Fall begins September 23, so while there’s still some great time left for summer, we’re doing all we can to make sure that you have the best fall EVER! And, part of making that happen is highlighting beer festivals, Oktoberfests, and beer-related events going on throughout this fine state of Connecticut. Oh . . . and when we say ultimate, we mean ultimate: as you don’t need to go anywhere else because this is the most complete guide to fall events that you’ll find anywhere else! Because there are so many events, we’ll be shifting events that pass to the bottom.
Date: 10/10 from 1-5 (severe weather date is 10/11)
Location: Rotary Pavilion at the Shelton Riverwalk
Why you should go: Beer and wings are the perfect combo, so what better way to enjoy the marriage of both at Hoptoberfest where you get to drink as much as you want *more than 80 craft brews) and eat as many wings as you want from Valley restaurants like Dew Drop Inn. Oh hell yes.
Breweries rep’d: Not listed yet.
Charity tie-in: Derby-Shelton Rotary
Date: 10/10 from 3-7
Location: Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport
Cost: $40, 21+ only
Why you should go: Finally, your excuse to go wild with all the other animals at the Beardsley Zoo! There will be plenty of craft brew to drink, live music, a silent auction, and a special preview of the Haunted Howl-O-Ween from 7-8. In addition, come hungry because House of Bones, The Spud Stud, Fryborg, and Fire Dog will be on hand for your nomming needs (food is extra).
Breweries rep’d: Not listed yet.
Charity tie-in: Beardsley Zoo
Date: 10/11 from 2-6
Location: Rosedale Farms and Vineyards in Simsbury
Cost: $45 in advance, $55 at the door
Why you should go: With over 50 breweries in attendance and some killer food sampling from the Max Restaurant Group, this is definitely a cool fest to check out. Add in the chill setting of Rosedale Farms in Simsbury and you’ve got just about the most relaxing day ever created.
Breweries rep’d: Back East, Ballast Point, Beer’d, Black Hog, Blue Point, Broad Brook, Captain Lawrence, City Steam, Downeast Cider, Firefly Hollow, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Half Full, Harpoon, Hopmeadow Brewing Company, Ithaca, Jack’s Abbey, New England Brewing, Ommegang, Otter Creek, Overshores, Relic, Sixpoint, Spencer, Stubborn Beauty, Two Roads, Willimantic, and more.
Charity tie-in: Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Date: 10/16 from 7-10
Location: Stamford Museum & Nature Center (39 Scofieldtown Road)
Why you should go: There’s something amazing going down at Stamford Museum & Nature Center when they put up the big tent and the oompa oompa starts! It’s almost like you get transported to Germany as the night winds down. This year, they continue to have great German food from Alpenhaus, seasonal beer, and a s’mores bar to help you finish the night in the best possible way. And, bringing down the house, er, tent, will be Green Eyed Lady!
Breweries rep’d: Half Full and a variety of seasonal/Oktoberfest brews.
Charity tie-in: Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Date: 10/17 from 1-5, Brewer’s Special from 12-5
Location: Harbor Yard in Bridgeport
Cost: $40 for GA, $20 for DD, $50 at the door, or $60 for VIP (always sells out, so buy quickly)
Why you should go: Without a doubt, Harbor Brew Fest remains our top, all time, full out beer festival in CT. Last year’s was probably the best, so we’re excited to see how they top it! They have a large amount of food trucks set up at Harbor Yard around the field with plenty of breweries in tents and in the outfield. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to snag the VIP tix, you get in an hour early and get to check out the VIP beer garden for special, one of a kind brews!
Breweries rep’d: Allagash, Back East, Beaver, BBC, Black Hog, Blue Point, Breckenridge, Brooklyn, Captain Lawrence, Dogfish, Evil Twin, Fire Island Beer Co, Founders, Full Sail, Green Flash, Grey Sail, Half Full, Hooker, Keegan Ales, Kona, Lagunitas, Long Ireland, Oskar Blues, Sixpoint, Spencer, Stillwater Artisanal, Stone, Thimble Island, Two Roads, Victory, Widmer Brothers, Aspetuck Brew Lab, and lots more they’ll be adding!
Charity tie-in: Harbor Light Foundation
Date: 10/17 from 12-4, 11-4 for VIP
Location: Mount Southington Ski Area in Plantsville
Why you should go: This will be a fun beer fest to check out because it won’t be just about drinking beer (100s domestic and foreign) because there will be a ton to check out. There will be cornhole tournaments going on, a video game truck, raffles (20 year Pappy Van Winkle is one item), giveaways, live music, food trucks, a bonfire, and you can even check out some of the newest ski and snowboard schtuff around!
Breweries rep’d: Black Hog, The Shed Brewing Company, Back East, Blue Point, Brooklyn, Crispin, Founders, Harpoon, Long Trail, Stone, Firefly Hollow, Thimble Island, Victory, Brewery Ommegang, and many others from CT, the US, and even abroad.
Charity tie-in: The REACH Foundation
Oktoberfest 1st Annual Patio Party
Date: 10/17 from 12-4
Location: Harlan Publick in South Norwalk
Cost: $50, all in
Why you should go: It’s nice to go out to a restaurant and pay for a beer here, a beer there, some food here, and some food there, but how about just drinking all the freaking beer that you can and eating all the food that you can handle for just $50? Yeah, it’s a pretty easy choice. Your $50 includes all the German brews they have on tap, a whole suckling pig, Bavarian pretzels with mustard, bratwurst w/ charcroute, German potato salad, rye spaetzle, and und mehr!
Breweries rep’d: German, not listed yet.
Date: 10/18 from 4-7
Location: Westbrook Lobster in Wallingford
Cost: $25 per person (call up Mike @ (203) 499-7389 or Tony @ (203) 747-5869
Why you should go: If you’re a follower of the CT beer scene, you probably know about the reputation of Westbrook Lobster for having a killer brew selection . . . and they’ve gone ahead and planned out their own beer fest! They’ll be featuring lots of great local CT breweries and promise to even have a few nice surprises thrown in, too. You get tastings of all the beer, a commemorative tasting glass, and free food. It all goes down right on their beautiful outdoor deck.
Breweries rep’d: Black Hog, Thimble Island, Firefly Hollow, Stony Creek, Back East, and more . . .
Charity tie-in: All proceeds go directly to First Congregational Church of Wallingford Scholarship Fund
Oktoberfest Beer Dinner ft. Captain Lawrence Brewery, 2nd Annual
Date: 10/20, starting at 6:30
Cost: $75 with tax + tip extra
Why you should go: Captain Lawrence Brewery is making some really fine brews and it’s definitely worth a visit in Elmsford, but Harlan Publick is making it easier to try their brews with their Oktoberfest Beer Dinner. They’ll be pairing Captain Lawrence brews with family-style dishes: pork loin schnitzel, bratwurst w/ Alsatian sauerkraut, short rib sauerbraten, rye spaetzle w/ braised cabbage, German potato salad w/ smoked trout, and a ton more. Call them up at (203) 831-0727 for reservations.
Breweries rep’d: Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, NY
Date: 11/2 from 6:30-9:30
Location: Two Roads in Stratford
Cost: $27.37 (service fees, people)
Why you should go: If CT beer is your passion, then you’ll definitely want to check out the CT Brewers Fest right at Two Roads. You’ll get 3 oz. pours of some of CT’s best beer . . . plus, there are many breweries in attendance who aren’t quite opened yet and will have samples. Seems like a no-brainer to us!
Breweries rep’d: Two Roads, Relic, Front Porch, Shebeen, Veracious, Willimantic, Overshores, Thomas Hooker, Broad Brook, SBC, Powder Hollow, Zok’s Homebrew Shop, Kent Falls, Back East, Stony Creek, Thimble Island, Charter Oak, No Worries, Noble Jay, Bru Rum at BAR, Cambridge House, Half Full, Olde Burnside, Outer Light, Still Hill, Firefly Hollow, Black Hog and more to be added!
Charity tie-in: Connecticut Craft Beer Guild
Date: 11/14 from 6-10
Location: Beer’d Brewing in Stonington
Why you should go: Well, this one isn’t too tough. It’s Beer’d Brewing! The thing about this, it’s weird that they are only three years old because they are definitely in the forefront of the CT beer scene. So, you’ll definitely want to come on down and celebrate with them! They’ll have the best of the brews (their words, not ours!) as well as some exclusive brews. Entry gets you one free beer, a limited edition Beer’d beer glass, photo booth fun, live music from Wicked Peach, and food from Gourmet Galley. There was a VIP session, but that sold out pretty damn quickly so snag these tix while you still can.
Breweries rep’d: Beer’d, duh.
Date: 11/20 from 6:30-9:30
Location: Matrix Conference & Banquet Center in Danbury
Cost: $55 online or $65 at the door.
Why you should go: ‘Tis the season to get tipsy . . . and charitable. There will be over 160 community-decorated trees on display to gawk over and even big on! But, we’re not talking about just trees here. We’re also taking about a dinner that comes with pours of local beer, too. Plus, while you’re visiting the tap room, you just might run into one of the local brewers who will be on hand.
