Posts Tagged by local

Black Hog Brewing Co. Grand Opening


Local breweries in Connecticut are really starting to make a name for themselves and the newest one to join the ranks is Black Hog Brewing Co.  Black Hog is the creation of Jason and Tom Sobocinski of Caseus Fromagerie Bistro in New Haven and Tyler Jones, former brewer at The Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire.  During all of their family celebrations, Jason and Tom have roasted a hog, so Black Hog was an obvious choice to name this brewery celebrating all things family and food.

Even though Black Hog started distributing around Connecticut in July and is already in over 100 locations statewide, yesterday was the grand opening of their tasting room in Oxford, CT!  After hopping off of a plane from our week in Florida, B and I headed straight there to support the opening.  How could I miss it?  I’ve been super excited about this since they announced the brewery back in the spring!    


By the time we arrived, it was packed!  There was a long line to get inside the 3,500 ft. brewery to taste all of the beers Black Hog currently has to offer.  Once inside you could choose from a pint or squealer (Black Hog’s 32 oz version of a growler – very clever) of one of their four year round brews or a tasting of any of their current seven offerings. 




Black Hog prides itself on using ingredients from local farms that can be found in their Farmland Series and they even grow some of them right outside including hops and strawberries.  This series will feature a new brew every season and donate part of the proceeds to the Working Lands Alliance.  Currently in the works is a Basil Pale Ale!


So let’s look at all the beers Black Hog currently has to offer!

Year Round Brews

Ginja Ninja is a Red India Pale Ale infused with fresh ginger.  This is a refreshing brew with only a slight hoppiness to it.  It’s perfect for a warm summer day or maybe paired with your favorite fall dish.

Easy Rye’ Da is an easy drinkin’ low ABV Rye India Pale Ale.  Due to the low ABV, this brew can be sipped on all day long and is perfect paired with a cheese board to bring out those grassy undertones.

Granola Brown is a Brown Ale brewed with a granola mix of oatmeal, grains, hops and roasted malts.  Remember that roasted pig that this brewery was founded on, this here is its perfect pairing.

Nitro Coffee Milk Stout combines a sweet stout with organic Columbian Supremo and Espresso roasted coffees.  This brew is lighter than your typical stout and has a lovely silky texture that comes from being poured over Nitrogen gas lines. 

Seasonal Brew

S.W.A.G. is a Summer Wheat Ale brewed with grapefruit peel.  This contains everything you want in a summer brew.  It’s has the light wheat flavor with bitter citrus notes from the grapefruit.  A perfect pair with a lobster roll on the water.

Farmland Series

Strawberry Gose is a German-style Wheat Beer infused with organic strawberries from Massaro Farm in Woodbridge, CT as well as coriander and pink Himalayan sea salt.  This just screams summer!

The Hop Collective (T.H.C. Series)

THC Chinook is a Single Hopped American Pale Ale.  This brew has piney aromatics and notes of exotic spices.   


While on line, I grabbed a pint of Granola Brown and after about 30 minutes I made it up to the tasting bar.  Now to decide which four beers I wanted to try!



Since I already had the Granola Brown (which is DELICIOUS!), I decided to try Easy Rye’ Da, Ginga Ninja, Nitro Coffee Milk Stout and THC Chinook.  Look at the awesome branded paddle for the samples!


No Sobocinski celebration would be complete without a hog roast of course!  Jason roasted up an 80-pound hog for his guests, but sadly by the time we arrived it was all gone!  That’s right folks, 80 pounds of deliciousness gone in 2 hours.  


Thankfully The Cheese Truck was on-site to deliver some crispy, melty goodness.  The perfect pairing with some craft beer. 



Since I’m a fan of darker and not so hoppy beers, the Granola Brown was right up my alley. I knew I was going to love this beer from the first time I read the description and I’m so glad it will be available year round.  I also really liked the Coffee Milk Stout and surprisingly so did B!  It was smooth and had a subtle coffee flavor…YUM!  The other 3 weren’t my style.  I’m not a fan of Pale Ales because they are generally too hoppy for me which these were, but I did enjoy the Ginga Ninja.  It was refreshing and would be nice on a hot day. 

My friend Ashley came and met us there and we all had a great afternoon!  I will definitely be back to the tasting room to try more of Black Hog’s seasonal and limited release series as they come out and I’m looking forward to seeing more taps in restaurants around the state. 


Have you tried Black Hog Brewing Co.?  What is your favorite local brewery?  

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Eat Your Veggies! Robert Treat Farm CSA Weeks 11 & 12

I know this is how nature works, but I hate that the best parts of summer come at the end of the season.  I wish all the awesomeness we’re getting now could last longer than just a few weeks!!  I’ve been making some wonderful eggplant parmesan, big salads and oh yeah, all those leftovers from my BBQ a few weeks ago fed us for quite a few days!




Week 11 brought more lettuce, tons of ripe tomatoes, potatoes and onions.  I also grabbed one of the peppers from Keira to grill up for B…just because I can’t eat them doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t enjoy them!




Week 12 brought more of my favorites corn, carrots and tomatoes, along with some gorgeous swiss chard and savoy cabbage.  I think I’m just going to juice the chard, but I’m not sure what to do with the savoy cabbage besides tons of slaws…any suggestions?   



