Tag Archives: craft beer

Craft Beer vs. Pub Grub @ The Crafty Monk – Black Rock (Review)

16 Nov

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After checking out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Utica Comets game with our friends John and Jenn (we won’t tell you who we were rooting for), we left with a thirst and hunger. We had lots of ideas in our heads with so many restaurants right in the Black Rock area, but since we felt like getting a few good brews, we decided to hit up The Crafty Monk. It’s located where The Field used to be. When we lived in Black Rock, we were regulars there . . . well, before it turned into a night club and a party scene. But, the original owners are back and turned it into a beer-filled gastropub.

Firefly Hollow Cone Flakes DIPASpeaking of beer, there was a nice variety of styles, a solid focus on CT beer, and just good craft beer in general with 40 on tap and 30 in bottles or cans. Dan was hoping to get a taste of Firefly Hollow’s Train’s Best ESB that had just won 1st place in the International Beer Competition, but they were out . . . but our waiter (who happened to be Kristien’s former client) came to the rescue by telling us that their Cone Flakes DIPA was on tap. Score!

Fried pickles at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTOkay, onto the food. What you see is what you get: it’s offical pub grub with a variety of apps and entrees. We decided to do a little of both to get a taste of what the food was all about. Up first were the fried pickles. The breading wasn’t too thick and had some nice herby notes to it, while the pickles were nice and juicy with each bite. But, they don’t expect you to eat ’em just like that, nope: you get three housemade sauces. There was a Wasabi which was our favorite with a nice spicy kick, there was the Black Pepper which was light and refreshing, and the Chipotle that was smoky with a nice little kick. They also have Cajun, Curry, and Pesto if you dig that style. 

Buffalo Garlic wings at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTUp next were the wings, which come in buffalo, bbq, garlic parmesan, and orange chili-glazed flavors. We weren’t really sure what to get, but our server suggested we try this new combo that people have been asking for: buffalo garlic. Both flavors worked very nicely together, with neither taking over too much but blending in well. The skin was a bit crispy, but we would have liked more crunch. The meat, though, was plenty juicy which we think is just as important as that crispy skin.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTThen our sandwiches hit the table after a few more brewskis. John had the Pulled Pork with an artisanal baguette which he liked, but it wasn’t anything that amazed him . . . just your typical kinda pulled pork sandwich. Dan had the Merry Monk Burger which he ordered medium rare, but it came out a medium well. But, even still, it was pretty juicy with a nice, rich and fresh flavor. The chipotle aioli added a nice smokiness and the egg added a fatty savoriness to it. With those burgers came some, of course, house cut fries. They were plenty crispy, but needed a little more salt to really bring out the flavor more.

Turkey burger at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTKristien ordered the turkey burger which came out super juicy. The jalapenos that you get to load on to your own delight (or demise) were spicy and added a nice contrast. But, we either didn’t taste the cranberry or they forgot it. Maybe because of this or something else, we felt like the turkey burger needed something else. So, Kristien and Jenn added some of the Black Pepper aioli from before and that definitely helped.

The Merry Monk Burgerat The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTFrom all our brews and snacks at the game, we were stuffed and ended there. But, we felt like we had a good handle on The Crafty Monk. It’s a solid spot to go if you want to sit at their massive bar, order some nice craft beer, and watch a game on TV. In terms of food, there were definitely some inconsistencies in almost all that we had. We’d say if you go here with expectations of the standard pub grub experience you’ll be fine, but the beer definitely wins out here.

The Crafty Monk

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$-$$$

Address: 3001 Fairfield Avenue

                Bridgeport, CT

Vote in Your Favorite Finalists in the 2015 CT Restaurant Association Salute to Excellence Awards

27 Oct

The Connecticut Restaurant Association has just opened up voting for their Salute to Excellence Awards and they need your help. Look through the finalists in the categories of Casual Restaurant, Upscale Restaurant, Caterer, Mixologist, Chef, and Server of the Year. Voting will continue all the way through November 16 at 5 pm, but there’s no reason to wait that long: vote now! One vote per person and e-mail, please. Then, on December 1, the winners will be announced at the CRA Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner at Mohegan Sun. If you’d like a ticket to that event or more info, click here.

