Birthday Part 3: Beer Tasting at Foxwoods Fall Festival

I scored some half price tickets to the Fall Festival beer tasting at Foxwoods Casino, so on Sunday afternoon I went back to the casino for some drinkin’. If you are keeping count, yes I did go to two casinos in one weekend. Plus I am going to Vegas in two weeks.

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They advertised over 25 varieties of beer and by my count there were about 10 brands there including local microbrews like Thomas Hooker, Weed, Mystic, Blue Point, and Grey Sail. There were some larger regional brews too like Shipyard and Long Trail, and then a couple of the mega brands: 312, Widmer, Kona, Shock Top.

The event was extremely crowded due to the tiny space, but somehow I always found a spot to perch where I wasn’t being run over by people. I liked the full but intimate feel. On the other hand, it was still too large to really talk to any of the reps.

Grey Sail and Weed were my favorites:

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I also got to try 312’s Pepe Nero and their bourbon-aged beer (very strong, and very sweet).
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The ticket included more food than I expected. It started with antipasto stuff, which got devoured right away. There were some passed appetizers including coconut shrimp and pizza. Then there was a little chef battle where three chefs made beer-inspire bites for us to try.

There was one called the Surf ‘n Turf: a panko-crusted potato cake with a bite of steak and a shrimp on top. It was too crowded for me to take a picture though.

This was a short rib with a sweet Shock Top sauce. It was very tender and I liked the sweet/salty combo:

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My favorite, no surprise, was called the PBJ: pork belly with jalapeno jam and a squiggle of peanut sauce underneath. It was sweet, salty, spicy, crispy and buttery all in one bite.

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On the way home from the event, we stopped at Beer’d Brewing where they offered us more samples. I know it sounds so snobby but I really felt like my palate was tired from so much tasting.

Overall, I’m glad they put effort into getting the small companies in and actually highlighting them. The event was put on by the same distributor as Mohegan Sun’s Brewfest last month where tickets were $25 each and did not include food. Mohegan Sun’s Brewfest included the same smaller labels here and many other great labels (Ommegang!) but instead the top billing was given to Heineken, Dos Equis, Blue Moon… no brah. Foxwoods had tickets on sale for $18 which included tastings, beer, and free bowling in the luxury lanes. The beer festival was a great way to spend an afternoon without breaking the bank.

I think this is officially the end of Birthday Week celebrations. No wait, Vegas might be the last hurrah. Meh. I could just keep celebrating myself for another 30 years.

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