special Veuve Clicquot Yelloween party. A DJ will be be mixing up your favorite 80’s and 90s hits and you best believe you’re gonna do the Hammer Dance! Uh oh uh oh, here comes the Hammer! As the name of the party suggests, there will be Veuve Clicquot specials all night and there will also be prizes for best costumes. If you want private bottle or table service, call up Thomas Siano at (203) 857-1314…ballers only.

Drink or Feast? Halloween Parties and Events in the 203 in the 2014 Ah…Halloween. That time of year when it becomes incredibly cold, yet people get dressed up (well, partially dressed up) in their favorite costume.

20

Oct

Craft 260 to Host Beer Fest w/ 11 CTBreweries to Benefit Community Plates - Fairfield, CT

Craft 260 to Host Beer Fest w/ Local Breweries to Benefit Community Plates

Craft 260 Beer Fest for Community Plates

Two Roads, Back East, Overshores, Black Hog, Stony Creek, Old Burnside, Thomas Hooker, Charter Oak, New England Brewing, Relic, Aspetuck Brew Lab (brewery in the works).

These local CT breweries have come together for Craft 260‘s first ever Beer Fest. The beer begins flowing at 1 pm on Sunday, November 2 up until 4 pm right in the Craft 260 parking lot. Oh, and speaking of beer, it’ll be…

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18

Oct

Voodoo priest and his doll

Voodoo priest and his doll

Cask Republic’s tap list is KILLING it! Pictured here Stubborn Beauty Speaking in Tongues BIPA and Two Roads Krazy Pucker!  (at Cask Republic Stamford)

Cask Republic’s tap list is KILLING it! Pictured here Stubborn Beauty Speaking in Tongues BIPA and Two Roads Krazy Pucker! (at Cask Republic Stamford)

17

Oct

As food bloggers here in Fairfield County, we’ve seen the food & beverage scene grow immensely since we started back in 2010. One of the biggest areas in the food and bev biz to kick some serious butt has been CT breweries! Just think, in 2011, we had just 16 breweries, in 2012 we had 21 breweries, in 2013 there were 23, and now, we have 28 in-state breweries that are open with almost 40 breweries slated to be open in 2015*. Doing the math on that, that’s growth of a whopping 75% since 2011! And the best thing is, these breweries are not just about making beer for beer’s sake…they’re about making good beer that we can all be darn proud of! Which brings us to our point…

Not enough of the rest of the U.S. knows about all the great beers CT has to offer and it’s about time they did! Now, to be fair, some of this is due to limited distribution, although things are getting better. As example, The CT Brewers Guild has become a unifying force in putting CT beer forward as a whole with an all for one and one for all mentality. And, this past year has seen CT breweries take sizable steps into new markets like Two Roads pushing into NYC, MA, and Rhode Island, Half Full pouring out brews in Westchester County, Thomas Hooker bringing suds to MA, NJ, NY, and PA and Overshores even expanding distribution to Washington, DC.

But distribution aside, our biggest issue, and area of opportunity is with the national beer “experts,” “writers,” and “list-makers” who have given CT the short end of the stick. Well, these two CT beer guzzlers have had enough! So, let’s rally together to get the word out there on how awesome the CT beer scene is and how amazing our beer really is. Let’s get CT the recognition it deserves! And when better to start than CT Beer Week?

Here are some highlights of all good things CT beer to get you started…

Events

Connecticut certainly isn’t short on events with beer as the main focus. From Oktoberfests, to beer dinners, to beer tastings, to tap takeovers, to special releases and collaboration brews, to beer fests galore, CT has something to keep you busy drinking! There were so many festivals going on over the past few months that we, honestly, couldn’t even keep up and couldn’t attend every event…though we tried. And, we’re not talking about events with 100 or 200 people either…we’re talking about thousands of people, all ready and set to get their CT beer on. 

Being Fairfield Countiers, we’ve really enjoyed Harbor Brew Fest in Bridgeport and feel like it gets better and better each year. While this festival highlights great and amazing beer from all over, it does a great job of centering in on CT beer. In fact, when you go, you’ll notice that the local breweries tend to be the ones that have longer lines. It gives people a chance to meet with the brewers and owners, and it also gives them a chance to try some brews that they’ve never had before. And, if you’re looking to get your complete CT beer fix, it’s simple if you hit up the CT Brewers Guild Brewfest! So many great local breweries represented, so many pours, so much fun. Hell, we drove two hours just to check it out and loved that we were able to try breweries in CT that we had never had the chance to try before. That’s where our obsession with DuVig‘s Cream Ale and Stubborn Beauty was born. 