Here are the categories along with the finalists: Continue reading

SamPoll and Rate Brews @ Ninety 9 Bottles Craft Beer Fest (Full Brew Lineup Here)

4 Jun

We know you’ll be sampling a ton of beers at the Ninety 9 Bottles Craft Beer Fest this Saturday, but the question is: will you be SamPolling beer? Well, we hope you will be, and all it takes is a simple download of SamPoll from Google or the App Store to get you started with the official beer rating app for this fest.

All you’ll need to do is sign up, open up the app, select the beer fest you’re attending, then quickly rate your brews as you try them. The advantage, of course, is that you can then go back and check out your faves for ordering at restaurants or buying at the store.

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Win 2 Tix to Hoptoberfest Craft Beer Fest + Wing Contest in Shelton

30 Sep

Hoptoberfest CT

We’ve grown to become very picky about our hot wings. Seriously, like super picky.  We’ve had some awesome wings around the state, so we’re always keeping a mental wingopedia when we try new ones. So, we’d like to help you to add more wings to to that wingopedia in your noggin with two free tickets to Hoptoberfest Craft Beer Festival & Wing Contest! All you need to do is tell us how you like your wings here, on FB, or on Twitter using #Wingopedia. If we were entering (which we aren’t, that’d be mean if we won our own contest!), we’d say something like, “I like my wings spicy.  Like, actually spicy…not fake spicy.” The contest starts now and goes until Friday (10/3) at noon when we’ll announce the winner on our FB page and Twitter feed. 

Here are the deets for Hoptoberfest…and note that if you get your tickets online, they are still pretty affordable at only $25:

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Long Live The Stamford Beer Garden, Coming Soon to Shippan Landing

16 Jun
Um, yes please!

Um, yes please!  (Artist rendering)

The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing will open Wednesday, July 30 at 4 pm!  The hours are 4-close Wednesday-Friday and at 2-close on Saturdays and Sundays!

Updated details!

• Opening is set for early July

• It’s a 15,000 square foot spot…damn!

• Designed by Rick Parisi of MPFP 

• Add in horseshoes to the games that you can play

• And, also add in Bodega and Melt Mobile to the list of rotating trucks.

• Hours will be W-F from 4-last call and Saturday-Sunday from 2-last call.

One of the most successful businesses to open last year was The Beer Garden @ Harbor Point from Imian Hospitality.  From the start, the venture was only a temporary one…kind of like a good-weather-pop-up spot.  Guess it was kinda like The Fault in Our Stars:  you know the girl’s gonna die (oops, spoiler alert), but you stick with her anyway because you dig her.  (p.s. no we didn’t watch the movie, but it’s pretty darn predictable.) And, while we had our criticisms of The Beer Garden such as the bathroom situation, the long lines, the limited beer selection, or the fact that it wasn’t really a beer garden, things did seem to improve as the summer went on. There was more beer, there was a better selection, lines were shorter, there were lots of events, and it became the ultimate stop for beer guzzlers who love food trucks. Okay, well, that’s true of every beer guzzler, but you get our drift, right?

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Refining the Craft of American Comfort Food @ Craft 260 in Fairfield, CT

9 Jun
The whole restaurant speaks to the word CRAFT, even the decor

The whole restaurant speaks to the word CRAFT, even the decor

Craft 260 has been on our to-eat list since it opened on February 13 of this year, but sometimes we’re bad bloggers and get too lazy to haul our asses up to Fairfield. It’s not that we don’t love Fairfield…we do.  In fact, it use to be our old stomping grounds. It’s just that we get sidetracked by all the nomworthy places in between here and there…like food blogger A.D.D. But, our good friends Kevin and Aly recently moved up that way, so we knew it was about time…

We weren’t sure where exactly Craft 260 was, but quickly figured out it was in that little shopping center/strip mall with Michael Gennaro’s Steakhouse, Giove’s Pizza Kitchen (No Name Pizza all day!), and a vodka bar that’s coming soon. An odd location for sure, but we weren’t going to let that deter us.

