Showing posts with label Virgin Islands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virgin Islands. Show all posts

June 10, 2011

The American Craft Beer Festival

This Saturday I had the pleasure of volunteering at the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston, Massachusetts. With over 100 breweries serving over 500 different beers, this was a beer-lover's smorgasbord. I volunteered at two sessions and in return received a free ticket to the event - food included.  Most of the breweries were from the New England area, but they had a few from as far away as North Carolina, Colorado, California, and even the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Just one row of brewers from the American
Craft Beer Festival
I was able to sample 25 different beers, from milk stouts to hefeweizens, chocolate porters to barleywines. Here I was thinking I had a more or less complete understanding of beer styles, but I came across several new concoctions, some new to me, some just plain out of control. A Berliner Weiss, I discovered, is a wheat beer, but unlike a hefeweizen, this one is tart with strong hints of lemon. I sampled a bacon beer, which unfortunately was not as good as it sounded. One of my favorites was the Mango Pale Ale from St. Johns Brewery in the Virgin Islands. The beer that blew me away the most: the North Carolina-based Duck Rabbit Brewery's End of Reason, a strong Baltic Porter that tasted very much like chocolate and raspberries.

All in all it was a very educational experience. I got to speak with several brewers and sales reps. What's more, was just the general impression I got of how big this craft beer movement has grown. The American Craft Beer Festival had three sessions with around 5,000 attendees each, at $45 a ticket, you do the math...

Thanks to BeerAdvocate.com and Harpoon Brewery for putting on a great fest!