Connecticut’s Largest Online Beer Forum Has Quite a Buzz
If you want to talk about Connecticut’s craft beer, you need to join the CT Beer Drinkers Facebook group.
Chris Flynn founded the niche group back in July of 2014 when Connecticut’s craft beer scene was really starting to take off. At the time, there were less than 30 operational breweries in the state. Fast forward to 2019 and Connecticut now has upwards of 100 operational breweries and brewpubs.
When the group formed, there was not a large forum to talk about the CT craft beer scene. Facebook seemed like the best fit to make their home. That was where the people were and that is where there could be a real time conversation about the beer everyone was enjoying. Chris started by adding a few of his Facebook friends to get the group started. There wasn’t much activity at first, but the group was slowly growing by word of mouth. By the end of the first year, buzz around the group spread through the craft beer community. The CT Beer Drinkers Facebook Group started to become the main forum to talk local craft beer, find out the latest brewery releases, and to find out when the next biggest craft beer event is being held.
As the group grew in numbers, so did the need for help to run the group, as they were starting to gain upwards of 500 new members every month. Chris took on his brother Dave, friend Marc Forman and craft beer enthusiasts, Ryan Baldyga and Mary Vaichus, to help manage the group. With their help, the group began to run smoothly and was then was able to monitor the hundreds of daily posts and comments much more efficiently.
Over the past several years, the CT Beer Drinkers Facebook Group has also been responsible for some great local events. They have hosted two different brewing classes with Fairfield Craft Ales out of Stratford, at which group members were able to participate in the brewing process from start to finish. They have also hosted several meet up parties for the Facebook group members at the Blind Rhino in Norwalk and Craft 260 in Fairfield. Chris and his team worked with the bar owners to put together the best tap list in the state. Their beer list consisted some of the rarest brewery releases at the time, along with some of the best beers brewed in the state.
Their biggest event to date was a simultaneous tri-county charity party. The party was hosted by The Blind Rhino in south Norwalk, The Cask Republic of New Haven, and Taphouse 150 of Cromwell. The charity event consisted of amazing tap lists, food specials, prize give aways and more. Each venue challenged the other to see who can raise the most money for charity. The event donated proceeds toward the CT Hops For Hope Foundation, which benefited the SMS Research Foundation.
Currently, the CT Beer Drinkers Facebook group is nearing 13,000 members, and is Connecticut’s largest online interactive forum to discuss craft beer. The group has grown into a forum not just for craft beer fans, but also a place for brewery owners to interact directly with their fans. The group has become a mainstay for the craft beer community and continues to grow daily.
If you are on Facebook and would like to join the CT Beer Drinkers Facebook Group, you can find it by clicking here:
If you are not on Facebook you can follow CT Beer Drinkers on Instagram, Twitter, & Untappd by searching @ctbeerdrinkers.
Take a look through this gallery from some CT Beer Drinkers' meet-up events:
Written by Christopher Flynn in partnership with CT Beer Drinkers and the Home of Rock 'N' Roll i95.