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Craft, a beer documentary, special viewing at Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford

30 May

Craft beer.  It’s about independence, it’s about passion, it’s about breaking boundaries, and it’s about—most importantly—great beer.  Over the past few years, the demand for craft beer has skyrocketed, putting the big guys like Bud and Miller into a panic over slumping sales.  While they responded with big name brands that look like small name craft brewery brands, the true, artisan, craft beer industry is immense and still remains a force to be reckoned with.  Yeah, you could call it a craft beer revolution.

Craig Noble, filmmaker and Cicerone via ©Darko Sikman Photography

And, that’s where Craft, a brand new documentary from filmmaker Craig Noble comes in.  First of all, it explores the rise of craft breweries across America.  And, it also highlights some of the key players, brewers like Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin, and beer-visionaries with behind-the-keg peeks at what makes them tick and keeps them producing beer that continues to wow and amaze.

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Half Full and SBC to release a collabo beer and hold a tap takeover event – Stamford, CT

8 May

Stamford’s own Half Full Brewery has collaborated with Southport Brewing Company Stamford to create Stamford Ale.  This beer is a Rye Ale that clocks in at an impressive 7% ABV and was created for a few reasons.  First of all, beer is just damn awesome.  Secondly, Stamford Ale was created as a celebration for American Craft Beer Week and CT Beer Week #1, going on from May 12-18.  And, lastly, both Half Full and SBC wanted to help shift people’s focus onto Stamford as a craft beer city.  Conor Horrigan, owner and Chief Beer Philosopher at Half Full told us recently,  “Hartford and New Haven are known as being very crafty because of the brewery presence in and around those cities and so we wanted to highlight the fact that right here in our city, we have two breweries and a burgeoning craft beer scene when you consider the beer bars that we have or will have  including Cask Republic, Coalhouse, and World of Beer.

So, want a taste of this collabo brew from Jen Muckerman of Half Full and Frank DelGreco of SBC ?  Come on down to SBC Stamford on May 15th from 6-9 pm to find out!  At that time you can taste Stamford Ale and you’ll also be greeted to a Stamford tap takeover featuring SBC and Half Full beer.  Adding some more excitement into the mix will be live  music from 9style Acoustic Duo with a crazy session of karaoke afterwards.

This will be a great event, bringing together two brewers and two breweries…and uniting a city in a common purpose.  If you’re keeping track, this marks SBC’s second collobaration during CT Beer Week, the first being White Willi with Dave Wollner of Willimantic Brewing and Mark DaSilva of SBC.

Stamford Ale Release Party and Stamford Tap Takeover

May 15, 6-9 pm

SBC Stamford

131 Summer Street

Stamford, CT 06901


Bringing the Brew-haha this May @ Coalhouse Pizza: CT Pour Tour, Utopia Raffle, Flight + Beer Nights, and More

29 Apr

American Craft Beer Week goes from 5/12 to 5/18 this year and it coincides exactly, as we previously shared, with the first of two CT Beer Weeks.  So, it’s no surprise that Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford is up to some hoppy goodness for this time…and, well, the entire month, and well…every single day of the year.  Truly, Gerard is devoted to tapping the best craft and CT brews.  Here are some of the great things planned for this May at Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford…

Todd Ruggere of the CT Pour Tour Visits and Rare Beer Raffle

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Could Dew Drop Inn Have the Biggest (and Best) Variety of Wings in the World? – Derby, CT

29 Jan


When we hit up Dew Drop Inn last year, we were amazed at the variety of wings available.  We’re not talking about just “Mild,” “Spicy,” and “Atomic,” either.  We had to pick through 41 varieties!  So, we had settled on their Peanut Butter & Jelly wings which rocked our worlds and loved the Parmesan Butter Bacon wings.  Truly, we knew this was the place to go for all our hot wing needs and was a nice stop after a few drinks at Two Roads Brewery in Stratford.

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