Monday, October 23, 2006

Brewtopia

So the fourth annual Brewtopia festival was held this past Friday and Saturday at the Javits Center in NYC. The venue was both a massive improvement and a slight disappointment.

First the slight disappointment was that the location of the venue changed from the Chelsea Piers with panoramic views of the River (compared to the basement setting at the Javits Center), and the food was much less impressive (if not pretty bad) than the previous years festival. The food stands consisted of hot dogs, brats, pretzels, nachos and cheese, and potato chips. Last years festival had legitimate sandwiches of the gourmet variety.

Now the location also attributed to the massive improvement, in that it allowed for a substantial increase in the open space afforded to festival participants. It was a much more comfortable setting, especially when compared to the Long Island festival from this past spring.

The beer selection was ample, and did contain a few nice surprises and a few disappointments. First again, I'll start with the disappointments. I was a bit upset when I noticed (right away because it was one of the first stands near the door) that Speakeasy Ales did not show up, unbeknownst to me prior to the festival. Speakeasy happened to be one of the breweries I was looking forward to the most.

Now with the surprises. I was more than impressed with the Cape Ann Brewing Company's selections. They managed to make one of the best beers at the festival (IMHO) that Pumpkin Stout, which they said would be coming out in 22 oz bottles in the near future. My other truly impressive find was the Blonde Hop Monster by Paper City Brewing Company, which had some of the most outstanding floral/citrus hop flavors, without being too overwhelming. Without a doubt the Southampton Publick House (Southampton Ales & Lagers) proved to once again be the class of craft brewing, and showed its true genius while pouring their Saison (outstanding) and their more-than-amazing Pumpkin Ale.

Overall, the festival provided a lot of enjoyment for everyone in our twelve-person party. I would again recommend the festival, and can say without hesitation that I am now prepped for the Extreme Beer Fest in Boston.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interesting comments on the Beer Festival. jpc

10:46 AM  
Blogger iworkatinitech said...

It was a great time! I have to say that I was quite impressed with the breweries attending, and the set-up was quite an improvement in terms of overall mobility. It was mentioned by quite a few members of my party, and other participants that the plastic "glasses" were not well received. I, on the other hand, completely understood considering the concrete flooring.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that although the Javits lacked the panoramic view of the river, the space was overall WAY superior. The big plus for me was that there were plenty of bathrooms (I haven't had to wait at all whereas at the last Brewtopia, the line was horrible). I agree that the food was not very impressive but considering that I was there to sample the beers, just having food there was good enough for me. The selection of beers was nothing less than outstanding IMO. I've attended many beer festivals: the festivals in Boston, Tap NY, the NY Beer Fest, The Long Island Beer Fest, the Festival in Florida and Mondial to name a few. I think Brewtopia offered the most impressive selection of them all. Kudos to the organizers!

4:43 PM  
Blogger keep-it-like-a-secret said...

All I have to say - google map these two addresses together:

Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116

61 Rutland Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02118

12:07 AM  

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