celebrate feestdag at little pub thursday july 21.

hey everybody, it’s feestdag on thursday 7/21! you remember feestdag, it’s that belgian holiday commemorating the date king leopold took his oath before the belgian parliament. more importantly, feestdag also translates to “party day” so some on down to little pub and celebrate feestdag with a palm draft when you order palm battered fish and chips, half priced palm drafts, and whatever else we can think of . yes, feestdag is on at little pub and even the flanders and walloons can agree on that (and they don’t agree on anything)!


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it’s mister beer! offering a bit of beer history while (whilst?) making lovey dovey googly eyes at dogfish, pining for midas touch in general and casting a sideways glance at sah’tea .

In 1516, the Bavarians issued the Reinheitsgebot*, a purity
law that stated beer could be made with only three ingredients: water, hops,
and barley.


Of course, this was before the discovery of yeast and its
fundamentally crucial role in the creation and production of beer, but still,
to a modern micro-brewer, what rigid guidelines!  Interestingly enough,
the vast majority of German brewers still adhere to this basic principle.
Not so much Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Breweries creator, owner, and

Most micro-brew enthusiasts have tried or at least have
heard of Dogfish Head beers, many of which are commonly known as “extreme
beers” in reference to their high ABV, their unique ingredients, and the
unorthodox methods and procedures used to brew them.  Dogfish’s motto is
“off-centered ales for off-centered people”, an apt slogan
indeed.  Interestingly enough, as wacky as certain Dogfish beers are, some
of their most acclaimed creations are actually modern interpretations of ancient
beers.  For instance, the recipe for their “Midas Touch” dates
back to 730 B.C. and was culled from the resins that were left inside the
drinking urns unearthed in the tombs of Phrygian Kings (King Midas!), bygone
rulers of what is now Turkey.  Apparently the Phrygians used to brew beer
with honey, barley, grapes and saffron, and so Dogfish set about ressurecting
this most ancient of beers.

In keeping with this ancient-to-modern tradition, our latest
mystery beer, Dogfish’s Sah’Tea, has its origins in a 9th century proto-beer
brewed in Finland known as Sahti.  Sahti is made primarily with malted and
unmalted grains like rye and barley, and is unique in that it derives most of
its flavor not from hops but from juniper berries.  In keeping with
Dogfish’s off-centered mantra, Sam Calagione decided to infuse his version of
Sahti with a unique blend of Chai Tea (ingredients include cardamom, coriander,
ginger, allspice, rampe leaves, lemongrass, curry powder, and black tea), hence
“Sah’Tea”.  Clever, no?  Now, I majored in history and
though I love my field, I am well aware of the narcoleptic properties of its
lectures, so let’s get to the beer.

Sah’tea pours a nice golden-orange color, with a rather
insignificant head.  It is highly aromatic with a spicy nose, and you’ll
breathe in hues of banana, lemon, coriander, and ginger, with a ubiquitous
undercurrent of tangy juniper.  Consider the aromas a prediction of
flavors to come, as its palate (to me) almost tastes like a sweetly sour banana
infused with juniper and a variety of subtle spices deriving from the tea
infusion.  Personally, I was taken aback by its mouthfeel.
Stylistically the Sah’Tea is fairly close to a weizen (wheat beer), however,
its mouthful in certain ways is closer to a stout or porter: full, rich, and
not too heavily carbonated.  The beer finishes smoothly given its 9 % ABV,
with a lingering aftertaste of spice and juniper.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Sah’Tea, though I will say
that this beer is probably not for everyone.  It is very complex, very
esoteric, quite strong, and is widely open to interpretation; go on
Beeradvocate if you feel like a background check.  So, if you’re a staunch
follower of the Reinheitsgebot, I’d shy away from this beer.  But if
you’re feeling a little bold, a little thirsty, individualistic, and dare-I-say
a little off-centered, then you best get down to the Little Pub asap and try
this piece of twisted history before it dries up and goes the way of the
Phrygians, entombed forever as a resinous memory in your skull and liver.


