We made a visit this weekend to the 2nd Annual Lake Placid Brewfest and it was super cool. It’s not often that you get a chance to sample brews from over 40 micro-breweries, many of them from New York State. $40 bucks got you 12 samplers and we found this to be quite ample for the 4 hour session; plus a few extra pours right before the event ended from some friendly brewers that we were hanging with.
Over 130 Beers, Ales & Ciders to Try
I’m pretty up-to-snuff in what current flavors are flowing in micro-brews these days and there was a bunch of beers there on tap that we’ve already had. The tried and true Lake Placid IPA, Adirondack Brewery’s Bear Naked Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale and our current favorite, Southern Tier Live, etc…. But I was most interested in what’s going on outside of New York as well as what’s new in the beer and ale world in general.
Hop-heads & beer geeks rejoice
A veritable paradise for hop-heads and beer geeks,this was a great opportunity to learn more about how these artisans craft their beer. Many of the booths were staffed by folks from the brewery which gave us a really good sense of what they had to offer, how it was made, what were the ingredients used, etc… Other booths were staffed by volunteers that were somewhat knowledgeable but they did lack the insight and care that only members from the actual brewery can provide when speaking of their craft. Not a complaint mind you, just an observation.
What we imbibed & enjoyed:[list icon=”star”]
- The Great Chocolate Wreck Stout, Good Nature Brewing, Hamilton, NY
- Whisky Porter, Brown’s Brewing Co., Hoosick Falls, NY
- Brown Ale, Newburgh Brewing Co., Newburgh, NY
- Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter, Redhook Ale, Portsmouth, NH
- Alchemy Ale, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Seattle, WA
- Pumpkin Ale, Wolavers’s Organic Brewing, Middlebury, VT
- Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, UT
Bell’s Brewery from Kalamazoo, Michigan, had an unforgettable beer. Their “Two Hearted Ale” (named for the Two Hearted River in the Upper Peninsula) was an unnoticeable 7.1% ABV and very drinkable. It was packed with Centennial Hops so the aroma of citrus and pine were very well pronounced yet it still had plenty of earthy, dank flavor. Like I said unforgettable. Plus, they were super-fun gals, super-knowledgeable and connected with us right away. We hope to get their ale at one of our local bars or stores soon.
Local Hops Taking Off
Hopshire Farm & Brewery, who was pretty instrumental in getting the Farmstead Brewery Act off the ground, is using local NYS hops in their brewery. Their Near Varna and Shire (Scottish) Ale were big beers with bold flavors and maybe they embody what will become known as the “terroir” of Ithaca valley hops? One can only hope so.
The Libation of Inspiration
All this beer talk has inspired me to do some more homebrewing. I plan on starting a XMAS Porter next weekend and I’m thinking I should shoot some video.
So long for now. I’ll see you next week…in the journey.