Top 10 Breweries I Want to Visit


We’ve all got our wish lists — beers we want to drink, books we want to read, famous people we’d like to have a meal with. (Robert Downey Jr. and Elizabeth Gilbert, I’m looking at you!)

Here’s my brewery wish list — the top 10 spots I want to visit, grouped by the reason why. (As if I need one, am I right?!)

Don’t be shy — I want to know what’s on your wish list too!

Image (Photo credit: weeklydig, via flickr creative commons)

Because their brews fascinate me

Because I love their beers already

Because they came highly recommended

TRVE Brewing Co.

Because I’m a sucker for an awesome logo

So what breweries are you most excited to visit? You know what to do — comment, comment, comment! 🙂

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Let’s Help Black Pond Brews Open a Brewery



Opening a brewery is no easy task. With the Connecticut craft beer scene growing like it’s been growing over the past year or so, maybe we can help Mike and Cory of Black Pond Brews get their brewery up and running.

The goal? Raise $15,000 in one month. The deadline? March 4. Think we can do it?

Visit the Black Pond Brews page for info on how to donate and check out the sweet rewards for your generosity.

(Video by Alex Hardesty, Photo Credit: Black Pond Brews YouTube video)

Aurora Borealis? How About Aurora Beerealis?


If you haven’t figured this out yet, I love a good pun. Or a bad pun. All puns, really.

Alright, back to the real reason for this post. You might have heard something about the Northern Lights being visible in Connecticut today and tomorrow, Jan. 9 and 10.

I started wondering what I would serve at a Northern Lights party (mainly so I could use that pun). And then I started thinking about what kind of drinks I’d serve. Because if you’re going to have a themed party, the beer and wine needs to coincide!

I searched online and found some pretty perfect drinks to serve at a Northern Lights party. I admit that I haven’t had firsthand experience with these — if you have, let me know how these are!


(Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn, via flickr creative commons) 

Starr Hill’s Northern Lights

Can’t have a Northern Lights-themed party without it! This beer is an IPA with 6.5 % ABV.

Nøgne Ø/Bridge Road Aurora Borealis

Well, check out the ABV on this! 14.9 %!

Autumn Harvest Winery’s Northern Lights

This is a semi-sweet white wine made in Wisconsin. Can we get it in Connecticut? No. But we can order it online!

Bet you’re hungry too, right?

Since you can’t starve at our virtual Northern Lights viewing party, here’s some menu ideas!

Lastly, this cocktail is aptly named Aurora Borealis and I have to wonder if it’s as awesome as it looks! I’m pretty sure the cocktails doesn’t actually come with galaxies…

I heard it’s the tonic water that makes it glow under a blacklight. So now I have a new goal — to try and make this drink. Oh, and buy a black light.

Let me know if you see the Northern Lights and hey, come follow newly created Books, Brews & Booze on Facebook and Twitter!

My Year With Beer


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I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions so this year, I decided to make some New Year’s Reso-brew-tions. Here’s what I hope to accomplish this year, in the craft beer world.

1.) Cultivate my beer tasting abilities

I follow these awesome beer bloggers like Bräuista and CraftBrewGuy and I’m always impressed by how they describe beers, from the smell to the look to the taste. Terms like “lacing” and “carbonation” are words I never paid much attention to before.

So I’m cultivating my beer tasting abilities and how I describe beer. If you’re new to the game too, maybe this will help!

I’m reading “The Beer Trials” by Seamus Campbell and Robin Goldstein (shout-out to The Book Barn in Niantic, where I got the book).

 book barn photo-81

This is what Campbell and Goldstein recommend asking yourself when you drink a beer:

  • Is the beer bitter or sweet?
  • Is the aroma floral? Citrusy? Grainy?

It’s just a start, but it’s really helping get more in tune with my taste buds. Do you have any tasting tips?

2.) Try more sours

IPAs — that’s what I remember hearing a ton about over the past year. I’m thinking 2014 is going to be The Year of the Sour.

I just really love the taste of sours so my goal is to drink more of ‘em! I’m pretty partial to lambic beers and red ales. I went to Cask Republic in New Haven (beautiful spot, worth a visit).

cask republic photo-78

I asked CraftBrewGuy for some recommendations before I went. I told him what my tastes were like and he recommended Lindemans Kriek.

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Beautiful color (hard to tell in this pic), a fizz to it and a nice, sour cherry taste. This is an awesome beer but here’s what’s really cool about it — it’s a bridge for people who traditionally don’t like beer, to cross over into this world.

I told my friend Fay how awesome Kriek was and she was sure she’d hate it, because she said she’s never tasted a beer she liked. Until Kriek.

A woman overheard us talking about it and said she hates beer too. But when I described Kriek to her, she went and bought one and is a convert too. So I’m basically a beer spirit guide. 🙂

Here’s a question for you guys. What are the must-have sour brews I should try?

3.) Go to more breweries

There’s so many to visit and I can count the number I’ve been to on one hand! Help me make a list of breweries to visit and tell me your favorite spots!