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Ultimate Guide to CT Summer Beer Fests and Events — 2015

18 Jun

Summer is just around the corner (6/21) and we want to make sure that you soak up every last drop of beer, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide for summer beer fests and hop-heavy events here in Connecticut. As the events pass, we’ll shift them to the bottom so that you don’t have to scroll as much. Also, if you have anything to add on here, please let us know by replying or sending us an e-mail. Cheers!


Craft Brew Races + Brew Festival

Date: 8/1 from 12-4

Location: Edgewood Park at the corner of West Rock Avenue and Whalley Ave in New Haven

Cost: $53.74 for the 5k and Brew Festival; $43.19 for just the Brew Festival; $16.82 for DD

Why you should go: Look, we know you like drinking, so you just might need to work off some of that beer belly with a 5k run! When you cross that line (whether you walked or ran), you’ll get a medal, a pat on the back, and your own Craft Brew Races commemorative event glass that you can use to rehydrate with some brewskis. And, thank God, they’ll have food at the finish line too, so chow down on Bounty Burger, Get Your Irish On, Cowabunga, and Fryborg.

Breweries rep’d: 30+ breweries including Charter Oak, Beer’d, Kent Falls, Overshores, Allagash, No Worries Brewing, Stony Creek, Stone, Powder Hollow, NEBCo, Stubborn Beauty, Pioneer, Relic, Black Hog, Broad Brook, Troegs, Half Full, Cottrell, Long Ireland, Hooker, Grey Sail, Sierra Nevada, and more.

Charity tie-in: Westville Village Renaissance Alliance

Eli Cannon’s Charity Beer Fest

Date: 8/3 from 5-9 (VIPs enter at 4:30)

Location: Eli Cannon’s Tap Room @ 695 Main Street in Middletown

Cost: $37.92 (VIP Sold Out!)

Why you should go: There will be over 60 breweries represented, live music, various vendors, and food trucks including Whey Station, Ted’s Steamed Cheeseburgers, Bear’s Smokehouse, and NoRA Cupcake Company. You’ll also get a customized Eli Cannon’s tasting glass!

Breweries rep’d: 60+ including Foolproof, Shebeen, Thimble Island, Willimantic, Oskar blues, Stone, Olde Burnside, Finch’s, and Baxter.

Charity tie-in: Middlesex Coaltion on Housing and Homelessness

A Hot & “Sour” Summer 2: Acidic Adventures

Date: 8/15 from 12-7

Location: OEC Brewing @ 7 Fox Hollow Road in Oxford

Cost: TBD

Why you should go: OEC will not only be presenting their killer sour beers that they have become known for, but they’ll also be serving up sour beer from across the world. Pucker up and get ready.

Breweries rep’d: OEC Brewing and various other sours from across the world.

Shore 2 the Pour Beach Run

Date: 8/22 from 8:30-?

Location: Short Beach Park and Two Roads Brewing in Stratford

Cost: $35

Why you should go: There’s nothing quite as rewarding as conquering a challenging run then drinking afterwards. And while this run won’t be too long (3 miles), it’ll definitely be a challenge because 3/4 of the race will be on sand or grass. But, you’ll hit the sweet spot, er Honeyspot, when you get to the finish and start drinking some brews. 

Breweries rep’d: Two Roads

Charity tie-in: Audubon Connecticut @ Stratford Point

ShakesBeer Festival

Date: 8/22 from 1-7 for VIP and 2-7 for GA

Location: American Shakespeare Theatre @ 1860 Elm Street in Stratford

Cost: $60 for VIP or $40 for GA

Why you should go: Because it’s an awesome name and because beer. Oh, and there will be plenty from CT and across the Northeast! Adding to the excitement, there will be lots of rare brews on tap including some speciality casks being brewed just for this night including one from Two Roads. Oh, and VIPs get to try a few more speciality casks, so the VIP tix are worth it! To sweeten the pot, you can purchase some iambic pentameter inducing food from Vazzy’s Brick Oven Pizza, High on the Hog, The Spud Stud, Lobstercraft, and Zack’s Frozen Yogurt.

Breweries rep’d: Two Roads, Sam Adams, NEBCo, Charter Oak, Otter Creek, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Cisco, Shebeen, Long Trail, Clown Shoes, Back East, Foolproof, Half Full, Sixpoint, Black Hog, Ommegang, and more.

Charity tie-in: Tix help to fund the revival of the American Shakespeare Theatre!