Brews of Renown

Even though interstate distribution for CT beer is a growing venture, that doesn’t stop people from CT and neighboring states from becoming obsessed with some brews. Key example: New England Brewing. If you’re a lucky duck and end up getting near a keg of Fuzzy Baby Ducks, you see it go from full to empty in an hour because its status as a legendary IPA is firmly cemented, secured by rave reviews, a cult folllowing, and a perfect 100 score on Beer Advocate. In fact, this beer was recognized by First We Feast as possibly being “The Next Heady Topper,” another cult brew that sells out just as fast from VT. We’ve had both, but we couldn’t honestly say which one is better because we love them both.

And then there’s the amazing beer release parties that Two Roads Brewing in Stratford puts on. Hundreds of people lining up to get their limited release bottles of Igor’s Dream, Sour Pucker, Urban Funk, or their newest iterations such as Philsamic. No iPhone is at the end of that long and winding line to get a bottle, just some highly sought after beer that people don’t mind waiting for. Whether it’s to take home and drink, to collect, to share with friends, or even to trade with other brew enthusiasts, their beer release parties are a specactle that shows how people can’t get enough of Two Roads’ CT brews.

And, there are plenty of other brews around the state that get big press and lots of attention. New to the scene, Shebeen Brewery in Wolcott, has been gathering more fans everyday with their creative, inventive, and unique brews that push the boundaries of traditional beer. Case in point: Cannoli Beer. It’s a popular brew in CT that people say you need to try at least once, has been mentioned by lots of beer enthusiasts and bloggers, and has been mentioned along with other breweries in a recent article from NY Times. At face value, you might be skeptical of what Shebeen produces: hey, how could a Concord Grape Saison really work? But, the stuff is great, it’s solid, and they’ve created real buzz in the local beer community.

A Call to Action

Now, don’t get us wrong, we aren’t saying that you should only drink CT beer, that’s silly because there is so much awesome beer out in different states and from different countries. But, what we are saying is that there are plenty of brews being produced here in the Nutmeg State that can stand up to some of the other awesome beers being produced throughout America. You love that IPA from Stone? Well, it just might be possible that you love Two Roads Road 2 Ruin just as much or even more. It’s about branching out, being a beer explorer, trying new things.

And the craft beer of community is certainly helping to get CT beer on the map more and to make sure that we get better press than we have in recent months. CT Beer Trail has started a campaign that we feel people really need to get on board with: bars and restaurants throughout the state that have a nice amount of taps should have at least two CT beers available at all times. We can get down with that. And, the CT Brewers Guild along with CT Beer Trail has put out a brand new app that’s on Android and will soon be on iPhones called The Connecticut Craft Brewers Guild Beer Guide. You can save favorite breweries, checkin, view upcoming events, and even find your way from one brewery to the next with a nice little GPS feature.

So, get on out there, drink some CT beer and let people know what you love. Hashtag it on Twitter and Instagram with #CTbeer, tag and mention the breweries that you love all across social media. Tell your friends about a beer you’ve loved that’s on tap…if you’re daring, give them a sip! Be the advocates for the breweries that you love: if your local liquor shop or watering hole doesn’t carry their beer, then put in that request. That’s usually all it takes.


Wrapping up here, we’ve gathered some great sites and bloggers to follow who know a helluva lot about CT beer and are amazing supporters (please let us know if we should add anyone):

Beerfests.com

Brauista

CraftBrewGuy

CT Beer Trail

CTBeer.com

CT Museum Quest

James Gribbon’s “Friday Froth” on CTbites

Now Beer This

Untappd


And here’s a list of breweries, brewpubs, and upcoming breweries. Did we miss any? Let us know!

Aspetuck Brew Lab (In the works)
Back East Brewing Company
Beaver Beer (MA production)
Bent Fork (In the works)
Beer’d Brewing Co.
Black Hog Brewing Co.
Black Pond Brewing (In the works)
Broad Brook Brewing
Bru Rm at BAR (Brewpub)
Cambridge House Brewing Company (Brewpub)
Charter Oak (MA production)
City Steam Brewery Cafe
Cottrell Brewing Company
DuVig Brewing Co.
East Haddam Brewing Company
Firefly Hollow Brewing
Half Full Brewery
Hog River Brewing Co. (In the works)
Kent Falls (In the works)
Left Lane Brewing (In the works)
Lost Elm Artisinal Ales (In the works)
Maltose Express (In the works from the homebrew experts)
New England Brewing Company
No Worries Brewing (In the works)
OEC Brewing
Olde Burnside Brewing Company
Outer Light Brewing Company
Overshores Brewing Co.
Relic Brewing
Shebeen Brewing
Southport Brewing Company Restaurant & Brewery
Stony Creek Brewery
Stubborn Beauty Brewing
Thimble Island Brewing Co.
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Top Shelf Brewing
Two Roads Brewing Company
Weed Brewing Company
Witchdoctor Brewing Co. (In the works)
Willimantic Brewing Company (Brewpub)

