New CT beer trail emerges after demand 'overwhelmed' previous program

Photo of Andrew DaRosa
Jennifer and Kevin Mardorf are launching the new website.

Jennifer and Kevin Mardorf are launching the new website.

Contributed by Kevin Mardorf

With more than 120 craft breweries in the state, Connecticut is a popular place for beer enthusiasts. To keep track of all of them and to reward those who make it their mission to visit as many as possible, the Connecticut Brewers Guild had started the CT Beer Trail passport program to reward fans with prizes.

However, complications with the prize program, including complaints from patrons who have not received prizes, are just some of the issues that the Connecticut Brewers Guild have faced in recent months. In September, the guild’s executive director, Phil Pappas, announced that he would be leaving the company, which he worked at for more than five years. Since then, the guild’s board of directors have filled the position.

Coinciding with the announcement of Pappas’ departure was the additional news that the CT Beer Trail would cease giving prizes to those who participated. “The Guild’s CT Beer Trail app program garnered an incredible amount of users. In fact, much more than we had the infrastructure to support. It truly is a testament to our industry family and the fervent love of craft beer in this wonderful state,” said Rachel Diamond, of Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery, in a statement to Hearst Connecticut from the Connecticut Brewers Guild. “However, as a 501c3 with a volunteer board, we were overwhelmed. The board has just placed our last merchandise order and aim to fulfill the outstanding prizes at the beginning of the new year.“

The ongoing pause on the CT Beer Trail passport program has made way for the new website. The site, which is being fully launched in the winter by Kevin and Jennifer Mardorf, looks to map out breweries for beer fans wanting to chronicle their Connecticut libation journey. The Mardorfs operate, and Craft Beer Community Facebook group

The Mardorfs, who are often referred to as Mr. and Mrs. CT Beer, have been active in the Connecticut beer community for more than a decade. In that time, Kevin Mardorf said that his marketing brand of beer-loving communities have reached more than 300,000 consumers and have purchased more than 800,000 tickets to local beer festivals.

Mardorf noted that while the names of the businesses are similar, there is a distinction between the and, the latter of which is run by the Mardorfs while the former is run by the Connecticut Brewers Guild. 

With the new, Mardorf hopes to foster a “beer-loving community” where beer lovers “try new beers and make new friends,” while also being rewarded with different prizes for working through the trail. Currently, hundreds of individuals have signed up to learn more about the new website when it fully launches, according to Mardorf.

Though a new beer trail is emerging in Connecticut, the Connecticut Brewers Guild is throwing its support behind the Mardorfs and Separately, the guild is creating a scavenger hunt in 2023 called the CT Brew Quest, with all proceeds going to the guild. The scavenger hunt is currently aiming to launch in the first quarter of 2023.

“We are now thrilled to pass the torch to Kevin Mardorf at,” said Diamond. “They are the right home for the CT Beer Trail, and we are proud supporters of anyone who elevates and draws attention to CT Craft Beer.”