Food Gal: A Taste of “Small State Great Beer”

3 min read

By: Kelly Vaughan ’17
Social Media Coordinator
On Saturday, Sept. 17, Hartford hosted the first annual “Small State Great Beer” festival on Constitution Plaza. Over 30 craft breweries from around the state were present, including City Steam Brewery, Two Roads Brewing Company, Charter Oak Brewing Company, and Thomas Hooker Brewing. There were also food trucks from NoRA Cupcake Company, The Whey Station, Sixpence Pie Company, and Yardbird & CO. In addition, there was a Whole Foods booth with live music where guests could take photos of the event and enter for a chance to win $100 Whole Foods gift card.
With a $45 admission fee, guests received a small tasting glass which provided unlimited refills. There was also a large mural painted by local Willimantic, CT muralist, Mad Broke Kids. This is just another way the event focused on local artists and businesses.
The Whey Station had a variety of grilled cheese offerings, all of which were less than $10 each. I ordered the Caprese grilled cheese, which was made with five different kinds of cheese, tomatoes, and basil pesto. Later in the night, I also tried the Barbeque Sundae from Black Eyed Sally’s, which was a dish of layered of mashed potatoes, pulled pork, and Black Eyed Sally’s famous barbeque sauce. After finishing the grilled cheese and several beer tastings, I was extremely full and satisfied. Before leaving, I stopped by the NoRa cupcake truck, which was featuring beer infused cupcakes, including a Triple Chocolate Stout cupcake and a Pumpkin Ale Cheesecake cupcake.
The event was created by Hartford Prints, a local paper goods company and gift shop on Pratt Street in downtown Hartford. Hartford prints also partners with a number of local businesses to create a vibrant downtown scene.
The lines were long and after staying for around three hours, I was only able to try about six different breweries. The event was a great way for Connecticut to share a love of food, drinks, and entertainment in downtown Hartford. There were live music performances, including Trinity’s own Joe Barber, who is a saxophonist for Hartford Hot Several Brass Band. Prior to the official start time of the festival, Envisionfest Hartford hosted a day-long event celebrating art, live theatre and music in addition to biking and walking tours of Hartford, and other events across the city, all in an effort to revitalize Hartford and attract more residents from the local community and surrounding suburbs. Hartford Prints is focused on promoting Connecticut with slogans like “Small State Big Heart.” They sell additional merchandise with captions like “Buy local, Love Hartford,” “You put the heart in Hartford,” and “No Place Like Connecticut.”

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