Hey gang, Valkor here. My journey into the world of craft beer started with an invite to one of their events in NYC, which lead to multiple visits of the same event, which brings me to today, where I bring you TOVers into the world of NYC Craft Beer Festival. It’s two hours of all-you-can-taste in beers, food, and even some of the harder stuff like whiskey and rum. Would I do it all again? Absolutely! And if you’re in the neighborhood of the next Beer Fest, then definitely give it a shot!
Lately, the NY Craft Beer Festival has been held in the Metropolitan Pavilion, which I’m quite familiar with because of the Pepcom events. The line to get in stretched around the block and even though the place was packed, there was still enough room to maneuver about. And you would think that a packed house plus alcohol would be a powder keg of destruction. However, Beerfest always brings about the finest of crowds with no serious pushing, shoving, or toes getting stepped on. In other words - everyone came out for a good time and all had a good time.
But you didn’t click this link to talk about the ambiance – you want to talk about beers! So let’s get down to it, shall we? Below you’ll find some of my favorites that my cohorts and I would approve as some of the best of the bunch. I wish there was time to absorb all of the vendors, but what we were given the chance to sample was just about right! So if you like any particular vendor, click their names to head on over to their official site and snag yourself a case or three.
Duclaw - Definitely a TOV favorite! I fell in love with their "Sweet Baby Jesus", which blends chocolate and peanut butter into the perfect porter. But, on deck the company only had only one offering, The Devil Made Me Do It, which was a sour ale that was all kinds of delicious!
Fulton Beer - With just two flavors on hand, I went with the "Sweet Child of Vine" by name recognition alone - and it does not disappoint. It's a pale ale with a smooth taste that I can definitely get behind.
Night Shift Brewing - If you've got something that can catch my eye, then I'm already sold on. And Night Shift Brewing definitely has an eye-pleasing package. But it's what's inside - that's what you want! Both beverages on deck are pale ales with a citrus blend. However, the Whirlpool has more of a pineapple taste, while the Santilli has more of a peach taste to it. I can dig it!
Left Hand Brewing Co. - Nitro was one of the more unique drinks I've tasted at the event; not the first time I had a coffee beer, but this one was definitely creamier than I would have expected. Plus it tasted great!
Devil's Backbone Brewing Company - Out of the two beers on deck - Golden Leaf Lager and Vienna Lager, Golden Leaf stood out the most; it offered up a cleaner, crisper taste. But Vienna ain't no slouch! Both were definitely delicious, but Golden Leaf is the choice for me!
3rd Rock Brewing Company - If there's one taste I'll never forget, it's the taste of 3rd Rock's Epic Fermented Green Tea Ales. This was a bit scary for me because I remember the first time trying kombucha and nearly throwing up because of the taste. However, the Epic green tea ales didn't taste all that bad. They did have that fermented taste about them, but they weren't as sour as I would have thought. The peach mango is a definite favorite of the bunch!
Gigantic Brewing Company - The only thing this bottle of Superbad is missing is a healthy dose of "muthafukkas" sprinkled around the bottle alongside this Sam Jackson caricature. Maybe they're there, I don't know. I believe at this point, I was pretty buzzed. But still sober enough to appreciate the packaging of Superbad as well as its contents, which wasn't all that bad for this coffee stout!
Nicaragua Craft Beer - If I had to choose my second favorite beverage of the show, then it would definitely go to Nicaragua and their Panga Drops Pilsner, which is one of the crisper, cleaner tasting drinks I've had the pleasure of pouring down my gullet. The can may be small, but the taste is oh so delicious!
California Cider Company - My third favorite drink of the show proves my own point that I prefer sweet overall; the Ace Perry Craft Cider is like candy in a bottle and it's one you'll have to drink cold to truly enjoy its flavors! Very sweet and only slightly sour, it's almost like you're drinking a jolly rancher!
Clown Shoes - Pecan Pie Porter - who thinks of this stuff? It doesn't matter because this one nearly nails the taste of pecan pie! Forget all that pumpkin spice nonsense, this is the new flavor of fall and the holiday season!
Pipeworks Brewing Company - Pipeworks definitely gets top honors for having the most insane packaging I've seen on a beer - and that's saying something after that Superbad! On deck was "Reaper vs. Unicorn" and while the name might be out of this world, the same can be said for the drink... and that's a good thing. I remember it being strong, but not overpowering.
The Owl's Brew - Ain't no way this black man is turning down anything watermelon, I don't even care if it's stereotyping, watermelon is delicious! And The Owl's Brew nailed it with "Wicked Watermelon", which is one of three of their beer/tea combo. "That's My Jam" is also a favorite. And while I didn't get the chance to taste "The Blondie", it still deserves a mention.