American Craft Beer Fest in Boston

American Craft Beer Fest in Boston

June 22, 2009

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On Saturday afternoon, I attended the American Craft Beer Fest at Boston’s World Trade Center. The event consisted of nearly 75 American brewers and 300 craft beers. It was a pretty amazing event and I’m super excited about all the new beers I discovered. I went to the event with the crew who run Beeriety and it was great to be there with people who really know beer. But I also wish some of my girl friends were there with me too because many of them aren’t big beer fans. And I honestly think this event could turn anyone into a beer fan. There was really something… actually, lots of somethings for everyone!

I usually prefer darker beers, but I enjoyed all kinds of beer at ACBF

I am no beer expert at all. I do know that I didn’t really enjoy beer until I started drinking “good beer.” I totally get when people don’t like beer because a lot of times, I think it’s because they haven’t had beer that’s actually well-crafted (Bud, Miller, Coors, Heineken do not count!). Honestly, I really enjoyed pretty much all the beer I tried on Saturday. They were all so different and it was awesome to be able to try so many 2 oz. samples. Needless to say, I didn’t get to try all the beers. But here are some of my favorites.

Pretty Things is actually run by a husband and wife based in Cambridge, MA, and named so likely because the labels on the bottles are incredibly pretty. I know never to judge a beer by it’s bottle, but it’s kind of hard not to with such beautiful labels. Luckily, Pretty Things isn’t just a pretty bottle; it’s really amazing beer. My favorite beer from Pretty Things and also one of my favorite beers from the entire event was Baby Tree. Baby Tree not only has a cute name, but it’s pretty fabulous tasting too. It’s a springtime quadruple brewed with dried plums and has an extremely unique taste, unlike anything I’ve had.

Terrapin Brewery, in Athens Georgia, is another brewery with cute labels. I tried the Side Project 90 Shelling Ale and was super impressed.
Enjoying the event with Chris from Beeriety.

Brooklyn Brewery is already a favorite of mine when I’m in the mood for a Summer Ale. But I had never tried their Intensified Coffee Stout. And being the coffee lover that I am, I figured I’d love it. And I was right. It was the perfect dark, rich stout.
I had never heard of Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY) until the Beer Fest. But the second I took a sip of Three Philosophers, I fell in love. Because it’s that good. The Belgian quadrupel is blended with cherry lambic, making for a dark, fruity, but not too fruity, ale. I will definitely be seeking this out in the future.

I’ve been a big fan of Dogfish Head for a while, so I was psyched to try something from them I haven’t had yet: Midas Touch. It’s brewed with white muscat grapes, honey, and saffron and they describe it as “somewhere between wine and mead.” Different than anything I’ve had and super enjoyable. I also really loved the Sah’tea brew. Though this also definitely wasn’t the typical beer, I absolutely LOVED it. I’m so excited to purchase some Sah’tea for a low key night, when tea would be appropriate, but beer necessary. And I will continue to be a huge Dogfish fan.

Left Hand (Longmont, CO) makes a really amazing milk stout that is kind of the “go-to” of milk stouts. But, I’ve been searching for a good ginger beer for a while now, so I was pretty thrilled to try one from Left Hand. JuJu Ginger Ale is just what I’ve been looking for and had the perfect amount of ginger flavor; not too overpowering at all.

Other beers I loved at ACBF:
Southern Tier (Lakewood, NY)- Funny story about Southern Tier. It’s located right on the lake I go to every year for my family reunion. There’s not a whole lot to do in the area, and for some reason I never knew this brewery was here until after my probably 6th visit to the area. Next time I’m on the lake for my family reunion, I am so going here. A lot! I enjoyed the Cherry Saison at the festival, but am also a fan of their Pumpking, Creme Brulee, and Jahva.
Paper City (Holyoke, MA)- Milk Stout
Watch City (Waltham, MA)- Hops Explosion
Speak Easy (San Francisco, CA)- Rum-Runner Rye
Ithaca Beer Co. (Ithaca, NY)- Apricot Wheat

If you get the opportunity to attend a beer fest in your area, do it! Even if you’re not a big beer fan, I promise you’ll have fun and learn to like at least some varieties of beer. If you’re more of a wine/mixed drink kinda gal or guy, start with some fruity beers or try some of the dessert-flavored ones. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy them! And for more beer info. check out Beeriety; it’s a new site but is going to be an amazing go-to for all kinds of beer info (and lots more)!

[Sues]
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7 Responses to "American Craft Beer Fest in Boston"

  1. Chris Williams says:

    Thanks for coming out, we all had a great time!

    Pretty Things is one of those up and coming brewers that people should keep their eye on!

  2. Sara says:

    "when tea would be appropriate, but beer is necessary". HAHAHA. love it!

  3. 21stCenturyCavePainter says:

    Great post!

    This was my first beer festival and I was blown away. I made it my personal mission to try and find the best hefeweizen, but I am sure that I missed a few.

    Saturday Session II was packed.

  4. Quinn says:

    What a fun event! My husband is a HUGE fan of Ommegang AND Dog Fish – we've actually got a couple Dog Fish Head restaurants down in the DC area. Sounds like a great Saturday afternoon!

  5. Nicole (dishin') says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! I usually go to the beer festivals (HarpoonFest, Winter Jubilee)in Boston but have never made it to this one. Thanks for the review!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Susie,

    We just spent two weeks at the cottage again and thanks to your web site, I have discovered the Southern Tier Brew. See you in September – Tom Campbell

  7. […] attended the Craft Beer Fest and discovered tons of new beers! I’ve always been a beer-drinker and have never been into […]

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