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!

http://wilton.patch.com/articles/five-towns-one-vision-norwalk-valley-trail-nears-fruition?ncid=M255

http://www.nrvt-trail.com/

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it’s mister beer! raspberry ufo spotted in ridgefield

 

mister-beer-little-pubUp next on tap, Harpoon Raspberry UFO!  The UFO is a wheat beer, a hefeweizen, so right off the bat you can expect something crisp, sweet, and fruity (raspberries, duh!).  You’re probably curious why this beer has “UFO” in its title.  Well, this beer was brewed to commemorate the fifth season of X-Files…just kidding, UFO stands for “UnFiltered Offering”.  An unfiltered beer is simply one in which the brewer has decided to keep the remnants of the hops, malts, and yeasts used in brewing the beer, like how lemonade and orange juice inherently has pulp. In fact, being “unfiltered” is another characteristic of true hefeweizens. 

harpoon_raspberry_ufo_little_pub

Anyhoo, let’s get to the beer!  This beer pours a beautiful light golden-rose color.  The rose color derives from, you guessed it, the raspberry flavor added to the beer during the brewing process.  The beer’s aroma (man, stop me if I’m getting repetitive): raspberries.  There’s a hint of malt backbone in there too, but this is pretty much all raspberry.  The flavors?  Raspberry!  Wheat!  Well really, that’s an over-simplification.  The beer does taste strongly of raspberry, but you might pick up on subtle flavors of lemon and grass as a result of the beer’s wheat character.  According to the hefeweizen style, this beer has a very light mouthfeel, with nice carbonation, smooth crispness, and a sweet, dry finish.  Overall, the UFO is one of the best summer beers out there.  Served chilled, it’s the perfect counterpoint to a hot, hazy, humid day.  Sweet, crisp, refreshing, only 5.1 % ABV, this beer will sell fast, so come get it while it lasts!

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it’s mister beer! getting sour with the rodenbach’s.

Pretty much anyone who’s been to the Pub knows we like our Belgian beers. Our bottled beer list confirms this, and its well known that Palm Belgian Amber on tap is probably our best selling beer.  So for our next offering, we decided to stick to our guns and bring in Rodenbach Red, a Belgian sour beer. 

Now, before everyone jumps at the word “sour” (what, is the beer skunked?! Beer’s supposed to be crisp, refreshing!) I want to lay this on the line: this is one of my all-time favorite beers.  It’s fantastically unique, incredibly drinkable, and extremely refreshing.  And yeah, it IS sour, and it IS great.  Here’s some facts to appease the beer-curious.  Sour beers are made with unique blends of yeast and bacteria, and are generally heavily aged, often for three years or more.  In Rodenbach’s case, they’ve been using the same yeasts for around 160 years! Rodenbach is actually a blend of 75 % “young” ale and 25 % “old” ale.  The old ale in this case has been aged and heavily fermented for over three years, and is what lends Rodenbach its signature flavors.  The young ale is simply less fermented beer, added to cut the strong nature of the old ale.  Sour ales are generally known for two things.  You can probably guess the first: being sour! The second: strong fruit characteristics.  In Rodenbach’s case, we’re talking apples.  Let’s get down to the beer.  Rodenbach pours a dark, reddish brown, with a light brown head that diminishes quickly.  Its aromas are strong and tart, and you’ll detect hints of cherry, caramel, and apple cider.  Take one sip, and here comes the sour!  This beer is tangy and crisp, and right away you’ll notice flavors of apple, fig, and a very slight hint of balsamic vinegar.  The beer ends as it started, sweet and sour, with lingering caramel flavors and a nice dry finish.  Folks, this really is a great and truly unique beer.  There are other sour beers besides Rodenbach, but Rodenbach is widely regarded as the flagship sour ale.  So even if you think this beer isn’t your style, please do yourself a favor: take a leap of faith and try it, at the least it is an unforgettable beer, and at best, you’ll have found a new addition to your favorite beers.

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das bierfrau on schneider-weisse, hangovers, and random singing.

armed with dual degrees in philosophy and germanic language, and not only possessing, but willing to wear a dirndl, das beefrau is a triple threat well positioned to philosophize about beer and other related things (like pretzels, sausages, schnitzel, and the schism between descartes and kant that still rocks the world of philosophy to this day), and the correct use of umlauts.

Guten Tag and Wilkommen to the Bierfrau’s inaugural column! Here you will find descriptions, reviews and fun facts about the beer and beer kultur at Little Pub (or, die kleine Kneipe). Occasionally, the column will highlight other wunders to be found at the Pub too, because the Bierfrau cannot subsist on beer alone – although, she has tried! So raise your glass and Prost! to what promises to be both informative and irreverently irrelevant.

A natural place for the Bierfrau to begin is Germany. The featured beer of today is Schneider-Weisse’s Original Hefeweizen. A classic Bavarian German wheat beer (Hefe meaning “yeast” and weizen, “wheat”), this beer has not changed a drop since its original inception in 1872. Wheat beers are unfiltered, meaning that the yeast is left in the beer after the batch is brewed. The result is a clouder, more flavorful beer. Unfiltered beers also retain their vitamins, specifically vitamin B, a key compontent in decreasing the severity of a hangover. (If you plan to do a lot of unfiltered beer drinking, take a vitamin B with water before you go to bed and thank the Bierfrau later!) The yeast rests at the bottom of the bottle and the beer must be poured completely vertically into a specifically designed glass. This way, the yeast hits the bottom of the glass and breaks up upon impact. This Schneider-Weisse is perfectly potent at 5.4% abv and is enjoyed best with hearty food, essentially the only kind offered in southern Germany. This would pair best with our burgers, steak or even the reuben and rachel. Even if you’re not eating though, it is worth ordering just to see the bartender or server slave over the perfekt pour.

Our trivial trivia for the day is on the importance of song when making (or enjoying) beer. A phrase from the Middle Ages states, “when brewing, one must sing. Only then the beer gets done.” Often, singing was encouraged to ensure that the apprentices stayed awaked and vivacious in the brew house. The same holds true today, as you will frequently hear both Devin and Dave singing by the service station. In this way, they raise spirits among the crew as patrons simultaneously raise their spirits in pure enjoyment.

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