This weekend a few friends and I headed to the Westchester County Center to take part in the Big Brew NY Beer Festival.
Over a hundred different breweries took part in the event. I’ve been to beer festivals before and I have to say, this one was really good. Although there were a great deal of breweries participating, you didn’t feel overwhelmed my the selection. There was a good balance of local breweries like Captain Lawrence, Yonkers Brewery, and Broken Bow Brewery; as well as breweries from all over the US and International participants. In addition, the number of ticket holder seemed manageable. It wasn’t super crowded where people were bumping in to each other and spilling beer.
There were some really unique items to sample like Billy’s Chilies from Boulder, Colorado. Billy’s Chilies was infused with jalapeno and had a bit of a bite when you tasted it. Another favorite, which wasn’t even a beer, was Spiked Seltzer. Everyone I chatted with (because I have ITSD – I Talk to Strangers Disease) raved about this stuff so I took a stroll over to their booth before the end of the fest and it was pretty awesome.
I really enjoyed a lot of the cider selections that were offered. Classic apple and pear flavors from Bad Ass Cider were both really great. For a unique cider flavor, we tried pineapple cider from Ace Cider out of California. The favorite out of the cider however was hands down, McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider. This stuff was amazing and I believe the favorite out of the cider for my group.
Irish Kat and I are big fans of Peekskill Brewery’s Simple Sour beer which thankfully was on tap at Big Brew. However, we did try a few other and I found a couple that were pretty excellent. Anderson Vallley Brewing Company’s gose beer called The Kimmie, The Yink, and The Holy Gose which was I really enjoyed. My favorite on the sour front though was a Belgium brewed beer called Duchesse De Bourgogne. Dear Ang said it tasted like drinking apple cider vinegar, but Irish Kat and I both thought it was pretty good.
A few other favorites were Great South Bay’s Blood Orange Pale Ale, Broken Bow Brewery’s The Bockbreaker, Ellicottville Brewing Co’s Chocolate Cherry Bomb Stout and Long Ireland’s Raspberry Wheat. If you see them around, give them a try, you won’t regret it!