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smokin cigar box blues!


this tuesday night at little pub, the “hardest working bluesman in ct” (according to the new york times)  ramblin’ dan stevens. rambling dan  bring his acoustic blues show to little pub. ever see a guy play authentic slide blues on a cigar box guitar? well, here’s your chance.


At the young age of sixteen, Dan Stevens’ romantic streak was ignited by his
first guitar teacher in small town central Pennsylvania who told him stories
about the lives of traveling blues musicians like Mississippi John Hurt and Fred
McDowell. After being inspired by Woody Guthrie’s book, “Bound for Glory”, the
magnetic lure of the road captured his imagination and with a driving passion he
hitchhiked and hopped freight trains guitar in hand across the United States
five times, eventually covering over 100,000 miles.

Always seeking diverse experiences, he has worked as a teacher in Pennsylvania and Arizona, a
rock-climbing instructor in New Mexico, broke his collarbone riding bulls in
Colorado and sailed schooners for a living on the Eastern seaboard. He
lived full time on his own wooden sloop in Mystic CT for a couple of years while
performing solo up and down the East Coast. A high-light of this period was
sailing throughout Central and South America as mate aboard David Crosby’s
(Crosby, Nash, and Young) sailboat, the Mayan.

Musically, Dan continued
to hone his guitar skills taking lessons from renowned acoustic guitarist and
W.C. Handy Award winner Paul Rishell, who taught him how to play slide. Later,
he was blessed to study with Greenwich Village based folk/blues icon Dave Van
Ronk during the last years of Van Ronk’s storied life. His repertoire reflects
the influence of his revered teachers who actually knew and performed with many
of the legendary blues masters. His tastes include delta blues “bottleneck
slide” tunes, the more carefree piedmont style, and arrangements comprised of
complex orchestration with plenty of chord changes up the neck in the spirit of
Dave Van Ronk. His originals remain true to the traditional forces which
powerfully shaped his early musical development and prompt listeners to praise
the authenticity of his approach.

As a full time professional musician
since 1991, Dan continues to tour incessantly along the East Coast, U.S. Virgin
Islands, U.K., and Germany. He has appeared with such artists as James Cotton,
Charlie Musselwhite, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Charlie Daniels, Livingston
Taylor, Ronnie Earl, and others. An irrepressible guitar collector, Dan
surrounds himself with vintage and custom instruments acquired in his many
travels. Usually packing three guitars, any given performance may find him
choosing to play a 1950’s Sears Silvertone, a 1931 National Steel, a retro lime
green Resophonic, and more.

Dan’s most recent CD, “Broke Down and
Hungry”, features “Sugar Ray” Norcia, of Sugar Ray & the Bluetones and
Roomful of Blues, on harmonica. Original songs such as “Broke Down and Hungry”,
“Driving Fool”, “Open Road”, and “Ramblin’” give a sense of what is was like for
him to travel 165,000 miles in three years in an ’88 Chevy Van. Art Tipaldi,
Senior Writer for the Blues Revue magazine, in his review of this CD, offered,
“His stylish fingerpicking and warm vocals shade these tunes with fresh,
penetrating nuances.” Several of his traditional offerings include Big Bill
Broonzy’s “Keep Your Hands Off Her” and “Long Tall Mama”, as well as Reverend
Gary Davis’ “Light of this World”. In live shows, Dan often pauses between
songs, offering historical trivia or relating incidents from his personal

Termed “Connecticut’s hardest working bluesman” by the New
York Times in 2002, he plays over 200 engagements a year, including concerts,
clubs, festivals, coffeehouses, community and private events and educational
programs. He has appeared at Long Island’s Riverhead Blues Festival, the Berlin
Blues Festival in Connecticut and was the closer in the acoustic section of the
Fleet Blues Festival in Albany, New York. Dan was a finalist at the
International Blues Challenge ’08 on Beale Street in Memphis TN with partner
Chris D’Amato and has been chosen to be included on the roster of the Music
Under New York program enabling him to perform in prime locations throughtout
the MTA system such as Times Square and Grand Central Station.  He lives in Old
Lyme, Connecticut with his wife Gail and daughter, Haley.

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pj pacifico at little pub every monday night. like clockwork.

there’s something to be said for pj pacifico’s new album “outlet”, but the quotes below seem to say it all.

come see pj every monday night at little pub.

