NYC Craft Beer Festival ― Autumn Harvest
Food Loves Beer Editors
A MARATHON OF BEER TASTING
While thousands of runners from all over the globe descended on New York City to take part in the world’s most famous marathon, passionate beer drinkers lined up by the hundreds outside the Lexington Armory on a wet and windy Saturday awaiting entry to a marathon beer tasting event: the NYC Craft Beer Festival - Autumn Harvest.
Held in three sessions over two days beginning on Halloween night, the festival was a much-anticipated opportunity to sample year-round and seasonal offerings from some of the country’s finest craft breweries. Seventy-five breweries were on hand pouring two beers each, with styles ranging from wit beers and pale ales to imperial stouts and barrel-aged sours, plus several cider options as well. There was also an amazing selection of fabulous fare to pair with all that beer, provided by artisanal food vendors (at additional cost). It was certainly a highlight of the fall season for beer aficionados. Here is a look at some of our favorites.
Troegs Mad Elf Ale is brewed with honey as well as sweet and sour cherries, and is fermented with Belgian yeast. At 11% abv, it was a welcome warmer on such a brisk, damp day. This beer has definitely earned a place on our holiday table.
Flying Dog Easy IPA and Gonzo Imperial Porter
The labels drew in the uninitiated and those in the know gathered in droves, too, making this a very popular booth.
Full Sail treated everyone to two great beers from their Session series, Fest and Black.
New Holland Brewing’s Monkey King Saison and The Poet Oatmeal Stout were quite appropriate for the Halloween weekend. "Quoth the raven, give us more!"
Newcomers Irish Yankee Beer Co. were the only imports in attendance, and we welcome the spirit of Ireland to the USA!
Allagash Curieux, a Belgian-style tripel aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels is “curiously” delicious.
The Bruery Mischief, another aptly named beer for the weekend, is a delightfully hoppy Belgian ale.
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter... can you say "Yum!?"
Northern California was well represented by one of our all-time favorite Russian imperial stouts, Old Rasputin, from North Coast Brewing Co.
Founders Breakfast Stout found its way into our glasses. They were also pouring their new Dark Penance Imperial Black IPA.
A few other standout beers worth noting include Stone's Old Guardian Barley Wine, which was paired perfectly with a corresponding chocolate; Bayou Teche’s Miel Sauvage, an oak barrel-aged honey ale; and Abita’s Legendary Gator, a triple helles bock.
Potlicker Beer Jelly was sampling an impressive array of artisanal jellies created with Vermont craft beers. Heady Topper is virtually impossible to get unless you visit The Alchemist Brewery, but we were fortunate to try Potlicker’s Heady beer jelly.
Artisan meatball maven Bill’s Balls served a hearty range of sliders and hero sandwiches. We enjoyed The Original: All beef meatball with marinara and asiago cheese and The Upstate: Chicken meatball covered in Buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing and their fabulous celery chimichurri.
Bamboo Bites offered up sticky rice and other tasty morsels like the Chicken Satay that we just couldn’t resist.
Tipsy Scoop satisfied our sweet tooth with their decadently delicious Breakfast Stout ice cream.
Sampling over 150 beers in only two and a half hours was a challenge. Just kidding, it was virtually impossible, but we gave it our best shot. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it, and we're looking forward to trying again in the spring.