A Massachusetts man who set out to drink a beer in all 169 towns in Connecticut to raise money for cancer research and treatment has completed his mission and is hoping to take his pour tour nationwide.
Todd Ruggere, of Grafton, Massachusetts, finished his CT Pour Tour on Saturday at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, raising $50,000 for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. He announced that he hopes to do another pour tour next year in each of the 50 states and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in a month to raise money to fund it.
The Connecticut initiative was Ruggere's second pour tour. He drank a beer in 351 Massachusetts towns in 2013, raising $40,000 to help combat children's cancer.
"The people in CT raised more money for me than I raised in Massachusetts," Ruggere wrote in an email. "It’s shows how generous they are since there are less than half the towns than in Massachusetts."
Both pour tours were success, but Ruggere said it was different this time outside of his home state.
"It was a little different because I didn’t really know anything about CT before I started this," he said. "I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life so I was familiar with some of the towns."
One of the most memorable parts of the pour tour was when a Ridgefield man donated $10,000 to his cause during a stop in town. Another special moment was when a 7-year-old girl came up to him with her dad and offered him the money she made at her lemonade stand "to give to the kids."
He's thankful for everyone's generosity who donated and supported the pour tour.
"It’s makes me so happy. I couldn’t have done this without the help and generosity of so many people in CT," Ruggere said. " I have met people along the way that I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life."
How does the Connecticut beer scene compare to Massachusetts?
"I think the beer scene in CT is much bigger than it is in Massachusetts," he said. "People are so passionate about it. There are new breweries popping up all over the place. Some of my favorite breweries were Two Roads, Beer’d, Broad Brook and Back East."
Two Roads sponsored the CT Pour Tour.
Now Ruggere hopes his pour tour tradition will catch on nationwide.
"I am hoping it gets popular enough that the bars and breweries reach out to me," he said. "I was a little spoiled in Connecticut because a lot of people helped me and reached out to me, which made it a little easier for me."