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By MICHAEL WALSH
This summer at Eli Cannon’s is going to be exciting.
A number of events are already lined up for the Middletown beer bar including an anniversary party for Stone Brewing’s Ruination IPA. I haven’t been able to find the bottle of the 10th anniversary beer in stores yet, but a trip to Eli Cannon’s on July 11 will make up for that. The bar will have Ruination 10th Anniversary Edition, Double Dry Hopped Ruination (!!!), Sublimely Self Righteous and Cali-Belgique on tap.
One day before the Stone event Eli’s will play host to Saranac by serving up the brewery’s Blueberry Blonde, Chocolate Orange Robust Porter and Lemon Ginger Saison.
On July 17 Blue Point will descend on Middletown and on July 18 Connecticut newcomer Founders will be happily welcomed to the state. July 24 features Lake Placid Brewing and July 25 plays host to Belgian Independence Day.
Beer Gods Week, which runs from August 6 through August 10, will be a hot one. We will have more information on the events, which supposedly includes a night devoted to new Connecticut brewery Relic Brewing.
By MICHAEL WALSH
If you haven’t been to a Plan B Burger Bar yet, I suggest you hurry up and get to one.
Located in West Hartford, Glastonbury, Simsbury and Milford, Plan B Burger Bar is something Connecticut can be proud of. It combines a menu of some of the state’s most well-made and delicious burgers with an always rotating tap list of some of craft beer’s best breweries.
I’ve only gone to the Glastonbury location, but I can only assume all four bring the same level of quality. Glastonbury’s location features a large bar area and is one of my favorite bars to sit at in the entire state. It’s comforting, casual but also carries this weirdly elegant hint. I don’t compare many places to it.
We could talk about burgers for awhile, but I won’t. This is a beer blog, after all. Plan B does a great job touching on different styles of beer from some of the craft beer worlds best and brightest breweries. I’ve never gone there without finding myself struggling to pick just one of their 14 or so tapped beers.
Whats even better is the breweries they represents. Its impossible to walk in and not find at least one of the mammoths – Dogfish Head, Stone, Sierra Nevada- as well as representation from “lesser-knowns” like Southern Tier, Allagash, Weyerbacher and Oskar Blues. What’s even better is that they don’t just stick to the most popular brews from these breweries. While Allagash White is perhaps the brewery’s most popular selection, the exceptional Curieux and others often make appearances. The same goes for just about every brewery they feature.
They also pay attention to the local Connecticut craft beer scene with brews from Thomas Hooker, Calvalry Brewing, Cottrell and others making appearances on tap. Just as far as appreciation goes, this is key to loving your local beer bar. Sure, we all love our Dogfish Head’s, Stone’s and so on, but it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on right under our noses as well.
Sometimes variety is the greatest thing you can ask for and that’s what makes Plan B a place to revisit often. The taps are always changing. Hell, I’ve seen them change over right in front of my eyes. This makes the place a destination worth visiting often. Between that and the great food you can’t really get sick of it. There’s always a new special and there’s always a new beer to go right along with it.
On March 25 the West Hartford location is hosting a “Kill The Cask” event featuring two Bluepoint beers, White IPA and Hoptical Illusion, on cask. Tickets are $45 and get you beer until the casks run out and “lots of food.”
Make it a point to visit any one of these Plan B locations if you can. I’m lucky enough to live close enough to one for occasional visits. But for the rest of you, a rare visit will be worth it. Trust me on this one.
By MICHAEL WALSH
Here’s one way to spend the 14th: the Anti-Valentine’s Day Tuesday Night Promo featuring Stone at Eli Cannon’s.
What’s on tap?
Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard, Ruination, Sublimely Self-Righteous, Oaked Bastard and more! Maybe a surprise draft or two from Stone? Who knows. All I do know is that Stone will bring the people out and is always a winner. Can’t go wrong here.
By MICHAEL WALSH
– Stone’s 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale has found its way on shelves this week. Not every Stone Brewing brew makes it all the way east (I’m looking at you Japanese Green Tea IPA), but most do. For some reason I thought this beer, which is 9.4 % beer brewed with Anaheim chilies, was one of those that wouldn’t. Nice surprise to see it at Connecticut Beverage Mart this week.
– Tonight is open house at Thomas Hooker. $10 get you a beer tasting, tour and glass.
– Tonight is also the 7th Annual Not So Snooty Beer, Wine and Cheese Tasting at the New England Air Museum. The Connecticut Beer trail has all the information on its website. Connecticut breweries will be represented strong with appearances from Olde Burnside, Thomas Hooker, New England Brewing, Cavalry, Cottrell, Cambridge House, Willibrew, City Steam Brewery, Tullycross Tavern and Hartford Better Beer Co. Developing CT breweries Overshores, Half Full, Broad Brook and Back East will also be on hand.
– The Ginger Man in Norwalk tweeted Thursday about its changed beer menu. See what’s available draught and in bottle. Highlights for me are the two BBC cask conditioned drafts, Dogfish Hellhound on tap and Connecticut’s own 668 from New England Brewing. They also have apparently tapped Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #59: Birra Vina, which was brewed by two of their own.
– Tullycross Tavern & Microbrewery has posted their current tap list: Silk City Stout, Tavern Light, TCT Pale Ale, American Bitter Session, Irish Red, Alfred’s Blackout Brown Ale, Rain Delay RyePA, Batch #4 IPA, Barley Wine and Sierra Nevada Tumbler.
– Plan B Milford said last night they would be tapping Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew in 24 hours. That makes it tonight. Get this beer while you can, the bottles go fast enough. Seeing it on tap is amazing.
– The next Eli Cannon’s tap takeover is Tuesday, where the Middletown joint will feature various Magic Hat brews.