Secret Stash Beer Bash

Date: 8/29 from 5-8

Location: Goodwin College @ 1 Riverside Drive in East Hartford

Cost: $42.99 for GA; $16.74 for DD; $105.99 for Pilsner Sponsor

Why you should go: Not only will you be helping to fund money for Goodwin College scholarships, you’ll also get to taste one-of-a-kind brews for over 20 CT breweries. Why so unique? Well, Onyx Moonshine sent them their Secret Stash whiskey barrels and the breweries will be making their own beer right inside. You taste, you vote! Plus, you’ll get some tastes from local restaurants and will also be able to purchase some food from local food trucks.

Breweries rep’d: Back East Brewing Company
Black Hog, Broad Brook,Bru Rm at Bar, Charter Oak, City Steam, DuVig, Half Full, Hooker,
Firefly Hollow, Outer Light, Overshores, Powder Hollow, Relic, Shebeen, Southport Brewing Company, Stony Creek, Stubborn Beauty, Thimble Island, Willimantic Brewing

Charity tie-in: Goodwin College Scholarships

Hops for Hope Brewfest

Date: 8/30 from 12-1 for Early Birds (sold out) or 1-4 for GA

Location: The Quartette Club @ 225 Wooster Street in New Britain

Cost: $45

Why you should go: It’s always nice to go to a beer fest that has a heart and this one definitely does! What we also love about this brand new fest is the quality breweries they nailed down. Beer’d, Lasting Brass, Steady Habit, and Kent Falls? All in the same place. Hell yes. Smokin’ with Chris and Whey Station will also be on hand to provide your nomming needs.

Breweries rep’d: NEBCo, Beer’d, Steady Habit, Lasting Brass, Captain Lawrence, Willimantic, Firefly Hollow, Kent Falls, Back East, Relic, Thomas Hooker, Overshores, Stony Creek, Black Hog, Grey Sail, Stubborn Beauty, Long Trail, City Steam, Broad Brook, Two Roads and more.

Charity tie-in: Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research Foundation

Beer Fest & Pig Roast

Pulled pork at Dinosaur Bar-b-que StamfordDate: 8/30 from 1-6

Location: Harugari German American Club @ 66 Highland Street in West Haven

Cost: $5 entrance; free for under 18

Why you should go: Slow roasted pork, German food, and German beer. But, if that ain’t enough, there will be live music from The Adlers along with dancing from The Harugari Schuhplattlers.

Breweries rep’d: Various German brews.


Brass City Brew Fest

Date: 9/12 from 1-5 for GA and from 12-1 with a Preview ticket

Location: Library Park @ 267 Grand Street in Waterbury

Cost: $30 for GA; $10 for a Preview ticket; $10 for Belgian and International tent

Why you should go: This is probably the most epic beer fest of them all with over 125 breweries in attendance with more than 275 brews in total for sampling. Holy crap, people. That’s insane! In addition to all that sampling (no doubt you’ll be busy doing that), you can check out free seminars, listen to some bands, and munch on some food.

Breweries rep’d: TBD, but will be epic.

Charity tie-in: Main Street Waterbury

America on Tap 2015

Date: 9/12 from 3-6 for GA or 2-6 for VIP

Location: Ives Concert Park @ 43 Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury

Cost: $35 for GA; VIP for $55 (you get access to rare beers)

Why you should go: We went last year and we had a great time, so we’re excited to see what American on Tap has . . . er . . . on tap this year! Right now, they are set to have over 100 brews from over 50 different American craft breweries. In addition, there will be a silent disco which will be pretty freaking amusing with all the tipsy people as well as some live music. Plus, there will be food from The Spot, Northern Smoke BBQ, Rita’s Italian Ice, The Cookhouse, Bull and Barrel Brew Pub, Mima’s Meatballs, and Hog Wild BBQ as well as fun stuff to purchase and check out from Buttheads Tobacco Emporium, Ireland on the Road, Danbury Tattoo, and more.

Breweries rep’d: The list should be released sometime in July.

Get Lei’d Charity Pub Crawl

Date: 9/19 from 1-10 pm

Location: West Hartford, details TBD

Cost: $22.09

Why you should go: The Craft Beer Enthusiast Union is an awesome group on Facebook that has grown from its Connecticut roots to expand into other states. And, Jeff Roberts is organizing a pub crawl that will go down in the books as purely awesome. Jeff has picked out some great spots, bars will have specials for attendees, and he promises that everyone will get lei’d! So, make sure to throw on your Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts then hit up the mean streets of West Hartford with some great people.

Breweries rep’d: whatever’s at the pubs!

Charity tie-in: CT Children’s Hospital

3rd Annual Ok2berfest from Two Roads

two roads logoDate: 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 Hef, Pils, Road Jam, Marzen, and Fester pouring. 

