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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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December 2016

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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...

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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...

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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

Tuesday, Dec. 6 Breaking Code – A One-Hour Entertaining Lesson in Coding, 1 – 6:30 p.m.  Wilton Library is joining Computer Science Education Week, a national movement to promote...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

You don't have to live with back pain! Learn about treatment options from ONS pain and rehabilitation experts, Christopher Sahler, MD and Alicia Hirscht, DPT, SCS, CSCS. The program...

Cost: Free

Where:
Greenwich Hospital
5 Perryridge Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Greenwich Hospital
Telephone: 203-863-4444
Contact Name: Brigitte Lundgren-Foscante
Website »

More information

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Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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

Clear Vision Productions Presents the Social Shopping Event of the Year ~ The “Fun Girls Night Out” @ Lord & Taylor. Wednesday, December 7, 6-9pm.  Ladies will enjoy NYC Style...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
Lord & Taylor
110 High Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: Lord &Taylor
Telephone: 203-745-4946
Contact Name: Charlene Chiaro
Website »

More information

The GUERRILLA GIRLS are anonymous feminist activists who expose inequity in the art world.  After shaking up institutions from Shanghai to London, these activists are taking on the...

Cost: $50 - $95

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT
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Website »

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Kick off the season with a Holiday Market on Thursday, December 8th between 10am-5pm. There will be unique items including jewelry, clothing, plants, food and much more. This holiday...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
New Canaan Nature Center
144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Thursday, Dec. 8 Author Talk: Jeff Benedict - QB: My Life Behind the Spiral, 7 – 8:30 p.m.  Just in time for holiday buying, Jeff Benedict comes to Wilton Library to discuss his new...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the...

Cost: Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-m

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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

It’s designed to celebrate all things Harry Potter and we’re hoping for lots of costumes, dancing and music. There will be activity/coloring stations, crafts, photo ops. The store will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble Westport
1076 Post Road East
Westport, CT
View map »


Telephone: (203) 221-9192
Contact Name: Tricia Tierney
Website »

More information

MTC MainStage's Moss Hart Award-winning production "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," adapted for the stage by Joe Landry. The holiday classic brought to life as a live...

Cost: $30-$55

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the...

Cost: Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-m

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 stop by the Norwalk Historical Society Museum between10:00am and 6:00pm for some Holiday cheer! Enjoy warm apple cider and holiday cookies as you make your way around...

Cost: Free

Where:
Norwalk Historical Society Museum
141 East Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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

Food and cookbooks are part of every holiday! Bring the family to enjoy this exhibition of rare books on display in Cooking Down the Ages. As part of the ongoing series of changing exhibitions...

Cost: free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

MTC MainStage's Moss Hart Award-winning production "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," adapted for the stage by Joe Landry. The holiday classic brought to life as a live...

Cost: $30-$55

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the...

Cost: Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-m

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


Website »

More information

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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