Breweries rep’d: To be announced soon.
Charity tie-in: Ann’s Place, Community-based Cancer Support Center
Date: 12/12 from 12:30-4 and 5:30-9
Location: Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport
Cost: $35 online, $45 at the door, $10 for DD (on sale soon)
Why you should go: Last year marked the first year of Star Fish Junction’s first push into Connecticut . . . and we had a blast! Lines were short, there was a great selection of CT breweries as well as other breweries from New England. Plus, add in the proximity to the holidays and this is just a wonderful time to go out, celebrate, and paint the town red . . . and green!
Breweries rep’d: List not up yet, but expect even more than last year which was already a lot!
Past Beer Festivals and Events
Date: 9/19 from 4-7
Location: Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven
Cost: Various prices levels, depending on how much you want to eat and drink
Why you should go: This is an exciting new beer event in many ways. First off, you get to try Erector and Front Porch Brewing before anyone else has really had a chance. And, yes, duh, The Farm Belly food truck will be serving up fresh food, apps, and veggies from local farms and Norm Bloom and Son will be shelling out oysters fresh outta the water. Brewer tickets are $30 and includes beer samples, 6 oysters, apps, and pint glass. The Mate package is the non-alcoholic version and costs $20, while The Captain package gets you beer samples, a pint of any beer, 12 oysters, apps, your own pint glass, and a New Haven Land Trust t-shirt.
Breweries rep’d: Black Hog, Erector Brewing (new), Front Porch Brewing (new), Lagunitas, Stony Creek, Thimble Island, and more . . .
Charity tie-in: New Haven Land Trust
Date: 9/19 from 12-7
Location: DuVig Brewing in Branford
Cost: $25 for the Oktoberfest Deal
Why you should go: For $25, you get a souvenir mug that you can fill with any of DuVig’s brews including their new Oktoberfest. In addition, you’ll get a German meal from the Silver Platter food truck that includes beer glazed brats, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and your choice of chili or potato and beer soup.
Breweries rep’d: Guess.
Date: 9/19 and 9/20 from 12-6:30
Location: Two Roads Brewery in Stratford
Cost: $20 for either day or $35 for both days.
Why you should go: Two Roads does it right when it comes to Ok2berfest! Entry gets you a stein made just for the event and one free beer. If you buy the weekend pass, you’ll get two steins and two free drinks. After that, beer costs just $5, but remember that it’s cash only. And, you’ll get hungry, no doubt, so check out some of the many food trucks that they’ll have available. And, of course you’ll need to start to sing along to some music, so they’ve got you covered with plenty of live bands on both days. We definitely recommend this one, as we’ve been there for both years and we’ve had a great time.
Breweries rep’d: Two Roads will have their three Oktoberfest brews, Pils, and Hefe pouring.
Oktoberfest @ Harugari German American Club
Date: 9/20 from 1-6
Location: Harugari German American Club @ 66 Highland Street in West Haven
Why you should go: Brats, bier, potato pancakes=happy times. In addition, there will be live music from Bernie’s Orchestra and The Harugari Schuhplattlers will be back to dance up a storm.
Breweries rep’d: Various German breweries.
Date: 9/18-20 and 9/25-27, starting at noon
Location: Old Heidelberg in Bethel
Cost: no cost, but beer and food costs money (duh)
Why you should go: Old Heidelberg is the place to be during Oktoberfest if you want an authentic kind of experience with beer and food. How serious are they? Well, they shut down the entire restaurant and instead focus on their biergarten set up with plenty of tents. Drink some classic Oktoberfest brews and check out meals like brat on a grinder, a wurstplatter, half roast chicken, Kassler Rippchen (smoked pork chop), and lots more like pretzels and popcorn to encourage all day drinking. Live music for Friday and Saturday starts at 5:30 and 2 on Sunday.
Breweries rep’d: Various Oktoberfest brews from around the world.
Brewfest at the Beach
Date: 9/25 from 6-9 pm
Location: Ocean Beach Park in New London
Cost: $25 online, $30 at the door (ticket includes beer, food, and music)
Why you should go: You need to soak up the last of the good weather before fall comes into full swing . . . and what better place than the beach? There will be over 150 different beers being served up, highlighting a wide variety of styles so there will be something from everyone! Plus, plenty of food including some killer chili along with live music to wind the night down.
Breweries rep’d: Various, 150 different brews will be offered.
