It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month now since Sandy barraged our city with her high winds and flooding, causing massive damage to several New York City neighborhoods, taking down people’s houses and closing businesses, and bringing our city to a standstill.
While most things seem to be getting back to “normal,” there are millions of people who have been affected by the storm and continue to suffer from her devastation.
That is why the rescheduled NYC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest, originally to be held on November 10th, but postponed to this Saturday, December 1st, has a new emphasis placed on Sandy Relief. Hand Crafted Tasting Co., the production company hosting the beer festival is asking people to bring things like batteries, flashlights, work gloves, tools, cleaning supplies, and even holiday gifts, which will then be donated to those who need it most in Breezy Point, Queens—just one of the many NYC neighborhoods hurt by the storm.
Additionally, the location of the event has changed as well. This Saturday’s event is being held at Basketball City, which is at 299 South Street in lower Manhattan, easily accessible via the F train.
There will be two sessions on Saturday: The first is from 12:30-4:00 PM and the second is from 6:00-9:30 PM for the VIP/Connoisseur tickets and 1:30-4:00 PM and 7:00-9:30PM for General Admission ticket-holders. The Connoisseur tickets include access to a special designated lounge with rare beers and hors d’oeuvres that will not be available in the General Admission area. Those tickets are $125, but go up to $135 if you wait until the day of to purchase them.
VIP ticket holders get an extra hour of sampling for the $75 ticket price ($85 for the day of). While General Admission tickets will cost you $55 (or $65 if you wait until Saturday).
All ticket holders will have the option of attending three seminars including one hosted by Chris Gallant, General Manager and Co-Founder of The Bronx Brewery, about starting your own small business.
There will also be a seminar on pairing food and beer for your holiday parties, hosted by Chef Stephen Durley and Beer Sommelier Hayley Jensen, and a cheese-and-beer-pairing seminar hosted by Aaron Foster of Murray’s Cheeses.
And of course, there’s the beer! There will be approximately 150 Craft Beers from 75 breweries. If you’ve been to a beer festival before, you know how this works: You get your 4 oz. tasting glass and try as many beers as you can within the time constraints! Think of it as a beer-drinker’s marathon…
I’d recommend trying beers you’ve never had before or visiting a brewery you are unfamiliar with. Brooklyn Brewery will have their newest Brewmaster’s Reserve, “There Will Be Black,” on tap. This Winter seasonal (an American black ale) is made with a blend of German and American dark malts and hopped with New Zealand Pacific Gems and Motuekas and well as American Willamette hops. I haven’t had it yet, but I’m really looking forward to trying this one on Saturday!
You can compare Blue Point’s White IPA to the same style from Saranac. Which one do you like better? And why? Or you can try Winter seasonals from your favorite breweries like Captain Lawrence and Abita. There will surely be a style and type of beer for everyone at this Saturday’s festival.
And Connoisseurs will have access to specialty beers like Allagash’s Hugh Malone, a Belgian style IPA, Magic Hat’s Graupel, a wheat wine from their small batch “Humdinger” series, and even the ever-popular Goose Island Bourbon County Stout—a favorite this time of year. If you were considering splurging on a Connoisseur ticket, these beers are just a few reasons why you should!
And last but not least, Two Girls One Pint will be all over this Fest! Jennifer Wood and I will be hanging out at our table, modeling our T-shirts and talking about craft beer, while our own Josh Schwartz, Szoke Schaeffer, and Stevie Ann Nance (from the Sassy Beer Sisters) will be covering the event.
We’ve been waiting months for this beer festival and even Sandy couldn’t stop it. If you are coming on Saturday, please don’t forget to bring an item to donate and stop by our table. We can’t wait to see you there!