Named for a small archipelago off the Branford coast, Thimble Island Brewing Company began with the home-brewed concoctions of Connecticut Natives Justin Gargano and Mike Fawcett. Though they lacked formal training, the duo tirelessly spent nights and weekends tinkering with their recipes until they sold their first pint of American Ale to KC's Pub in Guilford. Today, American Ale is one of the brewery's three mainstay beers, which Justin and Mike craft along with specialty batches such as a dark pumpkin porter. The twosome keeps four beers on tap at Thimble Island's tasting room, where visitors can drop in to fill up a growler, buy a t-shirt, or take a tour. Outside the brewery, Justin and Mike's beers grace many local establishments, including pubs and grocery stores.
The flames at Prime American Grille have escaped the kitchen. Not only do they live inside the sizzling-hot grill, they also exist atop flickering candles and inside the dining room's roaring fireplace. Flame-kissed rib-eye and new york strip steaks arrive at tables coated in house-made peppercorn, gorgonzola, or mushroom-and-onion sauces. Chefs also bolster their menu with ocean-fresh seafood, pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. Bottles of wine litter a massive rack inside the restaurant's dining room, which boasts a warm color palette, dark woods, and strategically placed mirrors that make the space feel airy and light, like a helium balloon filled with tossed salad. On the weekends, Prime American Grille pulses with live music from DJs and bands, and each night, diners can sit at the full bar to watch sports on seven flat-screen televisions.
Grit 'N Wit is more than just a three-mile obstacle course?it's also a test of intellectual stamina. Along with climbing walls, monkey bars, and other physical tests, the race challenges runners with puzzles that, when solved, provide advantages down the road. At race's end, not only will participants come away with the satisfaction of using their brains and muscles at the same time, they'll also receive a Grit 'N Wit t-shirt and a complimentary beer from Half Full Brewery. Proceeds from the race benefit Friend of Jaclyn, an organization dedicated to helping children with pediatric brain tumors and their families.
On any given day at Branford Academy of Hair & Cosmetology, you may find student hair stylists bent over mannequin heads during cosmetology courses or makeup-artists-in-training transforming models into skeletons and wood nymphs as part of their makeup artistry certification. At the school's spa, visitors can receive relaxing facials, expert haircuts, and other beauty services from students who work under the watchful eye of a certified aesthetician and instructor.
At The Fairways Driving Range, players can practice all the skills they need to excel on the course. Golfers can take aim at grass target greens at a range with grass tees as well as covered mat hitting areas. A greenside sand trap lets golfers hone their scrambling skills, and a 4,000 square-foot, bent-grass practice green provides a slick surface for golfers to work on their touch with the putter. The practice facility also lets players demo a number of training aids to perfect their form.