When I saw that CT Bites was hosting a beer dinner the day before my birthday I thought, “Well, this is kismet.” I went to a wine dinner at Epernay Bistro (which has since closed) in Bridgeport a couple years ago and a beer dinner/blogger meet up at J Timothy’s in Plainville last summer. I love going to these kind of events, you get to chat with people who are knowledgeable about their products and you get to sample delicious food that is properly paired with beer or wine. This particular event was held at Bar Q in Stamford and featured beer from three Connecticut breweries; Half Full, Two Roads & City Steam.
My sister works in Stamford, so I hopped on the train to meet up with her. It was a quick (and super cheap!!) train ride from Stratford and Bar Q was within walking distance of the train station.
We were greeted by Ellen from CT Bites and given a glass of “Welcome Beer” while we waited for everyone to arrive. The “Welcome Beer” was Half Full’s Bright Ale. This was one of my favorites of the night. It was crisp, citrusy and fresh. Kind of like the Sauvignon Blanc of beer. Which is probably why it was one of my favorites. The owner of Half Full, Conor was there and he told us that they are currently the only ones brewing this type of beer. How awesome is that? He told us all about the brewery and it sounds like it would be a blast to check out one of their open houses or tours!
Next up was the 1st course (oh yeah, there were FIVE courses!!) which was Wood Kissed Chicken Wings paired with City Steam Blonde on Blonde. These were easily the best chicken wings I have ever had. The were super tender and super flavorful. They paired nicely with the hoppy-ness of the Blonde on Blonde.
This was followed by Smoke Pit Chili paired with Naughty Nurse, another City Steam brew. This was not your run-of-the-mill ground meat chili. This had to have been made with meat that had been slow-roasting and marinating all day until it fell apart on it’s own. It was amazingly good and super spicy. Unfortunately, I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy. The sweet caramel flavor in the Naughty Nurse brew took a little bit of the edge off but I could only get through about half of my bowl before I had to call it quits.
For the 3rd course we had “designer” sliders and Two Roads Ol’ Factory. There was a pulled pork slider topped with creamy slaw and a pickle and a brisket style one topped with sauce and a jalapeno (eek!) We were given a tangy red vinaigrette sauce on the side. This was comfort food at its best. Did I mention they were served on potato buns? YUM. This paired with the crispness of the Ol’ Factory pilsner was perfect, especially after the spicy chili!
So at this point I was feeling very full, but my need to sample kept me going strong. After all, I was celebrating my birthday, why not indulge a little? They brought us out a plate of ribs. One was St. Louis Sticky style and the other was made with a Memphis dry rub. I only took a few bites to try it out and they were both super tender and packed a ton of big flavor. I loved that it was paired with a beer that also had big flavor – the Two Roads Road to Ruin Double IPA.
…And now for dessert! Luckily, there is always room for dessert because I really did not want to miss out on this. I can’t believe I’m about to type this but, we had, Snickerdoodle Bacon Ice Cream Sandwiches. Yes. So good. The snickerdoodle cookies tasted homemade and paired with sweet vanilla ice cream a savory bacon crumbles it was just, amazing. But wait, there’s more! This bad boy was paired with Half Full Chocolate Coffee Brown Ale. I know, let that sink in. So many flavors, so much perfection. It was a great ending note!
We were also offered samples of Two Roads seasonal Holiday Ale afterwards but I was literally about to burst! I know their Holiday Ale is awesome though, I got a growler the last time I visited their brewery!
Overall it was a great night and I’ve decided that a) I need to take my husband to Bar Q and b) I need to attend another CT Bites Invite event! In fact, I think everyone should!!!