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die bierfrau die! on hitachino espresso stout, german owls, household uses for beer, and other random musings

After a short but relaxing vacation, Bierfrau has returned with renewed interest and praise for Hitachino Nest’s Espresso Stout.

This delicious and flavorful stout comes all the way from the Kuichi brewery in Japan. It pours a rich dark brown hue with a frothy tan head while scents of chocolate and coffee waft noseward. More carbonated and lighter-bodied than you’d expect a stout to be, the beer takes its time to finish and you’ll be thankful it does. Don’t miss the adorable label (did the Frau just deter some Manns by using the word adorable?) which features a color palate yanked from the couch in your first apartment and a squat, red and white wide-eyed Eule  – you’re going to have to try the beer to learn that word! (Or…there is always the Internet).

So why is this the beer of choice for this installment? Because the Bierfrau learned a terrific second function for the stout while on vacation – marinade! Step one: decide to cook steaks. Step two: realize you do not have anything with which to marinate or cook said steaks. Step three: reach for Hitachino’s Espresso Stout. Step four: marinate steaks with the stout and various spices. Step five: cook and enjoy the heck out of your creation.*

This is what the Bierfrau likes to call beerconomizing or be(er)ing creative. Why not see what scrumptious beers are nestled in your fridge and get inspired? The potential for beer’s du(ale)ity is endless! For example, Bierfrau’s Mutti uses Budweiser (or any cheap beer) to bait the slugs in her gardens. It is a great alternative to commercially sold slug bait and it is organic! Some people also swear by beer shampoo to increase body and shine. The protein from the malts and hops in the beer coats the strands and helps to rebuild. Dull gold jewelry? Flat beer can be used as a cleanser when applied to your precious. Wet a rag with the beer and scrub. With a clean rag, dry your pieces and perfekt! Good as neu!

But the one use Bierfrau is most excited to try is the beersicle. Why not enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend with an ice-cold Hitachino Stout beersicle? Because nothing screams “American” more than inventive ways to use and consume things made in foreign countries.

 *Caramelized onions also taste yummy when sautéed in the stout.

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it’s mister beer! ghandi bot is in the house

Gandhi-Bot, Gandhi-Bot, Gandhi-Bot.  What a ridiculous, yet provocative name for a beer.  What does Gandhi have anything to do with robots, or with beer?  For that matter, what do robots have anything to do with beer?  I’m not sure if I can concretely answer all these questions, but maybe I can shed a little light on the murky origins of this most righteous of Double IPAs. 

First off, Gandhi-Bot is made in Woodbridge, CT, by New England Brewing Company.  Their head brewer is a man named Rob Leonard, a man with vision and a seemingly absurdist sense of humor.  Do a little research on Rob and you might dig up these interesting little facts: he has a penchant for satyagraha (Gandhi’s term for resistance to tyranny through mass social resistance) and a love for an enigmatic fellow named Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK, yo!).  All you Styx fans who own their 1983 rock opera Kilroy Was Here might already be familiar with this mysterious man, his trip to Japan, and the ubiquitous catch phrase “Domo Arigato Mr. RoBOTo”.  Are the puzzle pieces falling into place yet?  Everyone likes a little intrigue, so for Rob Leonard’s sake, I’ll try not to give too much away. 

Let’s get to the actual beer.  It pours a beautiful hazy orange color, with a small lacey head that diminishes fairly quickly.  This is a rather aromatic beer, smelling strongly of citrus, with faint hints of pineapple, mango, and orange.  Take a sip and BOOM, here come the hops in the best possible way: flavors of lemon, pine, and grapefruit abound, mingling with a crisp and sharp bitterness courtesy of the copious hops imbued into this brew.  The beer finishes bitterly, though there is some sweetness tucked in there as well, with faint flavors of caramel.  The beer’s moderate carbonation ensures it’s not too heavy on the palate, and it’s remarkably smooth for a 8.8 % ABV beer. 

