New York City Craft Beer Festival - Spring Seasonalshttp://nyccraftbeerfest.com
Although we would not call ourselves craft beer connoisseurs, we have been known to enjoy a great tasting beer, and when we heard about the New York City festival, we could not pass it up. It was a gorgeous day to indulge in the long standing tradition of day drinking, after some breakfast, we grabbed some fellow beer lovers, and got on the first train to NY Penn Station. We arrived at the Lexington Armory about 30 minutes early, and there was already a line forming.
When they began letting people in, they checked our ID's and we were handed a 2 oz glass for tasting. Upon arriving you noticed the size of the room, and that the long line that had formed outside, was not crowded inside space. The festival was spread out in a way that made for short waiting times in between beers, and for a good flow trough out the day. The venders were all set up at tables with signs that said the name and the types of beer they were offering.
Our first critique was that we wish they had listed the city and/or state that the beer is from. We began our walk through the crowds and through the venders, tasting beers that we were curious about, styles we liked, and logos/names we found intriguing.
Walking up to the venders and asking for samples we discovered our next, and more important, criticism. We like to ask questions about the beer and the brewery, but about 90% of the time, the person dispensing samples of beer was a volunteer who had no affiliation with the brewery, was not knowledgable, and left us with many unanswered questions. We felt having a sales or marketing representative from each brewery, or even an intern at that, would help provide us with a little more knowledge and information about each brewery. The one brewery we remember, whether it be because the beer was great or because there was a member present to tell us about it, was Empire. We fully understand that this is not the fault of the festival itself, but rather the breweries involved.
Overall, the festival was a lot of fun! Even though it was clearly very busy, we never felt claustrophobic or as though it was super crowded. We did not try the food, but there seemed to be a relatively large selection of food to accompany your beer if you so pleased. We will keep our eyes open for the next local craft beer festival, and if you like beer, we encourage you to do so as well!