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Something Is Brewing

Beer is bubbling in these homes



It all started when I tasted real English ale at the Lamb & Flag pub in Covent Garden and thought it was the nectar of the gods. Then I bought a hand-pump from a pub that was going out of business. But what to pump—fizzy American beer in kegs? Given my name, not for me.

Then my son Jordan and his friend Chris Ahlberg presented me with beer they had made in their basement. It was fabulously tasty and fresh. So I trundled up to Maltose Express Home Brew & Wine Supplies, in Monroe, one of several such sites in Connecticut and online. What I found was Tess and Mark Szamatulski’s shop, stocked with everything for home brewing. The couple, who’ve written books on the subject, also clone famous beers—more than 200 recipes, like Windhoek Special, from Namibia; Harp Irish lager; and the one I was after, Old Speckled Hen, made by Morland in Bury St. Edmunds, England.

Home brewing has been astir since winemaking was made legal after Prohibition. Beer was added to the list of allowable home brews in 1978; in Connecticut, a couple can brew up to 100 gallons for their private use.

For the Szamatulskis, a hobby that started in their basement is now a business with 2,000 customers worldwide and a 7,000-square-foot Mecca of all things brewable. For around $100, you get all the equipment necessary to brew your own beer—bottle caps included. For another $40 or so, Bud Hansell will clone your favorite recipe—measured proportions for stewing a five-gallon keg or two and a half cases of bottles.

Wilton resident Jonathon Foltz, who has been brewing his own beer for about 15 years, started with a kit given to him for Christmas. “I’d been making my own bread, which involves yeast, grains, and formulas, so beer seemed like the next logical step,” he says. Now he buys malt-extracts, powder, and syrups and adds whole grains for flavor, cooking the liquid on his stovetop. “It can make the house smell sickly-sweet before the beer ferments,” he says, “but I enjoy doing it.” He tends to brew porters and stouts, giving away the best batches as gifts. His wife designed the label for his finished product, which he calls Three Streams Brewery, for the three streams running in his backyard.

Geoff Kooris also enjoys using the kits. “When I first tried this a few years ago, you couldn’t find anything like the quality ingredients they have now. The kits make it extremely easy.”

Working with a kit is straightforward. Basically, you boil water in a very large pot, add the pre-measured ingredients, stir, and let boil for an hour. Add hops for flavor, more water, pour into a large pail, cool it, and add a little chimney thing that keeps bad bacteria out and allows fermenting gases to escape. Store for a week, then carefully pump the contents into a clear glass container called a carboy, cover for two weeks, then bottle it. The result is good beer you made yourself.

Then there are brewers like Jim Scalzi of Fairfield, who obtains his own grain and grows his own hops. “When I started, there were no microbreweries, and doing it yourself was a really cheap way to get good beer,” he says.

Complete head cases can be found through Underground Brewers of Connecticut. Tom Fenton, a member of Yahoos (Yankee Association of Homebrewers Objecting to Organized Society), joins fellow hopheads to swap beers and pick up tips. “Some of these guys can make beer that is just so good, I can’t come close,” Fenton admits.

Most home brewers tell the same tale. The moment they announce to a friend that they’ve made their own beer, the friend balks, prepared for his Uncle Emerson’s dandelion wine. A tentative sip, and then a mouthful. “Hey, this is really good,” the friend declares.

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May 2016

On Friday, April 29th Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Serena & Lily co-founders Serena Dugan and Lily Kanter invite the public to join...

Cost: Free

Where:
35 Elm Street
Westport, CT
View map »

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The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

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Join Karen Newman – Inspirational Speaker, Author, World Class Athlete, Mother and Survivor at Pryority, Halo Studio J on Tuesday, May 3rd between 7-8.30pm - where she will tell her...

Cost: $25.00

Where:
Pryority Wellness
45 Grove Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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The festival will feature documentary films covering a diversity of subjects- including water and air quality, waste, energy issues and the importance of species preservation.  ...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Ave.
Frank & Marisa Martire Business & Communication Center
Fairfield, CT  06825
View map »


Sponsor: Bigelow Tea, Sacred Heart's Film and Television Master's Program, Fairfield Earth Day
Telephone: 203-336-5164
Contact Name: Shawn
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Fairfield County philanthropic organization Near & Far Aid will hold a 2016 Designer House Tour which opens the doors to six exclusive homes decorated by renowned designers in the gold coast...

Cost: $65 in advance/ $75 day of

Where:
Fairfield, Southport, Westport
VARIOUS LOCATIONS - PRIVATE HOMES
, CT
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Sponsor: Near & Far Aid
Telephone: 203-259-1710
Contact Name: Jessica Grutkowski
Website »

More information

The festival will feature documentary films covering a diversity of subjects- including water and air quality, waste, energy issues and the importance of species preservation.  ...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Ave.
Frank & Marisa Martire Business & Communication Center
Fairfield, CT  06825
View map »


Sponsor: Bigelow Tea, Sacred Heart's Film and Television Master's Program, Fairfield Earth Day
Telephone: 203-336-5164
Contact Name: Shawn
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This special sale day is a tax-free event at Silvermine Arts Center. Great prices—$1 to $5 for many items—can be found throughout the tag sale.  Items include paints (oil,...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Telephone: 203-966-9700
Website »

More information

The festival will feature documentary films covering a diversity of subjects- including water and air quality, waste, energy issues and the importance of species preservation.  ...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Ave.
Frank & Marisa Martire Business & Communication Center
Fairfield, CT  06825
View map »


Sponsor: Bigelow Tea, Sacred Heart's Film and Television Master's Program, Fairfield Earth Day
Telephone: 203-336-5164
Contact Name: Shawn
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Jill Moser: Paintings & Prints” to be held April 16-May 28.   An opening reception will be held for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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