STRATFORD, Conn.— Happy birthday to Fairfield Craft Ales (FCA), the music-inspired brewery in Stratford who is turning one-year-old on Saturday, July 8.
To celebrate, the business, whose motto is "Rhythm & Brews," will host an open-to-the-public party from 1 p.m. to 5:30 pm.
Featured at the bash: 12 beers on tap plus two special casks: Big Me, the brewery’s double IPA and one of its best sellers (aged in a cask with habanero peppers) and Dixie Chicken, a British pale ale that has been aged on mango and grilled peaches.
The music goes from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with sets from local musicians Fred & Ethel. A private catered party (already sold out) goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring live music from Fairfield’s The Better Half band.
The brewery opened on July 8, 2016, and has been rocking and rolling ever since thanks to the vision of Owners Mike Borruso and Joe Bow of Fairfield.
Since their opening, they have released 21 unique beers, all named after some of their favorite songs.
“People like to run through the tap list and try to name all the artists who wrote the songs we’ve named the beers after,” said Borruso.
The Connecticut beer scene being what it is, FCA’s best sellers are IPAs. Topping the charts for this first year in business—by a pretty wide margin—has been Little Darlin’ (song by 60s doo-wop group The Diamonds), a New England IPA double dry-hopped with Citra hops.
Customers will also find a couple of Belgian-style beers, a very popular brown ale called Brown-Eyed Girl (Van Morrison, of course), a stout or other dark beer, and a few surprises like Dixie Chicken (a Little Feat tune), a brew that defies established styles and draws rave reviews from customers.
For the uninitiated, FCA is at 724 Honeyspot Road in Stratford with regular hours from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The tap room currently has 12 taps (up from the eight the brewery originally opened with) and holds about 45 people, but the owners are in the process of expanding it to fit more music and beer fans.
There's food available for sale including beer-infused chips and nuts made by The Drunk Alpaca (which just opened its new store in Shelton). You can also bring your own food -- or order from nearby pizza places (menus are provided). FCA also sells hard cider and wine for people who don’t like beer but want to hang out with their friends who do.
Small bands and solo acoustic performers perform most Saturdays and some Sundays, there are occasional acoustic jams to which anyone with a guitar is invited to join. The brewery recently held its first yoga night, in fact, which was a huge success.
On the docket for year two: Music trivia nights, open mic nights, and vinyl record shares, to name a few.
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