Monday, June 27, 2011

Your guide to the 20% alcohol tax increase in the state of Connecticut

Starting July 1st, the incompetent pinheaded morons who run the state of Connecticut are increasing taxes on alcohol by 20%. Seeing as how the increase has been widely under-reported, and Food Plus Beer is your authority on all things alcoholic, we figured we’d give you a bit of a heads up.

Long story short, if you’re loading up for a 4th of July party or barbecue, do it before this Thursday, because everything you buy at your local bottle shop is about to be a couple bucks more expensive. How much more expensive? Well, the retailers are taking some of the hit, too, so it’s not as simple as (Price you normally pay) * (1.20). [I wanted to include a pun about your fifth not actually costing a fifth more, but I decided not to. Unless you count this, but it’s in brackets. Doesn’t count.]

At Three Seas Liquor in Stamford, the proprietor had a sign posted briefly explaining the effects of the new law, along with an example of how the price will change. The sign states that a previously $29.99 bottle of Absolut will now cost $31.99. For the consumer, that’s a little less than a 7% increase. A $10 6-pack, then, should cost about $10.70 if the changes are even across the board (and assuming most liquor stores are spreading the 20% out in a similar manner to Three Seas).

So, as you can see, it’s not exactly a doomsday scenario, but it’s still a pain in the ass...especially when there’s such an obvious alternative solution to getting more state money out of CT’s booze industry. I don’t know, say, OPENING THE FRIGGIN’ LIQUOR STORES ON SUNDAYS? Well, gee, wouldn’t that make just a little bit of sense?

You can buy a beer from a bar on Sunday, but not a liquor store. Uh...what?

We’re currently optimizing 6 out of the 7 days of the week. If we were to open on Sunday, that’s a 16.7% increase in days our liquor stores are open, collecting taxes. Wouldn't that offset a good portion of that 20%? Not to mention the fact that a seventh day would create more jobs, thereby stimulating the economy and generating more income tax revenue.

And wouldn’t this stop residents of CT border towns from driving to New York, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island to buy alcohol on Sundays…a direct loss in tax revenue for CT and benefit for its neighbors? Connecticut's a pretty small state - it's not that far a drive. I could walk to Port Chester if I had to.

Connecticut, for all its self-righteousness and progressive attitude, is one of just TWO states in the U.S. (Indiana, I believe, being the other) that doesn’t open its liquor stores on Sundays. That’s right, the entire Bible belt has moved on and embraced the beauty of drinking white lightnin’ out of a boot on the Sabbath… yet CT can’t seem to get its act together and clings to its Puritanical roots from 400 years ago.

Jesus turned water into wine, people. I don’t think he’d be offended. Open the damn doors.

Enjoy the tax hike,


Monday, June 20, 2011

100 Beers at Monster B's

About a month ago, I finally had my 100th beer at Monster B’s, and crossed over into Hall of Foam immortality. The clouds opened wide, rows of glistening trumpets brought forth thunderous melodies from the heavens, and scantily clad Nordic maidens hand-fed me grapes and fanned me off with giant banana leaves. Either that or some dude with a beard gave me a high five.

Anywho, that day, I took a picture of the front of my Hall of Foam card, with plans to take a picture of the back of the card for an FPB post after drinking the two beers I needed to make an even 100.

Well, I forgot. One of beer’s less fortunate side effects, I suppose. Beer giveth, and beer taketh away.

Eventually, I made it back to Monster’s, snapped a photo of the back of the card, and here it is, in all its sudsy glory – 100 beers. I’d like to thank my liver.


This card sets penmanship back 100 years.

 My mom is so proud.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SoNo Restaurant Week 2011

Just found out today that SoNo Restaurant week is happening NOW, through June 17th (Friday). Here are the participating restaurants, with Restaurant Week menus where applicable.

Bacchus – RW Menu Not Online- (203) 956.6220  Make Reservations
Barcelona – RW Menu Not Online- (203) 899.0088
Black Bear Saloon – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 299.0711
Coromandel – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 852.1213
ChocopologieRW Lunch Menu & RW Dinner Menu- (203) 854.4754
Donovan’s – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 354.9451
The GingermanLunch & Dinner RW Menus- (203) 354.0163
MatchRW Menu – (203) 852.1088  Make Reservations
O’Neill’s – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 838.0222
Red Lulu – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 939.1600
Strada18 – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 853.4546
Sono Brewhouse – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 853.9110
The Sono Baking Company & Cafe – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 847.7666
Wasabi Chi – RW Menu Not Online – (203) 286.0181

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kona Grill - Stamford, CT

For all the great happy hours in Stamford, there’s one category that’s sadly under-represented: Happy-Hours-With-Food (Henceforth referred to as HHWFs). These are, of course, happy hours in which the discount extends to food items as well as drinks.

Now I know what you’re saying: “But Ryan, C.J. McDouchenstein’s has 50 cent wing nights on Wednesdays!” True, and I love me some wing night, but it doesn’t do me much good on a Friday. A HHWF, by definition that I’m currently making up on the spot, is a happy hour that discounts food every day (weekends, of course, notwithstanding).

Think about it a bit. In Stamford, it’s pretty easy to find a 4 dollar beer on a weekday afternoon, but decidedly more difficult to find a corresponding $5 appetizer. Enter Kona Grill.

Being that it’s located A. in the Stamford mall, and B. across the street from mega-companies like UBS, Kona Grill is a bit of a haven for yuppies and jailbait high-school chicks. But for a HHWF, my friends, we’d gladly enter the gates of Mordor.

We arrived at Kona this past Friday afternoon after spending the afternoon shirtless, throwing rocks at each other and swilling light pee beer. This may have been part of the reason our waiter hated us. But that’s neither here nor there – we wanted sushi and Sake bombs, stat.

Sake bombs at Kona’s happy hour are $7.50, and we had enough for three people to do two rounds apiece. Now, is Sake and Japanese rice beer as good as a cold IPA? No, but it’s insanely cheap, it’s fun to do something different and I like the feeling when your Sake cup smashes into your front teeth. So there.

For dinner, I ordered a fiery shrimp roll and twin mini-burgers with fries off the happy hour menu. The fiery shrimp roll was just spicy enough (Sriracha ftw), with good flavor and a satisfying shrimp crunch. The burgers were bigger than I expected and surprisingly good, with well-seasoned beef, a tasty bun and a nice pile of     shoestring fries. The combined price of my dishes: $8.13.

You can find better sushi in Stamford. You can find a better atmosphere. You can find a much better beer list. But I defy you to beat $10.38 for a sushi roll, twin sliders, fries, and two rounds of Sake bomb. It’s a HHWF, baby! And that’s exactly why Kona Grill has one of the best happy hours in Stamford.

But there’s one other aspect where Kona truly stands alone. Their HHWF starts at [4] 3, ends at 7 – and starts up again at 10. That’s right; Kona is crazy enough to give out discounted food and drinks from 10 til close on a Friday night. I think I’m turning Japanese.



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