Charity tie-in: Camp Rotary and New London Rotary Foundation Charitable Projects
Date: 9/25 from 5:30-9:30
Location: The Mark Twain House in Hartford
Cost: $45 in advance ($40 for members), $20 for DD, $50 at the door (includes food, drink, and your own pint glass)
Why you should go: Mark Twain was an awesome guy, so it’s about time you learned a bit more about him and poured some sip on the concrete for him. Wait, that’s some valuable beer . . . drink it all! In addition, you’ll get your own collectible pint glass as well as plenty of food from local restaurants that include pizza, pasta, jambalaya, sliders, and pulled pork. There will also be live music from The Rude Mechanicals and the Alternates Duo as well as DJ Whitney Bobby.
Breweries rep’d: Hartford Better Beer Co, Hooker, Bru Room, Top Shelf, Stony Creek, Boston Beer Co, Witch Doctor Brewing (new!), and Shebeen.
Charity tie-in: The Mark Twain House
Date: 9/26 from 3-5 (2:30 entry if you have your cup from their summer event)
Location: The Rooftop at Community Health Center in Middletown
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Why you should go: Join a thirsty group of beer lovers and homebrewers for the cooler weather version of Brew with a View! There will be some awesome homebrews on tap that you not only get to taste, but also get to vote on your favorites along with their panel of judges.
Breweries rep’d: Homebrew, son.
Charity tie-in: North End Action Team
Date: 9/26 from 12-9
Location: Rotary Pavilion at Fowler Field in Milford
Why you should go: The Milford Oktoberfest is one of the most iconic and popular Oktoberfest celebrations in the state . . . and there’s a reason for that. They have an authentic German Bier Garden that will feature 14 different Oktoberfest and craft brews on tap for your consumption. Also, there will plenty of great, authentic German food plus a Bratwurst eating contest for charity for teams of 3. Call Vincent Lambiase at Beachwood Florist in Milford at (203) 878-3717 if you’re interested. There will also be photo ops with the Milford Oktoberfest girls, chances to get some killer German swag like mugs and hats, and even raffles for things like a big screen LCD, and a white of Apple products.
Breweries rep’d: Not listed yet.
Charity tie-in: Devon Rotary Club
Date: 9/26 from 2-8
Location: Ives Concert Park in Danbury
Cost: $15 for GA, $10 for students, $20 at the door
Why you should go: Unlike most of the beer fests listed here, all ages are allowed, so bring the family and get some drinks. Oh, and mom and dad . . . don’t worry because there will be plenty for them to do while you drink up some of the imported and domestic brews that they’ll be featuring. There is German music from the bands like the Apple Strudel Band, Alpaca Gnomes, and Bella’s Bartok, food trucks to feed up on, a kid’s pumpkin caring event, a waffle eating contest, a stein hoisting contest, and even an antique German char show.
Breweries rep’d: Widmer Brothers, Hooker, Uinta, Radeberger, Spaten, Hofbrau München, and more.
Date: 10/1 with seating at 7 and dinner at 7:30
Location: The Spread at 70 North Main Street in SoNo
Why you should go: The Spread has become an institution in SoNo . . . and there’s a reason why: Chef Carlos Baez is kicking ass and taking names. So, we need to tell ya to get yourself down there for a six course dinner featuring Chef’s takes on Oktoberfest fare. In addition, each course has a German beer pairing that finishes off with Arbor Brewing’s Strawberry Blonde.
Breweries rep’d: Ayingerz, Staaliches Hofbrauhaus, Spaten-Franziskaner-Brau, Paulaner Brauerei, Hacker-Pschorr Brau, and Arbor Brewing.
Oktoberfest Liquid Lounge presented by Dave & Busters
Date: 10/2 from 6-10
Location: Connecticut Science Center in Hartford
Cost: $15 online, $18 at the door
Why you should go: This will probably be a first for you, so you almost need to: celebrate Oktoberfest and drink beer inside of a place of learning. There will be live German music from Schwarze Schafe, brews, food, a yodeling contest, Oktoberfest photo booth with props (in case you forget your lederhosen), a strong man contest, learn about beer from Hooker Brewery, make your own shot glass or pretzel necklace, and check out their latest exhibit: Wild Music.
Breweries rep’d: No information yet.
Charity tie-in: Connecticut Science Center
Date: 10/2 (from 4-11) and 10/3 (from 12-6)
Location: Seymour Community Center
Cost: $25 for Friday (you buy beer on Friday), $45 for Saturday, or $60 for both days.
