Statewide Charity Beer Tour Starts in Stratford

The CT Pour Tour is off and running after a kickoff event at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford over the weekend.

Todd Ruggere (right) and fans go over a map of his planned voyage, the CT Pour Tour, which kicked off in Stratford Saturday. Credit: Jason Bagley
Todd Ruggere (right) and fans go over a map of his planned voyage, the CT Pour Tour, which kicked off in Stratford Saturday. Credit: Jason Bagley
Todd Ruggere has a penchant for charity and beer. And for the second time in as many years he’s combining the two.

Over the next nine months, Ruggere hopes to raise thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research – by having a beer in every city and town in Connecticut.

That’s 169 stops. And stop number one was Saturday at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford.

“I wanted to help,” Ruggere, 39, told Stratford Patch at the kickoff event.

The Grafton, Mass. man said it was a commercial depicting children undergoing chemotherapy that spurred on the idea of a beer tour to help kids with cancer.

‘A likeable guy’

“He’s going to raise at least $50,000,” said Brad Hittle of Two Roads, which is sponsoring Ruggere with artwork for the CT Pour Tour.

Hittle said whatever promotional materials a stop on the tour wants designed, his team will do it. And Two Roads has already dressed up Ruggere’s Chevy for the voyage (see photos).

“We have an incredibly good design group,” Hittle said. “These are the things we can do together. Todd’s such a likeable guy but serious; he has the right demeanor to do this.”

What’s more, he’s proven such a thirsty undertaking can be done.

Last year, Ruggere traveled to the 351 cities and towns in his home state of Massachusetts en route to raising $43,000 for the Jimmy Fund.

Wherever the beer takes him

I asked Ruggere, who said he was on his first beer about 2 p.m. (“Today, I have someone driving so I can have a few.”), if other potations are allowed on tour and, if not, does he ever tire of the beverage.

“Beer is just what I drink,” he said. “Beer is what everyone knows. It’s good for hanging out.”

The Mass Beer Tour took 266 days or about nine months, the same amount of time Ruggere expects the Connecticut circuit to take. Over the course of one particularly ambitious three-day period last year, he said he hit 21 stops.

“I was three hours away from home,” said Ruggere, who during non-drinking hours works at a mutual fund company. “I wanted to get as many as possible.”

But the stops aren’t always bars. For towns that lack a local watering hole, the tour sometimes relies on residents to open up their homes to Ruggere, who said he’s already set up house party and barbecue stops for the Connecticut tour.

I asked Ruggere if there were any unusual stops on his Massachusetts tour. He was quick to answer: a nudist colony in Berkshire County. And here’s the photo to prove it.

How the money is raised, where it's going

Ruggere leaves it up to the bar, home or nudist colony to decide how it wants to raise money for his cause. Two Roads donated a dollar of every pint sold from noon to 9 p.m. The Stratford brewery ended up raising about $1,200.

“A lot of bars there are raffles connected with my visit or a cover charge at the door,” Ruggere said.

Proceeds from the CT Pour Tour will benefit the children’s wing at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

Ruggere said he’s still looking for a place to drink in 10 Connecticut towns: Colebrook, Lebanon, Lisbon, North Canaan, Roxbury, Scotland, Sherman, Union, Warren and Weston.

If you can help him out, message Ruggere on Facebook or Twitter or visit the CT Pour Tour website (where you can also check out where he’ll be stopping).