It was also a fruit week and I was stoked to get 2 of my favs…blueberries and peaches!


I split a lot of the stuff with Keira since I knew we couldn’t finish 6 giant tomatoes.  She was excited because there were bonus hot peppers this week which her hubs LOVES.  I see a lot of spicy dishes in her future.



Only 4 weeks are left of the CSA and sadly the Farmers Market ends next week 🙁  That means no more fresh fish on Wednesday and no more sweet treats like cupcakes or cannolis…well I guess for the second one it’s a good thing, my waist line will be happy.



Hope you’re enjoying the last of what the summer has to offer…it’s been a great year!

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Eat Your Veggies! Robert Treat Farm CSA Weeks 8 – 10

Ready for 3 weeks for delicious veggies and good eats?!  I missed out on week 8 since I was in California which is a bummer since it was full off beets, corn and local blueberries. Well Disneyland and the Games more than made up for it 🙂  


Week 9 brought some new items and bunch of things I couldn’t eat like squash and cukes. I took home Yukon Potatoes, Lettuce, Broccoli and Purple Scallions.  




Keira grabbed up the rest, along with some white pickling cukes which is apparently sweeter than the more traditional green variety.  And then she made pickles…YUM!





Man I really wish I could eat those…I LOVE pickles!  I hate that cucumbers hate me.  Can’t wait to hear how they turn out.

Week 10 has been my favorite week so far.  Not only did we get the a bounty of summer’s best, but it was also a fruit week!  




This basket was HUGE!  There were 8 ears of corn that I split with Keira and a huge bag of plums that we split as well. On top of that I took home the carrots, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and some of the other fruit.


In our weekly email, there was a recipe suggestion for carrot top pesto.  Hmmmmm.  I’ve always just discarded carrot tops so this sounded like an interesting use for them.  I adapted the recipe a bit and was actually surprised at how good it turned out!  Here’s the recipe with a few changes:

Carrot Top Pesto
Yields 1
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
12 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
12 min
  1. 2 cups lightly packed carrot tops that have been rinsed well and patted dry (discard the thicker bottom parts of the greens)
  2. 1 garlic clove, chopped
  3. 8-10 basil leaves
  4. 3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
  5. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  7. ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
  8. 1/4 cup water
  9. 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Place all ingredients except for the olive oil and water into your food processor and pulse until you get a coarse paste. Slowly drizzle the water into the processor, then do the same with the olive oil as you pulse the pesto until you get the consistency of a coarse puree.
  1. The amount of olive oil will vary based on the consistency you want.
Adapted from Sarah McGovern (RAD Living)
Adapted from Sarah McGovern (RAD Living)
RAD Living
I was surprised at how great this is.  Who knew?!?  I mixed the pesto with the tomatoes I had and some mozzarella for a delicious salad!


Oh that delicious plate of BBQ up there?  The tomato pesto salad went great with a pork butt that I smoked and a cole slaw I made with the carrots, scallions and kohlrabi I had on hand along with some cabbage I picked up at the farm.  Can summer never end??

What goodies have you made lately?

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Eat Your Veggies! Robert Treat Farm CSA Week 6

The bitterness of broccoli rabe is a perfect pairing with salty italian sausage.  Top it with some fresh, local ricotta cheese and you have a delicious meal!  


Now I have to admit that I did not take into account the saltiness of the sausage and over-seasoned the rabe.  I also added a sprinkling of Parmesan which led to a very salty meal.  Things to remember for the future.  

All the lettuce we had been receiving came in handy over the 4th of July holiday weekend at the parities Keira and I attended.  Look at the delicious salad she made with her iceberg lettuce…definitely not your typical iceberg.


Week 6 of the CSA brought more of our favorite tatsoi and carrots, along with some new veggies like green beans, cucumbers and golden beets.




I swapped out the cabbage and one of the kohlrabi for 2 tatsoi and also took the carrots and golden beets.  I’ve been saving all of the beets I’ve been getting to roast together…that will be happening this week!


Now that the farmstand is open, I’ve been supplementing my share with grape tomatoes, blueberries and other yummy veggies.  Summer rules!

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Eat Your Veggies! Robert Treat Farm CSA Week 5

Braised chard was the theme of the week since we both got it.  Looks like Keira added some hot peppers to hers and I did mine in shallots, garlic and a touch of butter.


Keira’s Chard


My Chard

That’s some tasty stuff!  I also made a quinoa salad with tomatoes, chicken and feta, and used the kohlrabi in a salad of romaine, carrots and steak.  Great lunches all around!



Did you know that purple kohlrabi is only purple on the outside? I didn’t…strange.


Week 5 brings some repeats like kale and rabe, but some fun new items as well.




The most intriguing to me was the iceberg lettuce (bottom left) because it looks nothing like the light green round head that we are used to finding in grocery stores.  This looked much more nutritious and appetizing!

I took home the heirloom beets, rabe, broccoli and fennel.  


I’m really looking forward to making a beet and fennel salad (B will HATE that!) and sauteeing up the rabe with some good italian sausage.  Any other thoughts on what to do with the fennel?

Have a great week and don’t forget to eat your veggies!

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