Saturday, September 15, 2007


As it turns out, NY Brewfest was a total trainwreck--or due to its location at the Seaport, maybe I should say total shipwreck. Short review: too many people and not enough beer, poorly planned and set up, and a giant waste of time.

Longer review: This was billed as taking place from 5-10 PM, but many of the booths were out of beer before 8 PM (much to the chagrin of the Manhattan "fashionably late" crowd). Due to Friday rush hour, our cab didn't get us there until 6:30 PM, so we barely got to taste anything. Each brewery had 2 offerings, and most were disappointingly middle of the road stuff: either an uninspired pale ale, wheat beer, or nut brown ale (but the choices weren't posted anywhere so you had to wait on line only to be disappointed at the end). The best thing there that I hadn't tried before was Smuttynose Imperial Stout and Goose Island Honker's Ale. There were also "cask" offerings from 6:30 - 8:30, but I ended up getting a very ordinary Ipswich Dark Ale.

After most places were out of beer, to get a sample of the Belgians that they promised from 8:30 - 9:30, you naturally had to fight an army of drunken college idiots to get . . . a thimble full of Chimay Red, Lindemans Frambroise (did someone just make a beer run to Stop and Shop?), or a third awful choice that tasted like balsamic vinegar.

Since they gave you only 2 oz at a time (in a 4 oz taster glass), I spent over $50 on what amounted to 2 pints. And they made you pay for food on top of that. I'm honestly thinking about trying to get my money back, it was such a ripoff. Everyone tells me Brewtopia is better, but I'm honestly not going to waste my time if it's anything like this disaster.

We cut our losses and went to the amazing Ginger Man on E. 36th, where the friendly waitstaff (a rarity for midtown) provided us with some cave aged 2005 Ommegang and Guinness stew. That saved the night!

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