American Craft BeerFest 2009

By August 19, 2009Beer Festivals

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Was my sincere pleasure to attend the American Craft BeerFest in Boston on June 19th at the Seaport Complex – accompanied by Brendan Goggin of the Oakmont National Pub and Seamus Cummins and Matt Ansbro of Coleraine Web design. (When you read this you’ll be looking at my new site, thanks to their talents).

This is an annual event hosted by the Alstrom Brothers of Beer Advocate and our friends at the Harpoon brewery. It has been a while since I’ve been on the “client side” of an event like this, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. While it did get a bit crowded eventually – the lines for Allagash and Dogfish eventually snaked across the room, generally it was comfortable and only appropriately roudy as people became duly lubricated at the end of the session.

Focusing on American craft beer really doesn’t significantly dimish the experience of great beer tasting, as great as the imports are, there’s plenty of remarkable  US brews left to experience, even for the exerienced beer fan. The obvious emphasis on New England and Northeaster craft breweries was fine – as some of the lesser known (to Philly anyway) like Paper City, and the more novel -like Schmatlz (He’Brew).

I had the pleasure of havinga personal conversation with the owner or brewermaster of such outstanding breweries as Ballast Point (San Diego), Boulder (Colorado), Schmaltz and Paper City. Our crew was blown away by Paper City’s Lemon Beer, went at it with low expectations and stumbled out amazed by it’s balance, flavor and high ABV!

Pleanty of Belgian style knockoffs, strong, malty and fruity – possibly a trend away from trotting out the ultra hoppy imperial triple IPA’s? (No that there’s anything wrong with that!)

I can say comfortably that this was an event for those interested in sampling really great and interesting beer, one for the real enthusiast, beer appreciators indeed. I plan to be back next year. If you were there, and have any comments, please let me know.

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