Oktoberfest @ Harugari German American Club

Date: 9/20 from 1-6

Location: Harugari German American Club @ 66 Highland Street in West Haven

Cost: $5

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.


Past Beer Fests

Half Full Brewery Hop Skip & a Run 5K & Beer Festival

Date: 6/20 from 10:30-2:30

Location: Waterfront (17 Harbor Point Rd.) @ Harbor Point Stamford

Cost: $40.03 for 5k, t-shirt, festival, and 1 free beer; $34.75 for under 21 including t-shirt and festival; $16.82 for festival entry and 1 free beer.

Why you should go: Half Full is hosting their second annual 5k and it’s like none other that you’ve probably ever run. At times you’ll hop, at times you’ll skip, and at other times maybe you’ll run . . . or walk: hey, no one is judging! After the 5k, head back where you started for some cold and refreshing Half Full brews and pick up some food from The Brunch Box and Christophe’s Crepes.

Breweries rep’d: Half Full

Charity tie-in: Achilles International

Ski Sundown Summer Brewfest

Date: 6/20 from 4-8

Location: Ski Sundown @ 126 Ratlum Road in New Hartford

Cost: $30 in advance; $35 at the door; $20 for DD (includes water and soda)

Why you should go: The Ski Sundown Summer Brewfest is one of the best festivals that you’ll attend all year long. This one shines because of its heavy focus on CT breweries. There will be over 30 breweries on hand and, chances are, that you haven’t had a good deal of them, so you’ll want to come out and explore. Also, there will be live music from Uncle Polly & The Family Jam and plenty of good food from Prime Meats and KC Dubliner.

Breweries rep’d: Nearly all are CT breweries including Back East, Black Hog, Broad Brook, City Steam, DuVig, Firefly Hollow, Half Full, Kent Falls, Overshores, Relic, Stubborn Beauty, Thimble Island, Thomas Hooker, Two Roads and more!

Charity tie-in: Connecticut Brewers Guild

Brew with a View 

Date: 6/20 from 3-5

Location: Community Health Center roof @ 675 Main Street in Middletown

Cost: $15 in advance; $20 at the door (anyone who attended the March event and brings their tasting cups will get $5 back!)

Why you should go: This is one of the most anticipated events of the year, beer-wise, so you’ll want to make sure that you come on down. There will be a nice amount of homebrewed beer that you get to taste and ultimately vote on. While you’re sipping on the homebrews, jam out with your kilt out with the Middletown PBA Bagpipe Band and chill with some jazz from Clay Selmont

Breweries rep’d: CT Homebrew!

Charity tie-in: North End Action Team

Veracious Brewing Grand Opening Party

Date: 6/20 from 5:30-8

Location: Veracious Brewing @ 246 Main Street in Monroe

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door

Why you should go: Veracious Brewing is CT’s newest brewery and you need to check that out, right? As if that wasn’t enough reason to go, listen to this: you get a tour, a pint/a flight of four brews, and your own unlimited supply of pizza and fried dough from Vazzy’s Pizza Pie Wagon. Oh hell yes.

Breweries rep’d: Veracious Brewing

Two Roads Road Jam Fest

Date: 6/27

Location: Two Roads Brewery @ 1700 Stratford Ave. in Stratford

Cost: $25 with first beer free; $18 for DD (water and soda extra)

Why you should go: This is the second year for the Road Jam Fest and it’s definitely gonna be another great time. Beer is just $5 (you buy tickets with cash, btw) and there will be food trucks there too to help you soak up all that Two Roads. Also, don’t forget the “jam” part of the event with Snooty Garland, McLovins, The Alpaca Gnomes, and The Soul Rebels.

Breweries rep’d: Two Roads

Kent Falls Tasting & CT Beer Book Signing

Date: 7/2 starting at 6

Location: Westbrook Lobster @ 300 Church Street in Wallingford

Cost: Per pint and whatever you order; specials

Why you should go: Not only is Kent Falls Brewing so killer good, but Westbrook Lobster is one of the most popular seafood spots here in this fine state of ours. So, why not bring them together with special pairings of their Field Beer w/ Spelt, Waymaker Brett IPA, and Farmer’s Table? There will also be a deal for ya: $20 gets ya a lobster roll with a Kent Falls beer! Wrapping this all up will be Will Siss (@beersnobwrites) who will be signing copies of his book Connecticut Beer: A History of Nutmeg State Brewing.

Breweries rep’d: Kent Falls Brewing

German Bierfest

Date: 7/12 from 1-6

Location: Harugari German American Club @ 66 Highland Street in West Haven

Cost: $5 entrance; free for under 18

Why you should go: The Austrian Boys will be on hand to slap you in your polka face . . . boom! Like their other events (2 more listed), they’ll have plenty of great German food and brews to partake in.