Do yourself and your country a favor.  Come down to the Little Pub for some “satyabeerha”.  Resist the tyranny of the mundane world of work and toil, and join your brothers and compatriots in some peaceful, non-violent, social drinking.  Gandhi-Bot for one, and Gandhi-Bot for all.  Domo Arigato.

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tuesday june 28th. direct from san francisco, kevin mccarthy.

 he’s hard to categorize as far as “who does he sound like?”, so you’ll have to figure him out for yourself, but if you listen to any of these songs, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear them coming out of your car radio. assuming you still have a radio in your car. http://www.myspace.com/kevinmccarthyand

clck here 05 Fate  for a taste

Some musicians experience an essential moment—an epiphany, if you will—when the veneer of impediments and “reasons why” holding them back from a headlong plunge into their passion peels away to reveal the heartwood of a true artist.

For Kevin McCarthy; a songwriter, singer and principal of his label, Corkmusic; that moment occurred when he realized that music was a vehicle with which he could communicate stories, ideas, and feelings for which words had failed.

The critics picked up on his abilities from the start: when his debut album, “Anchors Away” was released, a review in “Discovering Artists” revealed “His voice is smooth and the tunes are dreamy and indefinable as far as genres go, which adds to the album’s appeal.”

His 2007 release, “Hiding In Plain Sight,” has generated the same excitement from critics, old and new fans alike. The work was produced by McCarthy, Jerry Becker, and bassist Jeremy Bleich, with performances by an eclectic cast of musicians “whose technical and creative abilities are second to none.”

Kevin started writing music at 16, but his exposure to piano, trumpet and drums began a decade earlier. The solid foundation might be the explanation for the flowing, natural interaction between his lyrics and music; a quality that Discovering Artists characterized as a “soaring acoustic and electric sound with a feel of jazz and folk.”

He describes his artistic process as “melodic progression then lyrics,” fueled by his interpretation of what is observed and what feelings are invoked. That approach carries through to what he wants for his live audiences.

“When they’re leaving a show, I want them to feel like they just shared a kaleidoscope of intense feelings,” McCarthy says, “like challenged, ecstatic, lost, found, electrified.”

Bringing that level of refinement to the stage and recording studio has been no small feat. In 2003, McCarthy started his label and released his debut album. In the subsequent seven years, he’s lived an up-and-coming musician’s life, covering 150,000 miles on the road in locations from Rhode Island to San Francisco.

Being driven as he is, McCarthy has continued to record and collaberate with many respected artists/musicians such as; Stewart Myers, Brian Jones, Jessie Harper, Joshua Smith, Kurt Kotheimer, Mike Gamble, Noah Jarrett, Conor Elmes , and many more.

2011 promises to be an exciting year for Kevin with the release of an album. The album will feature long time friends and collaborators Joshua Smith and Kurt Kotheimer. The session was recorded live to tape, and mixed by Smith, and McCarthy. The warmth and direction is apparent in both the musicianship and the trio’s collective approach to McCarthy’s songwriting. Considering the trajectory and course this songwriter/guitarist’s career has taken, it is apparent that his music, is and continues to be, time tested and genuinely embraced.

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it’s mister beer! duvel tripel hop.. is it worth all the hullabaloo?

You know that feeling when you bite into or drink something so good your face is inexorably plastered with some goof-ball expression of pleasure?  You’ll see this often in commercials for soup or yogurt.  Someone spoons in a bite, the camera pans in, and the expression on their face is as if Saint Peter just handed them their personal pass to heaven. 

Of course, we’re talking television here, and everyone knows commercials are 30 second sound bites of pontification and exaggeration.  Still, very occasionally,  you’ll try something and find yourself inadvertently taken by one of those uncontrollable moments of bliss.  I’m talking about trying Duvel Tripel Hop. 

