Upcoming Event: Craft New York Brewers Festival


New York beer has been improving by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. I’ve been to some really cool collaborative events up here lately, from the 11 X 11 Chef’s Beer Dinner at Newburgh Brewing Company during Hudson Valley Craft Beer Week, to the Brewery at Bacchus tap takeover at The Beer Belly with Suarez Family Brewery, Plan Bee Farm Brewery, and Sloop Brewing. We even have an awesome dinner upcoming from two of my favorite local breweries Rare Form and Common Roots at Henry Street Taproom during next week’s Saratoga Beer Week.

The New York State Brewers Association holds an event once a year at The Desmond to not only showcase New York beer, but also echo some of these collaborative beer community efforts like I listed above, whether it be between local brewers, local distillers (with second use of their barrels), or chefs of our local food scene in the Capital Region and beyond. And unlike far too many of the festivals we see around here, brewery staff and reps will actually be present to pour and chat about their beer, and let’s not forget the $40 presale ticket is extremely reasonably priced for unlimited tastings *and* local food in a much nicer venue than your typical convention center beer fest.

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Upcoming Events for Troy Craft Beer Week and Beyond

Troy Craft Beer Week is upon us and while the events have not reached a level of noise they have for the Saratoga Beer Week I figured I’d still do a post on what I think are some of the can’t miss events on the week.

Uncle Sam Burger & Brew at The Ruck | Sept 2nd – 7th
This might actually be my favorite event of the week. It shows a lot of great Chefs in the area putting some effort into two of my favorite things: good burgers and good beer.

B. United International Beer Tasting w/ Island Creek Oysters at The Grocery/Confectionary | Sept 2nd 6PM
Definitely the most unique lineup of beers for the week, worth checking out if you haven’t had many offerings from the B. United portfolio.

A Dinner With Grimm Artisanal Ales at The Grocery/Confectionary | Sept 3rd 7:30PM
It’s always a fun time when the Grimms make it Upstate and this dinner is set to be one for the record books.

Evil Taco Garden Takeover at The Grocery/Confectionary | Sept 4th – 5th
Evil Twin makes some of the best beers available in New York, along with The Grocery’s “evil tacos“. Can’t lose.

Ales vs. Lagers Dinner at The Ruck | Sept 4th 6PM
Both Jack’s Abby and Troegs beers are pretty prevalent in this area, but man the food menu here looks killer.

Firestone Walker Night at The Ruck | Sept 4th
A nice selection of Firestone Walker’s barrel aged offerings including some vintage stuff and their core line.

Jack’s Abby Night at The Ruck | Sept 5th
If you missed the Jack’s Abby event at The City Beer Hall earlier this summer here’s your chance to grab some of those BA variants.

The Craft Lager Revival with Special Guest Sam Handler at The Ruck | Sept 5th 6PM
A chance to meet the brewer and taste some of the lagers that are turning the craft beer world on end.

Saturday Cider Brunch at The Ruck | Sept 6th 11AM
Let’s face it after a week of drinking you are going to need to brunch hard on Saturday, especially if you’re going to the Troy on Tap Festival later in the day.

Troy on Tap Beer Festival at Riverfront Park | Sept 6th 2PM
Riverfront Park is one of my favorite spots for local events, but all too often the selection of beer at those events is abysmal. Troy On Tap is slated to fix this with a showing of 100 craft beers including a selection from our friends at Remarkable Liquids and Craft Beer Guild NY. I hear there may be shotgunning of beer. Should be an amazing time for downtown Troy’s first beer fest.

Lagunitas and Munchies at The Ruck | Sept 6th 5PM
Consider this your post fest after party. End your night with some rare beers from Lagunitas and some of Chef Rachel’s munchies (<— that’s what she said).

Sour Beer Festival at Captain Lawrence | Sept 13th 1PM
This is shaping up to be the next big beer geek festival. I’m surprised tickets lasted as long as they did. Tons of sours from both Captain Lawrence and a bunch of guest breweries. Can’t miss it.

