Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

Weekend activities and events in the area
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Ten Minutes With Sarah Phillips

Teacher Appreciation

Local students recall their favorite teachers.

Asian Secrets

For more than half a century—since 1951 to be exact—this incomparable showplace of Oriental arts and antiquities has made its home in one of the oldest structures in Wilton, a white-painted saltbox style home dating to 1719. Located at 518 Danbury Rd., Vallin Galleries overlooks the Norwalk River just to the east.

Breaking the Silence

Longtime Wilton resident I will call Victoria was verbally, physically, and sexually abused by her husband for more than ten years. Her neighbors never heard a thing.

Nordic Tracks

From open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) to the Swedish pancakes dressed with lingonberries, the inventory at Scandinavianbutik is authentic and growing, as owners Marianne Beresford and Doris Levene scour the best resources for the foodstuffs their clients crave.

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

June 2017

Dads will get a sweet treat of their very own with FREE admission on Father’s Day, June 18th to the Stepping Stones Museum for Children.  The museum recognizes that...

Cost: cost varies

Where:
Stepping Stones Museum
303 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Sponsor: Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Telephone: 203-899-0606
Website »

More information

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

Come enjoy one of Fairfield County's longest running Fairs with amusement rides, Touch-A-Boat, New Canaan Psychic, Face Painting, Sand Art, Suzuki School of Music Performance, Westport Urgent...

Cost: Free admission. Pay-one-price unlimited rides wristbands available every day.

Where:
Westport Woman's Club
44 Imperial Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Red Bee Apiary’s “Talk, Tour, and Honey Tastings" are  opportunities for you to visit a working apiary and experience honey at...

Cost: $35 per person

Where:
Red Bee Honey Apiary & Gardens
Weston, CT  06829


Website »

More information

Come enjoy one of Fairfield County's longest running Fairs with amusement rides, International Food Court, Face Painting, Sand Art, Take-A-Chance Drawing, Bake Sale, Raffle and Curio Cottage...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westport Woman's Club
44 Imperial Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Students preparing for finals in the area are welcome to study at Grace Farms, which has quiet tables in the Library, communal space in the Commons, cornhole for study breaks, and basketball in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

WHAT: Hospice of Westchester (HOW) invites members of the community to participate in their 15th Annual Golf Invitational at Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains. Proceeds from the event...

Cost: $425.00

Where:
Westchester Hills Golf Club
401 Ridgeway
White Plains, NY  10605
View map »


Sponsor: Hospice of Westchester
Telephone: 914-682-1484
Contact Name: Holly Benedict
Website »

More information

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

Held on the beautiful grounds of the Wilton Historical Society, members will gather on Thursday, June 22 at 6:00 for the Annual Meeting and an Old-fashioned Potluck Dinner. President of the Board,...

Cost: Free for members

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road/Route 7
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us for a fun adults-only evening to enjoy the food and drink of SoNo's best restaurants. This upbeat celebration for adults 21+ also allows guests to enjoy the Aquarium's newest...

Cost: $50.00 ($45.00 for Aquarium members)

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich brings a “warm and generous tone and supple touch” (The Cleveland Plain...

Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

If variety is the spice of life, then this evening’s program promises to be particularly piquante. Cellist Edward Arron offers another of his popular chamber music concerts joined by his...

Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40 / Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

  Registration is open for the 11th annual Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim, taking place Saturday, June 24, 2017, in Long Island Sound on the border of Greenwich and Stamford at...

Cost: Fundraiser

Where:
ACGT
96 Cummings Point Road
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: Swim Across America
Telephone: 203-570-9195
Contact Name: Michele Graham
Website »

More information

Hosted with the support of The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Stepping Stones Museum, Mathews Mansion Museum and The Norwalk Parks Department, this Art Festival will be a premier cultural...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mathews Park
295 West Ave,
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The annual American Roots Music Festival offers a day full of folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, singer/songwriter, string band, old time, and everything in between. Multiple award winning...

Cost: $30, $40, $50, $60, $70, $80, $90 / Day Only $25

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Grace Farms invites you to spend the day learning how to practice sustainability through education and hands on interaction with local businesses and not-for-profits in the community. The program...

Cost: $10.00 – $25.00

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Grace Farms Foundation invites you to learn about local food sourcing and how individuals can make an impact on the environment through three workshops focused on edible and medicinal plants,...

Cost: $10-15

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Luke Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: (203) 920-1702
Website »

More information

Grace Farms Foundation invites you to learn about local food sourcing and how individuals can make an impact on the environment through three workshops focused on edible and medicinal plants,...

Cost: $10.00 - $15.00

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to turn leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste into rich, crumbly soil that you can use to grow healthy vegetables and flowers. Your backyard compost pile will help you: Send less...

Cost: Free. Registration is required at danburylibrary.org under Events

Where:
Danbury Library
170 Main Street
Danbury, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

From vows taken in magnificent settings, to cutting edge images that will redefine rituals and boundaries, this exhibition will feature six up-and-coming as well as award-winning photographers that...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
, LA


Website »

More information

Join us for a wine tasting featuring a selection of Vivanco wines. Including Vivanco Rioja Blanco, Vivianco Rosato, Vivianco Rioja Crianza and Vivianco Rioja Reserva. At LQR MKT in Norwalk.

Cost: Free

Where:
Norwalk
360 Connecticut Avenue
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrating the first annual gala event to support new cultural programs and inspiring performances at the Darien Arts Center.  Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and live entertainment. The...

Cost: $75 per ticket

Where:
DAC Weatherstone Studio & Garden
2 Renshaw Road
Darien, CT  06820
View map »


Website »

More information

Director Donna McLaughlin Wyant, an award-winning TV writer and producer, brings her production expertise to The 39 Steps once again – reprising her successful Darien Arts Center production...

Cost: $25 per person; senior citizens, 65 years of age or older, and students $23

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The 39 Steps, a comedy, takes the stage at Westport Community Theatre with performances from June 9 through 25. Donna McLaughlin Wyant directs the WCT production, with an outstanding local...

Cost: Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students,

Where:
Westport Community Theatre
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

A rainbow of colors dart and dash in our new 3,000-gallon Coral Reef exhibit, open now just past the Sea Turtles exhibit. Meet more than 40 species of reef fish native to the Indo-Pacific,...

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 Water St.
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags