Events — 16 March 2015
Sipping the Best in Craft Beers at 2015′s ‘Spring Seasonals’

Blog: NYC Craft Beer Fest- Spring Seasonals 2015

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It was another whirlwind of a weekend at the Lexington Avenue Armory, where for three sessions over the course of two days, thousands of beer lovers from the surrounding New York area would surround more than 150 different taps to imbibe on some of the finest pours of craft beer available anywhere. The 10th NYC Craft Beer Festival once again made its presence felt in midtown as swarms of people lined around the outside of the sprawling venue in anticipation of two and a half hours of refreshing beer tastings. Armed with a two ounce tasting glass and an empty stomach, there was no shortage of beverage options- from beer to cider to mead- for the throngs of attendees to be tantalized by.

The Festival’s now annual ‘Spring Seasonals’ affair would be a nice change of pace to their previous efforts, despite being housed in the same location. Backed by some live big band style music, guests could be found competing in games like bocce ball, cornhole and even Jenga toward the far end of the room’s erected courts. A mere steps away, dishes for purchase were being cooked up by the likes of Dos Toros and Rosamunde Sausage Grill- some hearty fare to be washed down by the soothing carbonation of crisp seasonal beers, highlights of which would be explained during interactive seminars throughout each session.

At the end of the day though, it’s the beer that brought out so many thrillseeking eventgoers to the dance- and there was plenty to keep everyone occupied. Now, in full disclosure, our outlet had a presence at this past weekend’s event- you may have witnessed one of our more energetic LocalBozo.com representatives dancing a jig and holding our sign as the familiar notes of “New York, New York” escorted folks out of the building at the end of each session. But fortunately, we were on hand to pour some exceptional beer and Warrenville, Illinois’ Two Brothers Brewing Company has become one of the midwest’s most sought after brands. The gluten-free “Prairie Path Ale,” a deliciously malty while still light and drinkable brew, and the “Outlaw IPA,” with its pine-filled nose and citrus flavor, both seemed to draw equal praise from suds-lovers that frequented our table. Paired with the brewery’s “Wobble IPA” and “Cane and Ebel” red rye ale, Two Brothers is putting together a fairly remarkable portfolio of notably distinctive options to appease fans of all styles.

Among the many memorable pours we sipped, Lagunitas Brewing Company’s “NightTime” was an especially delicious American style black ale. Nicely smoky, the easy drinking dark brown pour was both hoppy and approachable without tasting overly bitter. Brewery Ommegang’s “Gnomegang” meanwhile, was a collaboration with Brasserie D’Achouffe offering up an ABV of just under 10%. Pleasantly though, the complex array of flavors masked much of the alcohol content here and the medium bodied beer proved to be a bold change of pace with its lasting peppery finish. Local breweries like Radiant Pig, Chelsea Brewing Company, Great South Bay, Alphabet City Brewing Co. (pouring at LocalBozo.com’s #BrunchBash II!), Greenport Harbor and Sixpoint each served noteworthy pours while sweeter options like Nine Pin and Badass Hard Cider each left us yearning for some warmer weather outside.

Didn’t get enough of the action this past weekend? Well grab that rental car and head down to Washington DC as ‘Spring Seasonals’ goes down this coming Saturday, march 21st at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. If you can’t swing a weekend away on such short notice though, stay tuned to handcraftedtasting.com and to the home page of our site for the next seasonal tasting that you won’t want to miss!

- Dave Gendelson

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