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American Craft Beer Fest

The gang attended the American Craft Beer Fest and enjoyed what we expect to be the first annual great, East Coast brew festival. It was held at Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.

Here are some photos:

Seaport World Trade Center American Craft Beer Fest Sign American Craft Beer Fest Set Up

There were many great beers to be sampled at the American Craft Beer Fest, held by the great guys at BeerAdvocate. There were approximately 75 breweries representing coast to coast brews. I go to as many fests as I can and this one was one of the best. Here are my key highlights:

1. Pre-entry line was a bit odd at first, but once we were in it made total sense. They had ID checkers and “braceleteers” working from the front of the line to the back of the line while we waited. This made getting into the fest very quick once they opened the doors.
2. The first thing I noticed once we were in the convention center was a blast of cold air from the AC units. That was a very nice surprise, they seemed to have gotten the jump in the climate control, because all night long the air was warm but not annoyingly so. Other fests that I have been to indoors usually end up being a sweat-lodge by the time its over.
3. The center floor was carpeted. This was a total surprise. It really was nice on the feet and back after a while. Really helped to quiet things down some too I am sure. I’m glad I do not have to wash those carpets, but surprisingly I didn’t see too many beer stains in the carpet so maybe spillage was kept to a minimum.
4. The organizers had several “port-o-lets” to keep beer recycling time to a minimum. I am sure that “port-o-lets” are not everyone’s favorites, but it made life so easy and quick. I think it was a good set up.

The only real detractor was the food! The convention center in-house vendor must have exclusive rights to the food station by contract. Otherwise, I would have expected the normal top notch eats from Sunset Grille which is usually at the BA fests. (AND NO SUGAR HAUS WAFFLES!!!!)

Anyhow, who cares about that stuff…what about the beer?!? Well, I tried close to 20 different brews (not even 10% of the total, very sad). I actually kept score (sort of) and tabulated a list of the beers I had below. Surprisingly the best beers of the show for me were three sour beers. Two from the local Cambridge Brewing Company and one from Dogfish Head. These three beers were just great. Or at least the greatest beers of the bunch. Is there a sour beer in my future brewing??? Maybe. Last Summer I had a great Berliner Weisse at Boston Beer Works and I have thought about it ever since. I’ll have to do a little more research into the methods of souring a beer and see what I’d like to try out.

Here is my tally sheet of the beers I tried. I list the brewery, the beer name and a score based out of 5. I view a three as drinkable but not something I would seek out commercially. Granted a 2.0oz pour isn’t really a great way to get to know a beer. But I think my little score sheet has some nice trends to it. (I seem to have given the next best rankings to the few rye beers I tried).

I’d be interesting in comparing notes if anyone else was at the fest.

Brewery Beer Score (0-5)
Allagash Brewing Co. Allagash Black 3.5/4.0
Avery Brewing Co. Fifteen 3.5/4.0
Bear Republic Brewing Co. Hop Rod Rye 3.5/4.0
Boston Beer Co. Samual Adams Sahti 3.0
Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyner Keller Helles 3.5
Cambridge Brewing Co. Cerise Cassee 4.5
Cambridge Brewing Co. Kriek du Cambridge 4.0/4.5
Dogfish Head Festina Peche 4.5
Gardner Ale House Oma’s Altbier 4.1
Harpoon Brewery Leviathan Triticus 3.5/4.0
Harpoon Brewery Old Rusty’s Red Rye Ale 3.5/4.0
High & Mighty Brewing Co. Beer of the Gods 2.0 (weird aftertaste)
Lagunitas Brewing Co. Hop Stoopid 3.5
Lagunitas Brewing Co. Lucky13 3.5
Paper City Brewing Co. Paper City Radler 1.0
Southern Tier Brewing Co. Raspberry Porter 2.0 (good berry flavor, thin porter)
Stoudts Brewing Co. Stoudts Blonde Double Maibock 4.0
Terrapin Beer Co. Rye Pale Ale 3.5/4.0
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout 4.0


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1 Comment

  1. Sounds like you had fun… We had a pretty good time too… My non-blogging buddy asked if any of the beer bloggers I mingle with online would be there, and I remembered you were going to attend. But in truth, all the folks blended in…

    We had fun, and found some beers we really enjoyed, but I did not take extensive notes like you did… I tried the Twitter thing with mixed results…

    I think I may try to make it out next year too… Cheers!

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