Why you should go: This is CT’s largest beer fest, sure, so that’s reason enough to go, but there’s a ton of other awesome things going on, too this year. There’s the Food Truck Challenge, where you eat the hell out of the food and you vote on your favorite truck. In return, there’s some serious cash to be given out to the Top 3. There will also be a ton of great live music for every single day, so check out the schedule here.
Breweries rep’d: Thomas Hooker, New England Brewing, Compo Hill, Blue Point, Widmer Brothers, Bar, City Steam, Green Flash, Stone, Otter Creek, Keegan Ales, Harpoon, Magic Hat, Sixpoint, Founders, Back East, Dogfish Head, Two Roads, Lock City Brewing, and a crazy amount more . . . plus over 30 different home breweries.
Date: 10/2-4 from 1-4 (Fanatics from 12-4) and 7-10
Location: Mohegan Sun in Uncasville
Why you should go: If you live out NE in CT, this is definitely a nice option as you tend to not get as many festivals as other parts of the state. And, you know what, this is a pretty big one with lots of bang for your buck. You can try a ton of brews and make get some killer grub from Arooga’s, Pepe’s, Michael Jordan’s Sportcafe, NoRA Cupcake Company, The Whey Station, and more. And, if you’re staying Friday, you could check out the beer trivia night, and if you’re staying until Sunday, you could check out the Brewbrunch at Todd English’s Tuscany.
Breweries rep’d: Blue Point, Broad Brook, Cottrell, Duvel, Goose Island, Long Trail, Ommegang, Otter Creek, Outer Light, Shebeen, Hooker, Two Roads, Victory, and more.
Date: 10/3 from 7-10
Location: New Canaan Nature Center
Cost: $65 online, $80 at the door
Why you should go: We’ve been to this festival twice and it is one of the best in the area. Entry gets you free tastings of local and craft beer (they will have some gluten-free beer too), wine, sparkling seltzers, and plenty to eat from local restaurants. Also, check out the Jazzholes (one of the best names for a band, btw) while you enjoy the beautiful night. This is the epitome of a fall event and remains one of our favorites.
Breweries rep’d: Two Roads, Charter Oak, other CT and Northeast breweries.
Charity tie-in: New Canaan Nature Center
Date: 10/3 from 1-6
Location: Four Town Fair on Egypt Road in Somers
Why you should go: Kym’s Kause was created six years ago in memory of Kymberly Meyers, a 19 year old, who died waiting for a liver transplant. So, each year, this festival is held to not only honor her life, but to also raise vital money for Kim’s Kause and Life Choice Donor Services. Entry gets you unlimited samples of 200 different brews, 60 wines, and live music from Maxxtone and Stray Dogs. In addition, check out the food trucks that will be there (food is extra): The Cupcake Brake, Faddy’s Donuts and Kettle Corn, Melt Mobile, The Rolling Tomato, and Szabo’s Seafood!
Breweries rep’d: Stony Creek, Two Roads, Back East, Hooker, Olde Burnside, Black Hog, DuVig, Powder Hollow, Broad Brook, Wachusett, Narragansett, and more to be announced.
Charity tie-in: Kim’s Kause and Life Choice Donor Services
Date: 10/3 from 5-9
Location: New Haven Country Club @ 160 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden
Why you should go: Um, we think we’re in love and we haven’t even been here yet: Blues, BBQ, Bourbon AND Beer? Man! So, dig: all ya can eat Southern BBQ from La Cuisine, music from The Cobalt Rhythm Kings, beer and bourbon, a silent auction, shots at grab bags, and more!
Breweries rep’d: To be announced.
Charity tie-in: AIDS Project New Haven
Powder Ridge Beer Fest
Date: 10/10 from 3-8
Location: Powder Ridge Mountain in Middlefield
Cost: $24 in advance, $29 at the door, $15 for DD.
Why you should go: Although it’s kind of weird for us not to be drinking during our snowboard runs, we can handle it for the Powder Ridge Beer Fest when it’s just all about drinking and having a good time. There will be live music from Nashville Drive Country Band and The Locomotives, free lifts up the mountain, raffles, food for purchase, and . . . wait . . . what else . . . yeah, beer. Over 20 different breweries, many from CT and the surrounding states, too.
Breweries rep’d: Safe Harbor, Cottrell, Two Roads, Captain Lawrence, Harpoon, Ithaca, Mayflower, Southport Brewing Company, Hooker, Back East, Foolproof, Goose Island, Long Trail, Stony Creek, Black Hog, Thimble Island, Broad Brook, Greenport Harbor, and more!
Charity tie-in: Middlefield’s 150 Years Celebration