Checking in with the new World of Beer Albany

Sunday night I had the chance to check out a little sneak preview and VIP event for the new World of Beer in Crossgates Mall. I’ve been to a couple of World of Beers while visiting family in FL and have had some fairly good experiences. It’s tough not to when you have great breweries like Cigar City to partner up with like they have down there. Here, the brewery situation is much more bleak (extremely evident on Sunday night’s tap list) which means reliance on the distributors for selection of beers and having knowledgeable staff able to curate a tap list from the beers available in the area will be crucial. We’ll get more into that when we talk about beer later.

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Beef and Beer Fest

I do a lot of beer events around Chez Fuj. Some of them are small three man tastings, some of them we have 8 or 10 guys opening up some great bottles while I’m manning the grill. Twice a year, though, I try to put together a feast of epic proportions, with more food, beer, and people you’d expect to fit in my compact backyard. I’m not going to get too wordy here, but you can read some kind words from Just A Beer Geek and Mr. Sheeps on their respective blogs.

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A Deal With A Donkey Night

Last month Brobro, Mike and I lucked into an extra set of bottles that were on shelves at Hill Farmstead that week. It was an incredible lineup of Civil Disobedience 9, 3F Hommage, and Anchorage’s A Deal with a Devil. Rather than splitting the individual bottles up between us, we decided it would be better to pool our money and get together to open the bottles one night between the three of us. It was a night of decadence and excess to say the least.

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Upcoming Events for American Craft Beer Week and Beyond

Well, American Craft Beer Week is upon us and luckily there are some great events lined up, not to mention the Hill Farmstead Anniversary, American Craft Beer Festival, and the start of Philly Beer Week at the end of the month. Let’s check it out.

American Craft Beer Week at The Bier Abbey | May 13th
Nice lineup of beers to kickoff American Beer Week at The Bier Abbey. Events are few and far between at The Abbey so get your ass there. Hell, you might even recognize the bartender!

Allagash Beer Dinner with John Hall at The Ruck | May 13th
Nice six course beer pairing dinner with some stellar Allagash brews and special guest John Holl.

Cheese 101 at The Cheese Traveler | May 14th
Another class from Eric with an introduction to cheese, cheesemaking, some history behind the styles, etc. Elise and I are very excited for this one.

An Evening of Exploring Sour Ales at The Ruck | May 14th
A guided tasting at The Ruck featuring sour ales.

Dessert & Beer Pairings at The Ruck | May 15th
Another guided tasting at The Ruck, this time covering beer & dessert pairings.

Ciders & Sliders featuring Slidin’ Dirty at Nine Pine Cider | May 15th
Bars and breweries all over the country embrace food truck culture instead of having to run another business (a kitchen) beyond slinging alcohol. Great to see this happening at Nine Pin and hope to see more of it for our area soon.

Food Truck Festival at River Front Park | May 16th
Speaking of food trucks, the Food Truck Festival of New York is being held at River Front Park again this year (no surprise since Troy is much more willing to support food truck culture than Albany). Last year was packed and assuming the weather is nice I see no reason why this year won’t be. More info here.

Dogfish Head Night at The Ruck | May 16th
I’ll be honest I’m burnt out on Dogfish Head at this point in my craft beer drinking career. The past couple of year’s worth of releases have been flops to all but the Dogfish Head faithful. Still, the crew at The Ruck put on one of the most entertaining events of the year, and this will be a great stop for a beer after the Food Truck Festival.

Jack’s Abby Total Tap Takeover at Tap and Mallet | May 17th
Have you seen this effing lineup? I haven’t even seen a tap takeover this strong for Jack’s Abby in MA let alone anywhere else in NY. Get there.

Hill Farmstead Brewery’s Fourth Anniversary Celebration | May 23rd – 24th
This will be a tough weekend with The Alchemist’s and Lawson’s events happening on the same weekend. Parker Pie kicks off the activities on Friday, then HF takes over Waterbury on Saturday at The Reservoir, Blackback Pub, and Prohibition Pig. For a quick rundown what’s available at each spot check out Jay’s Google Doc here.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids Farmers Market | May 24th
Triple Sunshine release for your trade raping needs.

The Alchemist Truck Sale | May 24th
The return of Focal Banger and Beelzebub, also for your trade raping needs.

American Craft Beer Fest | May 30th – 31st
BeerAdvocate’s biggest event of the year. Given the lack of parameters for styles/ABV/”extreme-ness”, you can see some breweries phoning it in on selection, but it’s still usually a good time.

Philly Beer Week | May 30th – June 8th
Not much to say about Philly beer week other than they do it right. This is the beer week that all other beer weeks in the the Northeast should strive to be. I’ve been saying for years now I’m going to make it to Philly Beer Week. I haven’t yet, but maybe this year?? (Haha, yeah right.)