Many beer drinkers are already familiar with the name Duvel, as it’s one of the most popular Belgian beers, both in America and throughout Europe. Regular Duvel is a treat unto itself, around 9 % ABV, with champagne-like carbonation, sweet and tart fruit flavors, and a superbly crisp finish.  The Tripel Hop doesn’t stray too far from this template, though there are a few notable differences.  While regular Duvel is a Belgian golden beer, the Tripel Hop is classified as a Belgian IPA.  IPAs, as we’ve learned, are known for their hops, which tend to imbue beer with bitterness and tartness.  In this case, the term “tripel” primarily references the three distinct varieties of hops that were used to brew this beer.  On a secondary level, tripel also references the strength of the beer itself.  Often times, Belgian brewers will classify their beers according to the strength of their ABV.  Ales that fall between 7 – 9 % ABV tend to be called “Dubbels”, while those exceeding 9 % are called “Tripels”.  Since this beer has three types of hops AND clocks in at 9.5 % ABV, it’s a Tripel Hop!  Pretty clever, no? 

Let’s get to the beer itself.  The beer pours a beautiful hazy golden color, with a large foamy white head that diminishes fairly slowly into lacing.  You should notice a stream of carbonation bubbles rising continuously from the bottom to the top of the glass.  Breathe in sweet aromas of yeast and fruits like banana, pear, apple, and lemon.  There’s also a tinge of spice that mingles with floral, hoppy notes.  Take your first sip and right away you’ll be hit with sweet flavors comparable to the aromas, with the notable exception that you’ll detect strong undercurrents of earthy, tangy hops.  This beer is bittersweet in the best possible way.  The mouthfeel is delightful as well, reminiscent of champagne, or even a great cream soda.  Its finish is crisp and smooth, with a sweetness that gives way to tart hoppy flavors that linger on the palate. 

Overall, this is an exemplary Belgian IPAs by one of Europe’s best breweries, and well worth its price tag.  A perfect beer for sharing with a friend or date, come down to the Little Pub and try one while we gots ‘em!

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die bierfrau! on delirium tremens (the beer and the condition)

Have you already forgotten why you swore Sunday morning that you’d never drink again. Hankering for a reminder?

Helllloooo Delirium Tremens. If ever there’s a beer to sneak up and snatch your equilibrium out from under you, this is the one. This Belgian Strong Pale Ale weighs in at 8.5% abv and is brewed by Brouwerij Huyghe. (Bierfrau imagines this pronunciation as “huge” because that’s the kind of impression it leaves). It is a golden beer that pours with a light, foamy head and fruity, hoppy fragrance. Bubbly and sweet in the mouth, it ends with a tart spice flavor. Overall, highly drinkable!

                But now, onto the fun stuff that is more apt to distract and entertain the Bierfrau: etymology and elephants! Romans called it a “shaking frenzy”, cheerleaders call it “jazz hands”, abbreviators “the DTs”. The name Delirium Tremens refers to the stage of withdrawal following a night of heavy drinking.

Ah, but did you take note of the beautiful label pasted onto that ceramic bottle? Say, what are all those elephants doing on there, and why are they pink? American author Jack London was supposedly the first to coin the phrase in his autobiographical work John Barleycorn.. He is, “[a] man whom we all know, … who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants”. But perhaps you know the imagery best from something a bit more child-friendly.

The year was 1941 when Dumbo and his mouse friend Timothy drank from an alcohol-laced water source. What ensued was Disney’s euphemism for intoxication. Cue an incredibly disturbing song featuring hoards of pink elephants blown out of one giant bubble originating in Dumbo’s trunk. Did this scare the Bierfrau off of drinking when she was a mere Bierfraulein? Nein. It just made her hate clowns all the more for spiking the water trough.

Happily, all that remains of the pink elephants now are the ones dancing on the nifty etched Delirium glass and label. There is even an elephant carved into the base of the glass to keep bubbles dancing up from the bottom the entire time! So try a 22oz Delirium bomber the next time you’re in, but make sure your ride home is your friend’s car and not some imaginary fluorescent pachyderm.

Addendum: In doing her research, Bierfrau was interested to learn that there are rare pink elephants in nature, as albino elephants can sometimes be pink. 

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walk/bike to little pub? maybe we should set up a bike rack.

bike-parking-little-pubwe came across this story  in the wilton patch about efforts to create a 27 mile long walking/biking trail stretching from norwalk to danbury with little pub smack dab on the path. now, we’re all for anything  that encourages  people to walk or ride bikes, but given the size of our parking lot, anything that encourages  people to walk or ride bikes  to little pub is music to our ears!



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