Will Run for Craft Beer: New Haven Craft Brew Race & Festival

A few weeks ago, my friend and running buddy Katie and I attended the New Haven Craft Brew 5K and Festival. In addition to a quality run through Edgewood Park, the event included a craft beer festival featuring samples from over 20 local breweries. Here are five things I learned about running for beer and Connecticut’s craft beer scene. 

Post-run, ready to sample some fine craft beer.

Post-run, ready to sample some fine craft beer.

1. It’s never too hot to run for craft beer.

The day of the race – the last Saturday in July – was a scorcher. The route started in shady Edgewood Park but led to a residential street at Mile 2 with no shade. The sun beat down on us as we pounded the pavement wordlessly, trying to steady our breathing and will ourselves to the finish line. The mantra that kept me going was, “It’s almost beer time. It’s almost beer time.” Despite how brutal that sizzling stretch was, I never doubted our ability to finish and get to the festival.  We really love craft beer that much.  Continue reading

How to host a beer-tasting party

Last summer, my BFFs Katie, Linda & I decided to host a backyard beer tasting party for our families and friends. It was such a success that we’ll be hosting the second annual tasting this summer. These are the tips and tricks we learned while throwing last year’s party. 

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1. Choose a season, time, and place. 

Event-planning 101: Figure out when and where you want to hold the party. We decided to make our annual tasting a summer afternoon thing in the backyard (weather-pending) of one of our parent’s houses. (One day I WILL have my own backyard to host a beer-tasting in!)

You can go even further and give your tasting a theme, like an autumn pumpkin-beer-only tasting. The only parameter we set was limiting the tasting to craft beer (duh), preferably from a local brewery.

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Books and booze: a look at literary beer pairings

A few months ago I visited OEC Brewing in Oxford, where I was introduced to Albus, a sour white ale brewed with chamomile, ginger root, and lemon balm.

Such yellow. Many lemon. Much Albus. Wow.

Such yellow. Many lemon. Much Albus. Wow.

I enjoy a good sour beer, and the lemony Albus fit the bill. But what was more important to me than taste was the name: Albus, as in Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, beloved late Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I don’t know if OEC named the beer after Albus, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They are “the eccentric brewers,” after all.

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Baltimore in beer and food

I’ve just returned from five days of beer, baseball and Maryland crabs. While the vacation was primarily planned to visit a friend and take in some Red Sox vs. Orioles action, I was able to pack in the requisite foodie explorations.

Spoiler: The Sox won both games we went to. Sorry, Jason.

Spoiler: The Sox won both games we went to. Sorry, Jason. This photo was taken before his hopes were dashed.

Our first stop upon arriving in Baltimore Saturday was to The Brewer’s Art, which I mentioned in my last post as one of my bucket list breweries to visit.  It’s a small brewery/restaurant with a main dining room and a bar and lounge area. We ordered from the bar menu – I started off with a Choptank’d.

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An American Craft Beer Week bucket list

We’re in the midst of a very special time for craft brewers and their fans.

Do you know what week it is?

It’s American Craft Beer Week!

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Shebeen Brewing in Wolcott, Conn. is a great example of a craft brewery.

Every May, the non-profit Brewers Association celebrates craft breweries across the country with American Craft Beer Week, which the organization first observed in 2006.

The week is meant to highlight the impact that small and independent craft brewers have made on the beer industry, as well as within the hearts and minds of its fans (like me!)

Not sure what makes a beer a “craft” brew?

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