Breweries rep’d: Various German brews.

Moo & Brew Festival

Date: 7/12 from 4-8

Location: Rosedale Farms & Vineyards @ 25 East Weatogue Street in Simsbury

Cost: $45 (tax and tip extra)

Why you should go: The 7th Annual Max Chef to Farm event series is now in full swing and heats up with the Moo & Brew Festival. Your ticket gets you not only tastes of brews, but also gives you food pairings. Oh, but they aren’t any ol’ food pairings. Nope: each brewery will be paired with a speciality from the state or region where they are from! There will also be music from Will Evans. 

Breweries rep’d: Abita, Allagash, Ballast Point, Full Sail, Google Island, New England Brewing, Oskar Blues, and Victory Brewing.

Beers at the Beach with Kent Falls Brewing

Date: 7/16 starting at 6:30 or 6 for VIP

Location: Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk

Cost: $30 for GA or $42 for VIP; $10 to park at city beach

Why you should go: Drinking beer at the beach is an American birthright! Plus, we freaking love Kent Falls Brewing and they’ll be there with their stellar farmhouse ales. All entrants get to pick between a burger, 2 hot dogs, or a veggie burger. VIP tix get you in half an hour early, access to a special release beer brewed just for that night, and a Beers at the beach tee.

Breweries rep’d: Kent Falls Brewing

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Rizzuto’s in Bethel Celebrates 10 Years w/ Prix Fixe Deals from 1/25-2/21

16 Jan

Rizzuto's Bethel 10 Year Anniversary

In December of 2004, Bill Rizzuto started Rizzuto’s in Bethel. The menu featured good, classic Italian dishes paired with brick oven pies fresh out of the oven. As the success for the Bethel restaurant grew, Bill expanded Rizzuto’s into West Hartford, Westport, and Stamford. With expansion also came evolution, as they began to focus more on small plates, drink selection, and new concepts like recently adding more of a sports vibe to their Stamford spot.

To celebrate their continued success, Bill and everybody at Rizzuto’s Bethel will be offering up deals from 1/25-2/21 (not including Valentine’s Day). Lunch will cost you just $10 ($1 for every year) and dinner will set you back only $20.04 (2004, get it?)

Rizzuto’s Bethel is located at 6 Stony Hill Road.

Bethel Restaurant Week 2014 features 24 restaurants with lots of great deals

19 Feb

Clear your calendars for the third installment of Bethel Restaurant Week, this year running from February 23 through March 1.  Like other restaurant weeks, you’ll be served a three course lunch or dinner at set price decided by the restaurant, but this one’s a bit different.  You’ll actually be able to get breakfast at some of these places, that’s an option that’s not usually offered, and there are lots of deals like BOGOs and discounts.   And, another exciting thing for us about Bethel Restaurant Week is the amazing selection of places that our friends and readers have told us about that we need to try STAT.  So, here’s a nice little guide for you.

Starting off, there are  4 basic price levels for Lunch/Dinner:  $5/$10, $10/15, $15/$25, or $20/$35.  Without further ado, fine gents and ladies, here are the restaurants with links to their Restaurant Week menus (some haven’t been updated yet).

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2 paws up: Pints for Pits at Greenwood’s Grille + Ale House in Bethel ft. Ommegang flights

9 Jan

Bully Breed Rescue Ommegang Greenwood's Grille Fundraiser

Drink up!  Greenwood’s Grille & Ale House in Bethel will be hosting Pints for Pits in order to help out the cute and furry puppies and dogs of Bully Breed Rescue of New Canaan.  When you arrive on 1/15 from 7-10 pm you’ll have the option of buying a drink ticket for $5 that will get you a pint but also also get BBR a portion of your purchase.  Also, you can get a flight of some of our favorite beer, Ommegang of Cooperstown, for just $8.  

Look, you’re gonna drink the beer anyway…why not let your addiction and gluttony count towards something good?  While you’re there, you can also buy some BBR merchandise and learn more about their amazing success stories.  

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Fairfield County Guide to Pizza and Drinks this Thanksgiving Eve (or any day)

21 Nov

Thanksgiving Eve is not only one of the top 5 busiest day of the year for pizza eating, but it’s also in the top spots of busiest nights to go out for drinks. It makes perfect sense, too. People are packing bags, they are cleaning, and they are even preparing for the holiday feast. Who wants to make another meal in addition to Thanksgiving? Answer? No one. And, lots of people come back home from college and far far away. It’s their time to go out, catch up with old friends, and even make the next day with the in-laws a little more tolerable by getting tipsy.

