There’s tons of beer festivals now, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. For the 6th Annual Split Thy Skull festival, that special thing is barleywine. The event will take place at City Steam Brewery this Sunday, April 3, from 12:30-4:30 PM.
The Split Thy Skull Barleywine Fest is presented by Harvest Wine and Spirits and Harvest Country Store of West Hartford. The event began 6 years ago and was a more of a bottle share, in gratitude to loyal customers. It has grown exponentially, with over 100 different barleywines slated to be at this year’s event. Continue reading “Split Thy Skull- A Barleywine Showcase”
One of my dream jobs has always been to DJ hockey games. And/or drive the Zamboni. While I am a Bruins fan, I’m always happy to watch them face off with the team my cable company thinks I should be a fan of: the New York Rangers. In honor of the game that will take place the day after Thanksgiving, I am going to do a hockey playlist pairing from New York and Boston bands with five beers from around those areas.
Continue reading “Beer Pairings: NHL Thanksgiving Showdown Edition Part 2: Boston”
One of my dream jobs has always been to DJ hockey games. And/or drive the Zamboni. While I am a Bruins fan, I’m always happy to watch them face off with the team my cable company thinks I should be a fan of: the New York Rangers. In honor of the game that will take place the day after Thanksgiving, I am going to do a hockey playlist pairing from New York and Boston bands with five beers from around those areas. A tall order, you might say. I agree, so as with any good list, there are a few stipulations.
While the craft brewing movement is growing quickly enough to have 5 breweries in each city, I am going to branch out include areas outside of these two cities proper.
These are not only two major cities for music, but they are also two major cities that I love. So I am going to pair it down to records that I would want to hear at a hockey game but for whatever reason, never do. It is still a ton of stuff to pick from, but I’ll try to be realistic.
On that note, I’m leaving out stuff you already do hear at hockey games. Sorry, Kiss.
I’m also picking beers I’d want to drink at a hockey game. Lower ABV, if it comes in a can and can fit in one of my many coozies, great. As good they can be, I have found that drinking a 12% Russian Imperial Stout before/during a game is not always the best choice.
Since I prefer to save the best for last, I will start with the New York pairings.
Continue reading “Beer Pairings: NHL Thanksgiving Showdown Edition Part 1: New York”
I have been homebrewing for about four years now. While I have had other hobbies longer, homebrewing is probably the most interesting one I have ever had. Think about it- do you like cooking? Do you like making things? Do you like to drink? I don’t know too many people that cannot say yes to at least one of these questions.
The more people I talk to about it, the more I realize that homebrewing is much easier than people think it is. Sure, it can get difficult as you start to experiment with bigger batches, different ingredients, and new technology. But when it boils down, (all the puns intended), you are basically just following a recipe.
Saturday, November 7 is Learn To Homebrew Day. It was established by the American Homebrewers Association in 1999 to give homebrewers a chance to show non-brewers the ropes, and maybe get some new people into the hobby. Last year, a total of 6518 gallons of beer was brewed, at least according to the AHA report.
Like any other hobby, homebrewing has clubs. Connecticut has several, and I recently started going to a few meetings and events from Brew Haven, which is the New Haven area’s local club. Brew Haven will be hosting a Learn To Homebrew event this Saturday at the Outer Space in Hamden. Both extract and all-grain batches will be brewed so you can learn about the differences between both methods. Local homebrewers will also be on hand to answer questions. I myself might even make an appearance. Oh, and there will be plenty of beer to drink. Stop by between 12 and 4 PM- you just might learn something.
At the encouragement of several people, I am going to start writing reviews again. It’s been awhile, so many of these records won’t be that new. However, they are all ones I’ve enjoyed very much. The first one might be my favorite record of the year, and it is from a musician that I respect a great deal- Steven Wilson. While I generally love everything he has a hand in, his most recent solo album Hand. Cannot. Erase. felt more personal to me than his other recordings. I was also lucky enough to see the album performed live in New York this spring, which really brought it to life. Continue reading “REVIEW: Steven Wilson “Hand. Cannot. Erase”/Stone Pale Ale 2.0″
It has taken quite a long time for the Decemberists to grow on me. Although they have been around for about 15 years, it is only now that I am beginning to realize their brilliance. At least, enough to write a review of their latest record, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.
Continue reading “REVIEW: The Decemberists/ Heavy Seas Red Sky At Night Saison”
Not all beer festivals are created equal. Big Brew NY is back for 2015 and it sounds to be an awesome time.
Continue reading “Big Brew NY Returns To Westchester”
Women are getting beards. Or should I say, Beer’d. Beer’d Brewing, of Stonington, CT is teaming up with the Connecticut chapter of Girls’ Pint Out for two brewing sessions on January 18.
Continue reading “Girls With Beerds”
It really is awesome that there are so many Thanksgiving beer pairings around the internet. But it made me wonder what beer someone working on Thanksgiving night (aka myself) or Black Friday should consume before heading into the masses. In keeping with Now Beer This Tradition, I’m also including a list of the only things worth buying on Black Friday: records. At local retailers, of course. Continue reading “Black Ales For Black Friday: Record Store Day Picks and Pre-Work Beers”
Making beer is awesome, but making beer with home-grown ingredients is even better. With so many breweries popping up in Connecticut, the task of gathering local resources to make beer can be daunting. Thankfully, it looks like farmers are getting more involved with helping brewers get the hops and barley that they need here in Connecticut. CT NOFA, which is the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, is a grassroots organization that advocates for organic food, farming, and land care across the state. Despite the name, NOFA does a lot of work throughout various Connecticut communities to educate all people, not just farmers. On December 11, they will be having a mixer at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford. The event will include an organic hop growing workshop, led by John Suscovich of Camps Road Farm in Kent.
I started growing my own hops two years ago, and it has been incredibly fortuitous, not to mention much easier than I imagined. I plan to increase my plants next year, and would like to look into more organic gardening methods, so I’m especially looking forward for a chance to pick some brains (and drink some beer!). The mixer will also discuss NOFA’s new Technical Assistance program, which, for a farming and gardening n00b such as myself, sounds like a great thing.
Camps Road Farm grows all the hops for Kent Falls Brewing, which broke ground over the summer. Out of all the new breweries opening up in Connecticut, I think I am most excited for Kent Falls. In addition to using local hops, they will also use local malts, which is something I have not seen before. Kent Falls has also embraced sustainability practices, through solar hot water heating, reusing spent grain, and proper wastewater handling- all of which you can read about here.
All the details on the mixer are below. I am planning on attending, so be sure to join me if you’re interested. Click the flyer to register.