The Fermenting Upward Growth of CT Beer and a Call to Action As food bloggers here in Fairfield County, we’ve seen the food & beverage scene grow immensely since we started back in 2010.

The Wilton Chamber of Commerce is excited for its very first Fall Restaurant Week! Just go to any of the participating restaurants from 10/20-26 and get some great deals. Whether it’s a prix fixe menu or the restaurant is offering up some specials for Restaurant Weekers, you’ll save some dough and get your shot at trying a bunch of new places!

Here are the deets (and check the RW page for updates)…

Aranci 67

Bianco Rosso Wine Bar + RestaurantRW Lunch Menu/RW Dinner Menu

Bistro 7RW Dinner Menu

Black Cat Grille

Cactus Rose Restaurant + Tequila Bar

Coffee Barn

Little Pub Wilton

Lombardi’s Trattoria

Luca Ristorante Italiano

Marly’s Bar + BistroRW Dinner Menu

Peachwave Frozen YogurtRW Specials

PortofinoRW Lunch Menu/RW Dinner Menu

Reiki Sushi & Asian Bistro

Roly PolyRW Specials

Toozy PatzaRW Dinner Menu

Wilton PizzaRW Dinner Menu

Wilton Introduces Inaugural Fall Restaurant Week from 10/20/26 The Wilton Chamber of Commerce is excited for its very first Fall Restaurant Week! Just go to any of the participating restaurants from 10/20-26 and get some great deals.

16

Oct

How are we half way through October already? Craziness! Well, things ain’t over yet, people…there’s still plenty going on. So, let’s take you through some great events, deals, specials, contests, and offers going on in the 203. Oh, and don’t forget that this week is CT Beer and Restaurant Week, so make sure you’re using Untappd to check in to earn that shiny new CT Beer Week badge.


Deals and Events

Lorca in Stamford is now selling Apple Cider donut bites for just .50 each. Damn right, son!

10/17-19 This Friday kicks off Harvest Festival Weekend at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. And, what better way to kick it off than with an Oktoberfest celebration on 10/17. In addition, there will be plenty more going on Saturday and Sunday like apple cider demos, pumpkin carving, apple slingshots, tons more and, yes, there will be food trucks. Helluva lot of them, too! On Saturday they’ll have Bodega Taco Bar, Hot off the Grill, Maddy’s Food Truck, Melt Mobile, Pierogies on Wheels, and Vanchetta, while on Sunday they’ll have Bounty Food Truck, Cowabunga, Lobstercraft, Skinny Pines, Skip’s Ice Cream, The Spud Stud, and Taco Loco. More info here.

10/17 Bar BQ (formerly Bar Q) in Stamford is thinking pink this Friday with a $20 open bar from 6-9. That includes draft beer, well drinks, and their house wines. A portion of the charge goes right to Susan G. Komen CT and you also get 5 free raffle tickets that get you a chance to win some great prizes. In addition, order their signature pink drink throughout October and they’ll donate $1 to Susan G. Komen, too.

10/17-19 Old Heidelberg has gone from Oktoberfest to Wine Fest in their biergarten! Hours for Friday are 12-2:30 and 5-9, Saturday is from 12-9, and Sunday is 12-8. Call (203) 797-1860 for more info.

10/21 There’s a special Laphroaig tasting at BevMax in Stamford featuring Master Distiller John Campbell. Seats are limited, so call up (203) 3357-9151 to reserve your spot! We’re talking their 10 Year, Quarter Cask, Triple Wood, 18 Year, 25 Year, and 10 Year Cask Strength!

10/25 Black Rock Farmers Market is celebrating their first successful season with a closing shindig from 9-1 with the music of the awesome Oh, Cassius! to set the soundtrack for the day. Then, after the BRFM, get ready for the Harvest Hootnany! There will be a pig roast from Walrus + Carpenter, a beer tasting for charity from Two Roads and other breweries, a lounge area to chill at, a bonfire, a bouncy obstacle course (um, we SO have to do this!), a haunted house, cornhole, live music from Bedlam Brothers, and even square dancing! The Hootnany will be go until 5, but feel free to continue the party at any of the great local spots like Craft 260, Local, Walrus + Carpenter, Fire Engine Pizza, or BRYAC. The BRFM is located at 481 Brewster Street. 

