Beer+Bites with Ken Tuccio

We believe in equal opportunities for all adult beverages! But, if truth be told, we tend to favor wine, notably Pinot Noir. In an effort to broaden our horizons, we decided to ask our favorite Fairfield County beer aficionado, 95.9 the Fox’s Ken Tuccio, to take us on a mini FC beer tour. Without hesitation, Ken suggested Craft 260, followed by Aspetuck Brewery Lab. Sounded good to us…here’s Beer+Bites with Ken Tuccio!

The first stop on our Ken Tuccio beer crawl (pretty sure 2 places doesn’t equal a crawl) would bring us to Craft 260, at 260 Post Road in Fairfield. The Beer/Bar/Bistro serves a huge variety of craft beers and takes the food they offer just as seriously! It’s a favorite of Ken’s for a casual beer and the best wings around.

Craft 260 – Fairfield

Craft 260 is currently offering 11 different beers on tap, 27 bottles, 15 cans, and a growler!

The food menu is split into different appealing categories; Taste & Share, Greens, Handheld, Wood Oven Flatbreads, Entrees, and Sides. Something delicious here for everyone, even a Craft Kids menu!

Ken Tuccio in the middle, with Craft 260 owners Tomer Raviv and Chef Vinny Mascaro, left and right!
Captain Lawrence – Beer’d Jus’ Sayin’ for Lora, Brooklyn Oktoberfest for Ken, and Crabbie’s Ginger Beer for Bev. Bev is unable to resist ordering this if she ever sees it on a menu. Sorry, not sorry 🙂
And neither of us can resist Burrata on a menu, so of course, we ordered this. Craft 260 serves theirs with charred red pepper relish, fresh herb pesto, olive tapenade, and grilled bread.

About those wings!

Where there’s good beer, there’s usually good wings. Not sure why that is, but it’s the truth. Craft 260 marinades their wings in buttermilk and serves them crispy-breaded with a choice of flavored sauces; Sriracha Buffalo, Hickory Poblano, Citrus Chimichurri, Teriyaki Lime, Sweet Hell Chili. Ken usually orders them with the sauce on the side, because he likes to “control his own sauce”. 😂

Craft 260 – Tomer Raviv and Chef Vinny Mascaro

Tomer, what’s the customer favorite beer right now?

They love an IPA.

How do you help customers find a beer they like if they don’t know beer so well? I.e. us!

I will go out of my way to find out things about you that will tell me exactly what style of beer you will like. I’ll ask random questions like, do you like vinegar in your salad? Red wine? Sour Patch candy? Margaritas? With your answers, I might have you try a sour beer aged in red wine barrels. Every beer, if you break it down, has a profile of tasting notes.

Chef Vinny, tell us something about Craft 260 that people may not know.

That we take our food very seriously. I know we’re a craft beer bar and that’s what we’re known for, but we really take our food seriously and I think that’s what sets us apart. We work the beer into our food and into our menus.

Do you have a favorite story of something that’s happened at Craft 260?

We do special events for charities, big beer fests, and cast festivals outside in our parking lot. At the last cask event, we had a DJ, and Blink 182 came on. The DJ turned the volume down and about 300 people out there started singing. It was the coolest thing for us.

A beer moment with Ken Tuccio 🍺

What is it you love about beer, besides the obvious?

Beer is social, and it’s casual and it’s not pretentious. You come out, you have a beer and watch the game. Or you come out and talk, and listen to music. My favorite vacation is one where I’m sitting on the beach with my headphones on, listening to music with a beer in my hand.

What are some of your favorite local beers?

My favorite brewery in the state is Aspetuck Brewery Lab, where we’re going next! I also like Lock City in Stamford. They’ve been blowing people out of the water. I also like Fairfield Craft Ales in Stratford. There’s so many, it depends on your mood! Stony Creek is the best place if you want a gorgeous location.

Aspetuck Brew Lab – Black Rock

Aspetuck Brew Lab, here we come! And although the ABL address is in Black Rock, Bridgeport, it’s practically just a stone’s throw away, located at 3389 Fairfield Avenue. They are open Thursday to Sunday and have 8 beers on tap plus hard cider and wine. They’re family-friendly and encourage you to BYOFood!

Aspetuck Brew Lab CEO Peter Cowles

Aspetuck Bew Lab CEO, Peter Cowles could seriously give the Energizer Bunny a run for his money. By day, he’s the Marketing Director at InStyle Magazine (didn’t see that one coming did you?) and by, all the rest of his time, he’s brewing and operating ABL along with his wife Tara Kasaks Cowles, and his lovely staff. Having just finished a small 5 mile run in the neighborhood, we asked him to take a few minutes to hang with us, drink a beer, and answer some questions.

Where does beer come from?! Give us the short attention span version, please!

The process starts with malted barley, wheat…from Germany, from the US, from Belgium, and we build our recipes from the grains.

We crush the grain in the miller, it goes up a pipe into a holding tank, then the brewing process starts. When you mix grain with a certain temperature of hot water…a chemical reaction takes place that takes all the sugars out of the grain and that’s what ends up in the beer to make the alcohol. Then we add the hops, which are like spices!

Making beer seems very scientific, were you good at science in school?

I was pretty good at science but that had nothing to do with my love of making beer. It was cooking actually, cooking and brewing are very similar. It’s all about time, temperature, ingredients, and heat.

You’re very good at it, every beer we’ve tried is delicious and going down a treat. Cheers, Peter!

Thanks for the mini beer tour, Ken! To thank you we made this little photo montage of us doing, “The Ken Face” hope you like it!

🍻


Craft 260 + Aspetuck Brew Lab

Pics: Lora / Words: Bev