Zwanze Day | Sept 20th
A lot of great options for those of us living in the Northeast. Novare Res, Armsby Abbey, Lord Hobo, Hill Farmstead, Alewife, Spuyten Duyvil, and Monk’s Cafe all within a four hour radius. Pick your poison.

SIPtemberfest | Sept 26th
Already sold out unfortunately, but if you have your tickets already you know this is the way to go out with a bang for the last big event of the beer fest season.

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.)

Upcoming Events for April 2014

With Spring finally here, more and more cool events are popping up on the radar and it’s time to start getting back to these posts highlighting some of the great things going on not only in the Capital Region, but within a few hours’ drive for you likeminded beer travelers as well. April is jam packed, let’s take a look:

Founder KBS Release at Errwhere | April 2nd
Don’t worry if you missed this on bottles. This should be on draft at several locations in the Capital Region (it was on at The Ruck when I stopped by last night), City Beer Hall should have it on during and after their Wild Game Dinner featuring Founders (date TBA) and I’m sure Lionheart and maybe even The Factory will get it again. The coffee notes in KBS fade fairly quickly and as such, I suggest drinking it fresh as often as you can this month.

StoutFest at Armsby Abbey | April 5th
A no brainer event. If you haven’t gone, go. Always the best lineup of stouts you will see in the Northeast year after year. It’s two hours away, so have a DD, get a hotel, do what you gotta do. KBS will be on here as well, and if you are going to the Founders Breakfast you will be one of the lucky ones to get some of the last CBS on the planet, not to mention all of the other sick beers on this lineup.

Session Beer Day | April 7th
A much needed break from my past week’s over the top stouts and IPAs, Session Beer Day celebrates kicking back and relaxing with a flavorful, low alcohol brew. Expect a nice gueuze in my hand that day.

New York State Beer Social at The Lionheart | April 10th
A New York Craft Beer focused lineup feature local faves Captain Lawrence, Crossroads, Nine Pin, Rushing Duck, etc.

Hill Farmstead / Grassroots Brewing at Farmhouse Tap and Grill | April 16th
Twenty three lines plus bottles of some of the best beer on the planet. Not much more to say here. Just do it.

AOA’s 6th Birthday @ The Malt Room | April 16th
Free snacks, cake, blogger peeps.

Nor’yeaster Sour Event at Two Roads | April 19th
Two Roads is releasing three beers this day: Crazy Pucker, Urban Funk, and Henry’s Farm. Worth checking out, I’m sure.

Cheese 101 at The Cheese Traveler | April 23rd
Nice little intro to cheese, cheesemaking, some history behind the styles, etc. Another class is slated for May as well.

Ommegang Game of Thrones Feast at The City Beer Hall | April 24th
Take The Black Stout and Fire and Blood (plus other Ommegang beer) paired with Wild Game dishes served feast-style.

TAP NY @ Hunter Mountain | April 26th-27th
A truly great celebration of New York State craft beer. Some one off beers you do not usually see, and some breweries from the further region of the State we can’t usually get our hands on. Plus corn dogs.

Nine Pin Cider Dinner at One Six Five | April 30th
Four course dinner with pairings from Nine Pin Cider. A great introduction to our local cidery if you haven’t gotten the chance to check them out yet.

Upcoming Events for September 2013

Damn, a week into September and there are still a shit storm of events coming up for the rest of the month. Thankfully other than Night of the Funk and Hill Farmstead I’m staying local for most of the these. Let’s check it out.

Cluster’s Last Stand @ The Ruck | September 12th
A collaboration between Smuttynose and Stone, Cluster’s is a 30 Barrel Short Batch Series release that didn’t see much distribution, especially not in the Capital District. Hit up The Ruck for what may be your only chance to taste this throwback to the OG American IPA along with some other hard to find offerings from both breweries.

Night of the Funk / Belgian Beer Fest @ The Cyclorama | September 13th-14th
Not much to say here other than take a look at the damn beer lineups. They speak for themselves. I volunteered last year and am looking forward to enjoying the fest to its fullest this year.

