Column: A good beer festival in Connecticut, say it is so

Readers of this column have often asked me to speak about how bad the beer scene in Connecticut is. An event coming up this month in Waterbury turns that assumption upside down.


The Brass City Brew Fest will be held in Waterbury on Saturday, Sept 13 and is just what the beer loving Nutmegger has been looking for.

I went last year for the first time and went home more then impressed. You want to get there early and pay the $10 extra dollars to get into the Belgian beer tent. There is one place you can get pretty much every Belgian beer that crosses Connecticut’s borders, plus some.

The four-hour festival is set at Library Park in Waterbury, just across from the courthouse and under a beautiful clock tower. For all you hear about Waterbury it was a beautiful setting with plenty of grass to mosey around in.

The American selection is mostly from the Northeast but you get the big guns there such as Dogfish Head, Boston Beer Co. and Allagash. The west coast sends over Anchor Steam, Ballast Point, Eel River, Lagunitas, North Coast and Sierra Nevada.

You also get to sample the best beers from this so-called poor state for craft beer. Connecticut will put its best foot forward with the outstanding Cambridge House, BruRm@Bar, Carlson Craft Brewery, Cottrell, Farmington River, John Harvard’s, New England Brewing Co., Olde Burnside, SBC (Southport Brewing Co.), Thomas Hooker and another Connecticut great brewer the Willimantic Brewing Co.

Tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased at or $35 at the gate. The event only runs from 1 to 5 p.m. but that is more then enough time to sample everything you want. I would suggest getting there early and beating the crowds.


What I have had and liked this month


Review: Captain Lawrence Captains Reserve


An Imperial/Double IPA brewed by

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company

Pleasantville, New York USA

ABV: 8%

Glassware: Tulip

Had the Captain Lawrence Double IPA on tap at Delaney’s In New Haven. It pours a dark yellow or off orange – it is hard to put your finger on this color. The head is amazing and the lacing is sick. The lacing literally follows you down the glass to near perfection. It smells hoppy but not in a way that will blow out your senses because it appears to be well balanced in both aroma and taste with a nice malt and citrus backbone. This is probably one of the smoothest Imperial IPAs I have ever had. It is bitter but that malt backbone keeps it from ripping your taste buds apart. Outstanding.

Beer Advocate food pairing suggestions: Cuisine (Barbecue) Cheese (peppery; Monterey / Pepper Jack, sharp; Blue, Cheddar, pungent; Gorgonzola, Limburger) Meat (Game, Grilled Meat, Salmon) 

My rating: 4.2

Jerrod Ferrari is editor of The Stamford Times and Wilton Villager. He is also the operator of It’s The Beer Talking blog at


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