So, in the spirit of helping out our fellow pizza munchers and drink guzzlers, we’ve put together a list of some of our reader’s favorites spots (mentioned in the description) as well as ours.  Please note, we’re only mentioning if they have pick up or delivery for the purpose of this post, though most of these restaurants do have sit down service.  All pizza opinions are relative, so don’t get too crazy, pizza fascists.  And, we didn’t list just bars…they have to have food, too.  Happy Turkey Day!

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Hop to it: Todd Ruggere to drink a beer in all 169 CT towns in 2014 for charity

21 Nov
Final 351th Beer Todd Ruggere

Some people sell chocolates, some people grow mustaches, some people run marathons, and there are even some people who go from door to door to raise money for their favorite charities.  Well, “some people” have never met Todd Ruggere of Grafton, MA.  Last year he traveled to every single town in Massachusetts (351 of them) and had a beer there.  His hope was to meet some great people, have some great beer, but most importantly raise some money for children’s cancer research.  

Jim Koch of Sam Adams with Todd RuggereBut, how could he expect the amazing reaction that he would receive from people who were following his journey?  They’d give him suggestions of where to have a drink, would invite him over for a beer, and they’d set up amazing events upon his arrival that would help him to raise about $40,000 by the end of his trip.  But, he’s not stopping there.

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Celebrate National Apple Month at these Connecticut orchards

2 Oct

National Apple Month

A couple of weeks ago we told you how October is American Cheese Month, so imagine our surprise when we discovered that October is also National Apple Month.  Yeah, those two totally go together and are best buds as far as we’re concerned.

So, what better way to celebrate this juicy and tantalizing month than getting out to some local Connecticut orchards and picking bushels and bushels of the good stuff?  But, while you’re there, you’ll also want to get you some apple cider.  Oh yeah!  Now, that made us wonder…where do we go?

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Celebrate Connecticut Farm to Chef Week 2013 at Farms, Restaurants…and Schools

11 Sep

The premise of Farm to Chef Week (September 15-21) in Connecticut is pretty simple.  Use the freshest, most local ingredients from Connecticut farms at restaurants and different venues throughout the state.  While some of the restaurants that are participating such as ON20 in Hartford, Zinc in New Haven, or Rizzuto’s might not surprise you because they already make good use of local ingredients, there might be some surprises for you on the list.  We’re talking about local schools like Branford, Newtown, Westport, and Wilton as well as colleges such as Fairfield University and University of Connecticut in Storrs.

When you visit any of the restaurants listed below here during Connecticut Farm to Chef Week, you can expect special menus and offerings.  Each participant must offer at least four foods or courses that feature one or more Connecticut Grown items.  And, if a venue allows alcohol, they need to also offer at least one Connecticut wine.  As for the farms listed below, they will be offering specialty items and produce during CT Farm to Chef Week.  Just check here to see what each farm is offering!’ Continue reading

Classic Cars, Hot Rods, Burgers, and Root Beer @ Sycamore Drive-In’s Summer Cruise Nights

10 Sep

Chevelles, Camaros, and Mustangs, oh hell yeah. Those are just some of the awesome cars you’ll see at the Sycamore Drive-In during Summer Cruise Nights. Tons of amazing classic, hot rods, and vintage cars, many super customized, out on display for you to gawk at. This goes down every Saturday night from May through September, 6-9 pm.

There is no charge at all, but when you’re there you need to do a couple of things.

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Guide to Fall Beer Bashes and Oktoberfests in Fairfield County, CT

6 Sep

People love to drink beer all year round, but once fall comes along something clicks in people’s heads.  We’ll call it the Oktoberfest switch.  It’s the time of year when we think about how we want to be outside, drinking some brews, hanging with friends, and enjoying the crisp cool air.  And while we can’t come close to the madness that is a true German Oktoberfest, we can at least try by celebrating beer with parties and festivals.  You could, of course, go to every single event that we’ve listed, but we won’t be paying for your hospital bills…

From their biergarten, pic from their site

9/13-15, 9/20-22, and 9/27-29

Bethel Oktoberfest @ Old Heidelberg, Bethel

Three weekends of authentic and awesome German food, brews, entertainment, and tons of fun at Old Heidelberg, one of CT’s best (many argue THE best) German restaurants.  Also, check out Stamford Museum & Nature Center’s Oktoberfest on 10/18, they’ll have Old Heidelberg catering!

9/21-9/22

Two Roads Ok2berfest Oktoberfest flyerTwo Roads Ok2berfest, Stratford

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