Hoptember Harvestfest @ Dutchess Hops | September 14th
The first of a couple of beer events in the Hudson Valley this month, this one located at Dutchess Hops, a hop farm in Lagrangeville, NY home to about 4000 hills of about a dozen different variety of hops. Personal favorites Captain Lawrence, Chatham, Crossroads, Peekskill, and Rushing Duck are all participating. Tickets are sold out.

Patriots Day Pig Roast @ The Ruck | September 14th
The Ruck’s yearly pig roast to benefit The Troy Boys & Girls Club.

Zwanze Day | September 14th
Brasserie Cantillon’s worldwide once-a-year event, a simultaneous tapping of this year’s Zwanze held at only 22 locations in the US. Pictures from last year’s Zwanze at Novare Res can be found here.

Jack’s Abby Launch Night @ The Ruck | September 19th
Our friends from Remarkable Liquids are bringing yet another great brewery to the Capital Region: Jack’s Abby. This family specializes in crushing the preconceived notions of what a lager can be time and time again. Keep an eye out for more details on this and other launch events in the Capital Region.

Hudson River Craft Beer Festival @ Riverfront Park| September 21st
Our second beer event in the Hudson Valley region, this one being presented by the folks at Halftime Beverage in Poughkeepsie.

Bottle Release @ Hill Farmstead| September 26th
Flora, Flora – Satsuma Mandarin, Damon, and Double Barrel Damon. A guaranteed shit show. People are flying in from all over the country to pick up these four beers, and I am sure they will be here by Weds to rape and pillage all of Northern Vermont of any of their good beer.

Bacon Fest @ The City Beer Hall | September 28th
Bacon. That is all. I posted the menu last week on the Hipstergram. Check it.

SIPtemberfest @ Mad River Glen| September 28th
Awesome VT craft beer and food and even a special appearance from Tree House!

Barrel Room Collection Release @ Voodoo Brewery | September 28th
Another shit show. This one might even be worse than the HF event. The Grande Negro Voodoo Papi aged in Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrels sounds like Huna on crack. I dig it.

Wild Game Night @ City Beer Hall | September 30th
The City Beer Hall is usually closed on Mondays but they’re opening up to focus on this beer pairing dinner featuring some special beers from Lagunitas. Chef Dimitrios Menagias is extremely excited about this upcoming dinner and it is sure not to be missed!

Upcoming Events for August

Hey guys, just wanted to put a quick post up before you miss out on some great events coming up the rest of the month. #IPADay has passed and BCTC is already over, and you missed a great time if you didn’t get a chance to go. Here’s what else is on the calendar:

Founders Beer Social @ The Lionheart | Aug 7th

Devil Dancer, Double Trouble, Curmudgeon, Dirty Bastard, Red’s Rye, Rubaeus, FBS, KBS (bottles), Centennial, All Day, Pale Ale, and Porter all on deck for the night. Founders fans, assemble!

Allagash Returns! @ The Ruck | Aug 9th

This is exciting for me. Allagash is one of my favorite breweries and I’m glad we’re finally getting distro again. Friday will be a day of great celebration.

Festival of Farmhouse Ales @ Hill Farmstead | Aug 10th

This is a big one. All of the best Hill Farmstead saisons, camping, bottle sharing, and let’s face it probably a run to Parker Pie. I haven’t been to a Hill Farmstead event since last year’s Harvest Festival so I’m getting pretty excited about this.

Night of Great Thirst @ Ebenezer’s Pub | Aug 24th

Arguably the best beer bar in the country puts on their version of “Nacht van de Grote Dorst”, a biannual event that celebrates Lambic, Gueuze, and all that is Belgian beer and food. A few pics of the last event can be found here.

Pints 4 Paws @ The Ruck | Aug 24th 2PM-8PM

A great event put on by The Ruck and The Hudson Mohawk Humane Society featuring beers from Lagunitas and Smuttynose, and pooch brew and Brewers Dog Treats for the four legged friends.

Tree House Brewing Co. Dinner @ Armsby Abbey | Aug 27th

Wow, one of my favorite bars teamed up with one of my favorite breweries. Sure to be a night to remember. I don’t know how they could possibly top the amazing Hill Farmstead Dinner last year (still one of my favorite and most memorable dining experiences of all time) but I’m looking forward to what they come up with!

Upcoming Events for the Remainder of June

Well, we’re almost halfway through June and there hasn’t been much on the radar when it comes to beer nerd friendly and fat kid alike events in the area. Things are picking up in the new couple of weeks though, so let’s check it out.

The Country Boil @ The City Beer Hall | June 15th

Happens tonight. Not much info here but CBH’s events are all pretty solid and Chef Dimitrios Menagias never fails to please. Paired up with Brooklyn Brewery.

Rochester Real Beer Week | June 14th – 23rd

For my Western New York beer peeps. Some cool events listed here, although I’m partial to the ones at Tap & Mallet and Lovin’ Cup. Capital District folks, pop a Three Heads bottle this week as a nod to our Western NY brethren.

SAVOR | June 14th-15th

This is the biggie for the month. It’s the first and possibly only time that SAVOR is coming to NY. If DC is too far away for a beer and food festival for you, this may be your only chance. Fair warning: tickets are $175 (minimum) compared to $120 in DC last year. The Three Floyds, Bell’s & Crooked Stave, and The Lost Abbey salons get my top pick.

4th Annual Saratoga Brewfest @  Saratoga County Fairgrounds | June 15th

Saratoga Brewfest and its fall counterpart, Oktobeerfest, might as well be called “Saratoga Brofest” and “Okbrobeerfest”. These are promotions and distributor driven festivals that cater to those looking to “GET FUCKING SHITFACED” than meet many brewers or try new beers. But hey, if that’s your cup of tea, have at it. They do have some bokehlicious photography on their website, though, so bravo for that.

River Street Festival | June 15th

Troy comes alive with food, vendors, performers, and live music on River St. from Fulton to Congress. Should give me a great opportunity to hone some of my street photography skillz on my new Sony NEX-6.

The Festival | June 21st

The sleeper event of 2012. I think this pretty much fell under most people’s radar last year, myself for the sticker shock to its initial price (and missing the price reduction) but I don’t think that will be the case this year. This is the can’t miss beer fest of the 2013, especially if you want to meet with gueuze ninjas Jean Van Roy and Armand Debelder, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, plus US locals like Shaun Hill, Chad Yakobson, Brian Strumke, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, etc.

Annual Pig Roast @ Captain Lawrence | June 22nd

Tickets include beer, pig, music and transport to the Metro North all for $40. This is a STEAL.

Lagunitas Beer Social 2013 @ Lionheart Pub | June 26th

Lionheart’s next beer social features the West Coast brews of Lagunitas, with Brandy Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Sucks, Fusion and many others on tap. Check out the full tap list here.

Left Hand Tap Event @ The Ruck | June 28th

Tap list TBA. Maybe a good time to break out my 2006 Smokejumper?

Riverside Brewfest @ Historic Catskill Point | June 29th-30th

Elise and I have done this festival in the past and have really enjoyed it. It’s a very laid back fest where it’s less about a race to try every single beer there and more about grabbing an (almost) pint and sitting on the lawn on a blanket or chair and enjoying the music while snacking on a few things. Excelsior Pub is doing a bus to and from for those looking for transport.


That’s all I got, folks. I feel like I HAVE to be missing something. If so, hit me up!

Upcoming Events for May

Lotta cool shit coming up this month, let’s dive right into it, shall we?

NY Burger Week | May 1st – 7th

Some pretty boss burger events, beer pairing dinners, etc. happening in NY this week. I won’t be able to make it so I will be killing it at home with some house ground half chuck, half pork belly burgers. Who wants in?

A Rare and Unique Craft Beer Experience @ Bootleggers on Broadway | May 2nd

The title may be a misnomer (at least if you’re reading this blog) but the tap list is still worthy.

Wild Game Night with Firestone Walker @ The City Beer Hall | May 2nd

Kaelin has already assured me that Wookey, 14th Anniversary (!!!), Parabola, and Sucuba is all on the menu. For the food check out Daniel B’s post.

Tree House Brewing Co. @ The Dive Bar | May 3rd

The crew from Tree House will be kicking off patio season at The Dive Bar with live music, good company and of course some Tree House beer.

Big Brew Day @ The Homebrew Emporium | May 4th

Homebrew Emporium is holding their 13th (!!!) annual Big Brew Day this Saturday with the English Dark Mild recipe found here. While the ingredients are still free, they’re asking that all brewers donate $10 to Boston Food Bank and bring a nonperishable food item for their can drive that will be running until May 5th.

Derby Day | May 4th

Time to kick back with a New England Distilling Rum Julep!

Food Truck Festival @ River Front Park | May 4th

I’m all for this. The Food Truck scene in Albany is pretty basic, consisting of the equivalent of carnie food and a sea of cupcake trucks. I’d love to see a huge movement towards some really interesting food while some of the insanely strict food truck rules getting a bit more laxed.

Three Penny Taproom’s Montbeerlier @ Langdon Street | May 4th

Three Penny’s ever growing anniversary party. Casks. Kegs. Sausages. Live music. Need I say more?? Wait, did I mention a new brew collaboration with Grassroots Brewing?

Intermezzo Release @ Carton Brewing | May 12

Green Apple and Wasabi sour. Sounds fantastic!

American Craft Beer Week | May 13th-19th

In case you needed another reason to drink great craft beer…

  • Beer Trivia @ The Ruck | May 13th: An extra awesome prize of some Hill Farmstead stuff for the winner.
  • East Coast vs. West Coast IPA Throwdown @ The Ruck | May 14th:  Enjoy By 5/17/13 vs. Ghandi Bot
  • Rushing Duck Launch @ The Ruck | May 15th: Never before carried in the Capital District, they’ve recently been picked up by my friends at Remarkable Liquids. Owners will be in house and Rushing Duck will be pouring from kegs and casks.
  • Rushing Duck Launch @ Excelsior Pub | May 16th: If you can’t make it to The Ruck’s event you have another option to try this area’s latest brew.
  • Kick the Kegs Party @ The Ruck | May 16th: Gotta make room for all the DFH kegs going on the next day. Anyone who kicks a keg that night will receive a  full serving of a very special hush hush beer on DFH Night.
  • Dogfish Head Night @ The Ruck | May 17th: Tap list TBA.
  • Wild Beer Roundup @ Allagash Brewing Co.| May 18th: Ghoulschip, Vrienden, Old HLT, & Coolship Single Barrel One. 2 bottle limit total. $15 a bottle. Doors open at 8AM.
  • WHERE THE WILD BEERS ARE Brooklyn 2013 @ The Gutter | May 19th: The most well organized bottle share I’ve ever heard of. Signups and more info here.
  • A Craft Brew Experience @ Pasta Pane | May 19th: Brew Tour of ADK Pub and Olde Saratoga, followed by beer pairing dinner at Pasta Pane. Transportation to and from breweries included.

St. Sophia Greek Festival | May 16th – 19th

A tradition for Elise and I. Gyros and Loukoumathes anyone?

2nd Annual Lager Cask Fundraiser Session @ The Tavern Framingham | May 24th – May 25th

Three sessions with Jack’s Abby and some of the best breweries New England has to offer, all to benefit One Mission. Tickets here.

Third Anniversary Celebration @ Hill Farmstead Brewery | May 25th

SOLD OUT. Sadly I won’t be making it to this one. I will however be camping up in Waterbury that weekend so if anyone is coming up early and wants to get their drink on, let me know.

Bottle Release @ Hill Farmstead Brewery | May 26th

Elaborative #1, Prolegomena, and a yet unannounced Imperial Stout.


Buy Boston A Beer

Hey guys, I’ve shared this numerous times on Facebook but I wanted to make sure to reach out to as many of you as possible. A bunch of great breweries are getting together and donating some beer and other items to raffle off at The Tavern Framingham 3PM today to benefit The One Fund for those that have been affected by the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday. The breweries include:
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