This past weekend, we attended the 5th annual American Craft Beer Fest in Boston. To date, it is the largest collection of American brewers on the east coast with a lineup including over 120 breweries and 500 different craft beers. Without a doubt, Beer Fest is one of our favorite events of the year. Being able to taste craft beers from Hawaii to New Hampshire is an honor we will gladly accept year in and year out.
As we made our way inside, we could not help but notice the amount of people attending the event. Since its inception in 2008, the ACBF has seen ticket sales grow substantially year-to-year. This weekend was no different as both Saturday sessions were completely sold out days before the event even started! If that’s not a sign of good times ahead, I don’t know what is.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you attend Beer Fest are the vast number of pretzel necklaces and chains that drape over the many thirsty patrons. I always get a laugh every time a new variation of the accessory crosses my path. Now that I think of it, having a set of sourdough pretzels hanging around your neck is the perfect way to enjoy the hundreds of craft beers that line the walls at Beerfest. I mean you don’t want to look like a rookie out there do ya?
Although I wasn’t able to visit every single booth on Friday, I managed to find a few favorites. Somerville’s Slumbrew (pictured above) was a popular booth and for good reason. Their Slumbrew Happy Sol provided a great balance of wheat and citrus flavors. I am always tempted to try new variations of hefeweizens and Somerville’s version was a great way to get the night started.
I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of beers offered by the good folks at Widmer Brothers. My favorites were the Oatmeal Porter and Shaddock IPA. Both so different in color, aroma, and taste, each shared a place in my craft beer heart.
I usually stay away from Porters in general but Widmer’s Oatmeal filled my 2 oz. plastic cup with hints of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. My only complaint, ironically, was that it was too sweet and pretty much took away from some of the other components of the beer.
The American Craft Beer Fest is an awesome event that only seems to grow in popularity as each year passes by. With the number of brewers and beers available, you are sure to find your fair share of tasty brews. Below are a couple more pictures from Friday. Cheers!