Happenings Lifestyle

Real Ale Competition Returning to Noah Webster House

Noah Webster House Executive Director Jennifer DiCola Matos with Henry Hooper of Hog River, whose Lemon Lavender Kolsch was a big winner Saturday night at the Real Ale Harvest Fest. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Beer you won’t find anywhere else will be available in West Hartford at the Noah Webster Real Ale Harvest Fest.

Courtesy image


The Noah Webster Real Ale Harvest Fest returns on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

The event annual event is an opportunity to sample beer you can’t find anywhere else. Over 20 brewers will create unique casks of real ale good for this one day only, with one stipulation: their brew must include an ingredient from Noah Webster’s 18th-century garden or pantry. With over 100 items to choose from such as currants, honey, hyssop, and nutmeg, creativity shines in this friendly competition between your favorite craft breweries.

Hops growing on the Noah Webster House fence. Courtesy photo

Tickets are limited for this exclusive event.

The event is co-hosted by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society and Harvest Wine & Spirits. “This event is like a perfect storm of beer and history colliding,” said Ian Halpern, general manager, Harvest Wine & Spirits. Real ale is a traditional cask-conditioned ale popular in the time of Founding Father and lexicographer Noah Webster.

Exclusively for this event, breweries from around the region create one-off casks of real ale using ingredients that would have been found in Webster’s 18th-century homestead in West Hartford, CT. Undergoing a second fermentation in the cask it will be served from, the entries are always unique and delicious – with complex and satisfying depth. It’s beer you won’t find anywhere else.

Many favorite and well known breweries will compete in the 2022 Real Ale Fest. For Hog River Brewing Company, the Real Ale Fest is a tradition. They have competed every year since the first event in 2015 and are the reigning Cask Champion. Hog River took home the Cask Champion title and mug in 2021 with their Lemon Lavender Kölsch. Returning to compete this year are: Aspetuck Brew Lab, Alvarium Beer Co., Brewery Legitimus, Counter Weight Brewing Co., Firefly Hollow Brewing, Hog River Brewing Co., Kent Falls Brewing Co., New England Brewing Co., New Park Brewing, O.E.C. Brewing, WeHa Brewing & Roasting Co., and Willimantic Brewing Co.

New entrants are: Broken Symmetry, East Hartford Brewing, East Rock Brewing Co., Malowe Artisanal Ales, New England Cider Co., Nod Hill Brewery, Oxbow Brewing Co., and Twelve Percent Beer Project.

A panel of judges will determine which brewery will be named Cask Champion and attendees vote for the Taster’s Choice Winner. Votes will be counted by the official accounting team from Clark Hirth CPAs using their weighting system designed just for the event.

Hartford’s own Dwayne Keith & Friends are playing live at the fest. Keith is known for well-orchestrated fills, groove and dexterity, and currently performs with The Dwayne Keith Project, Nikita, New Mosaic, and other acts.

Food is available for purchase from CT Provisions. CT Provisions will curate a custom menu for the event, drawing inspiration from the same colonial pantry and garden list used by the brewers. CT Provisions is helmed by Chefs Sean Farrell and Power Minor who are longtime friends and first met as chefs of Firebox Restaurant in Hartford, CT.

Please drink responsibly. There will be a drop off spot immediately in front of the museum for Uber, Lyft, and designated drivers to use. This location is sponsored by Keating Agency Insurance.

This event is made possible with the support of co-host Harvest Wine & Spirits and sponsors Keating Agency Insurance, Clark Hirth CPAs, and Eric Bergenn, Financial Planner – New England Financial Group.

Check the ticketing site www.noahwebster.yapsody.com for the most up-to-date information on participating breweries, music, and food.

This unique and exclusive event takes place on the grounds of the historic Noah Webster House, 227 S. Main St., West Hartford, CT. There will be two sessions, from 2-5 p.m. and from 6-9 p.m. Each session includes unlimited samples served in a souvenir tasting glass. Advance tickets are available for $50 at www.noahwebster.yapsody.com. After Sept. 2 tickets are $60. Designated drivers are welcome at $20 per person. Guests must be 21 with proper ID. All proceeds will benefit the not-for-profit museum.

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