With a focus on Sandy, this past Saturday’s NYC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest was fun-filled and festive—a great way to start off the holiday (beer) season.
While I was able to sneak out and sample a few great brews, I spent most of my time hanging out at our Two Girls One Pint table, chatting with folks that love beer just as much as we do. As one passerby noted: “Aren’t you guys just a bunch of female beer geeks?” Well, yes sir, thanks for noticing.
I was impressed by the depth and quality of beers represented—I actually didn’t expect it to be that big! (Shameless “That’s what she said” line follows here). Upstairs in the Connoisseur lounge, those lucky enough to have access were treated to such fine brews as Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, always a treat for the tongue, and Dogfish Head’s Theobrama as well as comfy couches where they noshed on cheese from Murray’s and listened to talented singer/songwriter Willy Gantrim.
Downstairs in the common tasting area, local breweries like Brooklyn, Sixpoint, and ACBC (Alphabet City Brewing Company) with their “Easy Blonde” poured recognizable brews next to West Coast Lagunitas and Speakeasy.
One standout was Pennsylvania Brewing Company’s (out of Pittsburgh, PA) Nut Roll Ale, a sweet, festive winter-spiced beer that is perfect for the season. The Founder’s Breakfast Stout seemed to be a festival favorite. Another was the “Wookey Jack,” from Firestone Walker Brewing Co., always a producer of solid beers, many of which seem to be popping up a lot more often in our area.
I personally enjoyed sipping on Lagunitas’ Cappuccino Stout—I felt like I was drinking some delicious coffee to keep me going in the long hours spent behind the table at both sessions…but then I reminded myself that the buzz I was getting was from beer!
Unfortunately I was unable to attend any of the seminars, as us girls had work to do! But I’d love to hear from those who did how they were. You really can’t go wrong with eating cheese from Murray’s or learning food and beer pairing secrets from beer sommelier Hayley Jensen and Chef Stephen Durley.
The location was great and easily accessible from lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, albeit a bit tricky to navigate with a buzz on. No matter how many “Watch Your Step” signs and yellow Caution tape outlined the path ways, I still managed to trip more than once. I blame Sandy for this one.
But as far as music goes, my personal favorite was the selection of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” telling people their session was over and it was time to get the F out, inspiring some pretty sloppy kick-lines that The Rockettes would surely shake their head’s at.
So Sandy may have delayed the fun, but the festival was able to happen anyway, and I think this event reflected the adaptation and perseverance that so many strong-willed New Yorkers have displayed following this devastating storm. The residents of Breezy Point who have been suffering this past month from Sandy’s effects will have a little bit of a happier holiday thanks to the generosity of festival attendees.
So, “Start Spreading the News,” the NYC Craft Beer Festival was a great time and I can only look forward to their spring event. Look for our newscast, coming soon to Two Girls One Pint.