The 2015 NYC Craft Beer Festival offered spring in a tasting glass.
Food Loves Beer Editors
SIPPING SENSATIONAL SPRING SEASONALS
Spring is so close you can almost taste it. So what better way to welcome in the warm, revitalizing season than with a wonderful weekend of craft beer? The weather wasn't exactly cooperating, but neither rain nor cold could prevent hordes of people from lining up outside the Lexington Avenue Armory last Friday and Saturday to attend the NYC Craft Beer Festival Spring event.
Held in three two and a half hour sessions over the course of two days, the Festival presented tastings of some of America’s best craft brews. From beer to cider to mead, there was something pouring to satisfy everyone’s taste. We sipped quite a few remarkable samplings, including Downeast’s Original and Unoriginal Cider. Here are some other favorites that made our especially notable list:
Almanac Golden Gate Gose
Almanac Golden Gate Gose is based on a somewhat obscure wheat beer style from Germany that has salt and coriander as ingredients. They add locally grown lemon verbena as well, and the result is a refreshingly light and tart beer.
Anderson Valley Spring Hornin’
This Spring IPA is clean and dry, with pronounced floral and herbal hops.
Atlantic Brewing Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale
A welcome reminder of the warmer months to come, Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale balances a delicate blueberry flavor with light malt and crisp hops.
Boulevard Spring Belle
Boulevard Brewing Co. just arrived in the NYC market, and we’re glad they’re here! Spring Belle is a saison brewed with the addition of rose petals, chamomile, and elderflower, lending a beautiful floral layer which marries nicely with the traditional Belgian flavors of the style.
Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
This is a saison for those who appreciate a well-made farmhouse ale. It’s slightly funky with bitter citrus flavors and a dry finish.
Braven White IPA
The first brew from Brooklyn newcomer Braven Brewing Co. is White IPA, which blends the spice of a wit beer with the bold hoppiness of an American IPA.
Full Sail Session Beers
Never ones to disappoint, Full Sail offered samples of their immensely popular Session IPA and Session Lager.
Greenport Spring Turning Rye Saison
Spring Turning Rye Saison from Greenport Harbor Brewing has all the flavors we love in a saison, with the added spicy dryness of rye malt.
Kuka Golden Ale
Brewed with maca root and agave, Andean Brewing’s take on a Belgian-style golden ale balances a fruity sweetness with fine carbonation and a clean finish.
Lakefront Extended Play
An "India-style" session ale, Extended Play has the bold, citrusy hop profile of an American IPA and an ABV of just 4.2%.
One of the several spring saisons at the event, Ommegang Glimmerglass is fruity and floral with classic Belgian yeast flavors and a clean, dry finish.
The newest offering from Sixpoint is a Belgian-inspired pale ale that’s big and strong and blends the fruit and spice flavors of Belgian yeast with bold American hops.
Southern Tier Right-O-Way IPA
The newest year-round offering from Southern Tier is Right-O-Way IPA, a session ale with pronounced citrus flavors and balanced hop bitterness.
Stone Delicious IPA
We happen to think that all Stone IPAs are delicious, but this lemony hop bomb has the added benefit of being gluten-reduced.
All of those spectacular seasonal beers were easily paired with fabulous fare because there were plenty of dishes for purchase served up by food vendors like Dos Toros, Jessy’s Pastries, and Rosamunde Sausage Grill. We really loved the Mac & Cheese Empanadas from Jessy's Pastries and we also enjoyed Tipsy Scoop's Hard Honey and Cinnamon Ice Cream (made with Downeast Hard Honey cider) for dessert. Yum!
There were also retail vendors on hand such as The Bacon Jams, Cheeky Monkey Foods, Cabot Creamery and our friends at Potlicker Kitchen to name a few.
We’re sure you won’t want to miss the next seasonal tasting so stay tuned to Hand Crafted Tasting Co. and our Datebook page for dates and details.
Were you at this beer festival? Share your experience and your favorite beers in comments!