10/26 We told you about Tart N’ Soul last year, a Pomegranate Gelato made by Dr. Brodsky of Stamford Hospital. Well, he’s back with more of the good stuff and will be selling it at the Shoprite on 1900 West Main Street in Stamford from 12-2. 100% of the proceeds are going the American Heart Association Heart Walk. To read more about Dr. Brodsky’s story and what goes into making Tart N’ Soul, please see our post from last year.

Contests

Farmboys Smokin’ BBQ is holding a photo contest this week in honor of CT Beer Week. Check them out at Firefly Hollow on 10/17 from 4-8, Stubborn Beauty on 10/19 from 1-5, and 10/20 at Two Roads from 1-7. When you’re there, take a pic of their BBQ with some of the CT beer that you’re drinking and upload it to their contest page. Three winners will get vouchers for a free Farmboys BBQ meal at any upcoming brewery appearance. Winners announced by 11 pm on Sunday, 10/20.

Cask Republic Stamford and UFC Gym have teamed up for a business card raffle. Just drop off your card at either location and you’ll get a shot at winning a month long membership to UFC Gym and a $50 gift card to Cask Republic. The winner will be announced at the end of October. 

Beer

IT’S CT BEER WEEK!

10/18 Forget Black Friday, get ready for Stubborn Beauty‘s first bottle release! The brew, Singularity, is an Imperial Stout and comes in at a whopping 14% ABV! Here’s the deal, though: they only have 150 bottles to sell! So, you better get on line before they open at 12 so you can get in on the action! Even if you can’t get your hands on a bottle, they’ll still have their other great brews on tap and will also have Farmboy Smokin’ BBQ there until 5 (see post above for photo contest).

More Events Already Covered

10/16 Hooker Brewery tap takeover from 7-12 at Local Fairfield

10/17 Oktoberfest on the Meadow in Stamford

10/18 Harvest Bounty Wine & Brew Fest in Litchfield

10/18-19 Cork & Brew Beer & Cider Tasting

10/20 Craft 260 hosts a Stone Beer Dinner

10/21 Sourcopia Beer Dinner at Two Roads with Chef Plum

10/23 Westport Farmers’ Market, 10-2 (demo from Ryan of Saugatuck Craft Butchery)

10/25 Release of Philsamic from Two Roads Brewery

10/25 Martha Stewart Book Signing at Stew Leonard’s Norwalk

10/30 Westport Farmers’ Market, 10-2 (demo from Truck)

11/1 Wine tasting and signing with Joe Bastianich at Stew Leonard’s Wines Norwalk

11/5 The Meatball Challenge plops on down in New Haven!

CT Food News, Vol ???: How are we half way through October already? Craziness! Well, things ain’t over yet, people…there’s still plenty going on.

15

Oct

Hello Kitty Cocktail + Cupcake Combo @ Parallel Post Raises Money for Breast Cancer Wellness

Hello Kitty Cocktail + Cupcake Combo @ Parallel Post Raises Money for Breast Cancer Wellness

Parallel Post's Hello Kitty picture from Parallel Post

Excuse us for a second. We’re still trying to recover from some heart-wrenhing news that we discovered a few weeks ago. Yes, yes…it’s true, it’s all true. Sanrio revealed that Hello Kitty is actually not a kitty. She’s actually a girl dressed as a kitty! We know, we know, your world is shattered, and you’re still trying to pick up the pieces…us too…us too. 

(more…)

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13

Oct

Chowdafest VII 2014: Recap, Winners, and Our Faves at Calf Pasture Beach

Chowdafest VII 2014: Recap, Winners, and Our Faves at Calf Pasture Beach

Chowdafest Collage 2014 VII

Click through to see a full album of competitors, soups, and other good stuff!

This past Sunday just might have been the perfect fall day. The air was crisp (but not too cold), the sun was shining bright, and the leaves had just started to flame into color. Oh, and it just so happened to be the day when Chowdafestscuttled down by the water at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. The same Chowdafest…

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Bacon cheese burger at @planbburgerbar with Shebeen Pumpkin Scotch. One more checkin for CT Beer Week Badge (at Plan B Stamford)

Bacon cheese burger at @planbburgerbar with Shebeen Pumpkin Scotch. One more checkin for CT Beer Week Badge (at Plan B Stamford)