“I depend on people,” Ruggere said. “When someone contacts me and gives me a location, I’m psyched.”
OpportunistWatch January 15, 2014 at 04:17 PM
Isn't drinking and driving illegal in Connecticut? Whats next a weed smoking tour for charity? ............... Is this what we should be teaching our youth? drink for charity....how sad
Tmc January 15, 2014 at 10:23 PM
Pub crawls for charity have been going on for as long as I can remember; "GET OFF MY LAWN!" much?
OpportunistWatch January 17, 2014 at 05:23 PM
DUI's have been going on for as long as I can remember, "SEEN THE ER" after a DUI crawler cripples someone much? Pub crawls down play of a dangerous DUI dumb ass threatening innocent people on the road. "Gettin buzzed" then crawling or driving around bar hopping for charity is like raffling off a gun and sending the money to Sandy Hook victims families.
Tmc January 19, 2014 at 02:53 PM
Um, you don't drive yourself when you do this; it' a "crawl", not a "drive". Did you have any fun growing up, or have you always been this crotchety? Sheesh.
OpportunistWatch January 20, 2014 at 07:22 AM
Um, you do drive yourself to these things and yes it is very dangerous to drink and drive and accidents are no fun when someone gets killed from a DUI dumb ass. Oh I see so, you think everyone has to drink to have fun when growing up? Wouldn't want to be your kid, sheesh. Do I have to cite the victims of your crawls?
Tmc January 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM
Never mind; I've read some of your other posts. You make no sense there either. You chastise someone for what you perceive to be her racial bias (she said nothing of the sort btw) in one thread and then rail against Jews in another. Carry on; we can all use a good laugh, especially when you word your responses in the exact same syntax as the poster has written to you. Original thoughts are hard to come by, no?
OpportunistWatch January 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM
I am Jewish Tmc so please tell me more of my posts. I also dislike racism against poor black people does that make me black? I am white though does that make me bad? Carry on with your attacks on my character. You really need to stop drinking and driving to pub crawls. I have every right to comment on my own when they are wrong, I only wish you could admit the same. I am sure you are now going to throw some Jewish name calling at me like everyone else but thats ok, I can take it.
Tmc January 21, 2014 at 10:57 PM
She (Anne) made no racial comment of any kind; you made a poor assumption. So you rail against Rosa DeLauro for not using her Jewish name? Who cares? And I don't drink; I was merely saying that pub crawls for charity have been going on for decades and do not involve driving (except for the safe ride sponsor). Why don't you learn about something before you make an irresponsible assumption like you're fond of? GET OFF MY LAWN!
OpportunistWatch January 22, 2014 at 09:57 AM
Tmc, is there something wrong with pointing out a State reps married name and asking why she does not use it? Oh and did you read the police blotter today? I bet you dont want to because it relates to your drunks you protect. A pub crawler Stratford resident was found driving drunk in Milford, please tell me that was ok because it was for charity. Why don't you learn something about the dangers of drinking and driving before making assumptions. Oh and why are you not commenting on me being Jewish anymore? GET OUT OF MY BOWL!
OpportunistWatch January 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM
I wonder why we don't see the usual Goyim beer advocate drunks commenting on this ELM STREET (2 minutes from Two Roads)Stratford resident threatening the lives of people and himself on the Milford streets? He was drunk driving not crawling? Wonder if he was coming from a pub crawl or better yet Tow Roads or the Kings Court which is owned by a Strfd Cop I believe? I dont believe you don't drink either, not many attackers as yourself protect alcoholic drunk drivers unless they are doing it themselves or have done it. I would never want to see you nor anyone else die from a drunk leaving a pub crawl for charity thats the Jewish upbringing in me. Oh and YOU GET Out of my BOWL, NOT EVERY PUB CRAWLER CHARITY DRUNK FEST GOER HAS A SPONSORED DRIVER but you knew that and still attacked me. Where is Anne? Why no comments on the WHITE person drunk driving with her "loser" COMMENTS? Oy Vey!
Tmc January 22, 2014 at 09:37 PM
Wow, you sound drunk yourself; carry on.
Anne January 23, 2014 at 07:51 AM
thank you Tmc...
OpportunistWatch January 23, 2014 at 08:10 AM
I knew another insulting attack was coming. Figures, keep it up. Oy Vey. Anne, a white man was caught drunk driving from Stratford.
OpportunistWatch January 23, 2014 at 08:23 AM
Tmc, why do you hate Jewish people?
Mike Reynolds January 23, 2014 at 08:54 AM
I read a letter to the editor in the Post on Wednesday decrying a picture of "bar cars" on Metro North RR. The author was Bob Peel. Bob sounds an awful lot like OpportunistWatch. Could it be the same person?
Anne January 23, 2014 at 08:59 AM
and he's 'Recommending' his own comments!! Sad...
Robert Chambers January 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM
That was the one good thing about the Stratford Star going to a pay-per-issue format. It stopped coming to my house and I stopped seeing Bob Peel's insane letters.
OpportunistWatch January 24, 2014 at 07:03 AM
How dry I am "hick up" nobody knows how dry I am. Muahahah .. and he's recommending his own comments too.....waaahh << (kicking on the ground) ..... I actually think the bar car is a safe way to drink. No driving to drunk fests for charity and potentially causing am accident Like Robert Chambers and Reynolds advocates. Now we have all the anti-semites attacking me. Bring it on.
Tmc January 24, 2014 at 07:14 AM
Keep up your posting OW; the laughs you create with your idiotic comments are better than reality TV. ROFL
OpportunistWatch January 24, 2014 at 07:23 AM
Tmc, your anti-semitic attacks on me are not laughable but yes very idiotic. We have a name for you in my language "Goyim" ... GET OUT OF MY BOWL -- FLUSH
Tmc January 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Just how many scripts are you on anyway? You have yet to make any sense. Laughs you create are first class tho!
OpportunistWatch January 26, 2014 at 02:53 PM
Tmc, opportunists allow for easy laughs when I point out their Anti-Semitic racist rants. I would rather call your attacks, low class though!. << (no such word as "tho"). Oy Vey
Tmc January 26, 2014 at 04:55 PM
Point them out then; copy and paste exactly the "anti-Semitic racist rants" I have posted here. Go ahead, i'll wait; I don't mind waiting for the lulz you create.


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