Connecticut wanderings: The Outer Space

A bar for the young
A bar for the young

There’s a time in most people’s lives that they realize their age and it scares them.

I think I had mine last night at The Outer Space in Hamden, Conn.

There’s this great definition I once heard for the word “cosmopolitan,” which was, “feeling like you belong, wherever you are.” Since post-college, I’ve considered myself cosmopolitan. Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, church, a fancy dinner, or even at a family reunion,  I feel comfortable.

This really applies when I’m in a bar. Since I’m usually there for the beer, any ambiance is gravy. I’ve been in my share of dives, but not for a while. While I wouldn’t label The Outer Space a “dive,” it was certainly the most “casual” bar I’ve been to in a while. Continue reading “Connecticut wanderings: The Outer Space”

Pairing beers… with people!

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on Dec. 12, 2012.)

Your aging cousin?
Your aging cousin?

Let’s admit this much: shopping for some people is arduous and draining.

Uncle Larry? The one who’s hosting Christmas Eve this year? All you know about his new “lady friend” is that she seems to have a condition that does not allow her to stop talking. What do you get for someone like that?

And then there’s your best friend’s cousin… Cliff or Clive or something. He’s hosting a get-together that will be completely vegetarian. He brags about not wearing shoes since 1995. How do you get anything appropriate for barefoot wonder?

You already know my answer. Yeah, it’s beer.

Matching the gift with the receiver isn’t difficult and can be rewarding, if only for you. Now for some recommendations that allow you to find your match.

1. For your aging cousin who lives on the Maine Coast: New England Brewery’s Sea Hag IPA. Like her, it’s bitter and might overwhelm anything it’s paired with.