2017 Craft Beer Festival Survival Guide

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The festival hosted at the historic Belmont Park Racetrack featured local and national craft brewers pouring samples of some of their finest brews. To fully understand how best to appreciate the magnitude of such an event one must understand the dichotomy of the event itself.

On the one hand the craft beer festival is a place to sample and appreciate fine brews; a novice curious about the beer scene can be captivated by a plethora of drinking options being poured, for the most part, by knowledgeable beer lovers actively working in the industry. The veteran beer drinker won’t find any whales but they’ll come across enough solid brews and enough guys willing to talk shop to make it worth their while.

On the other hand the festival is a shit show of Long Island pre-gamers looking to maximize how tanked they can get in 5 hours on forty-five bucks. Hey we’ve all been in our early twenties so we get it. Provided they respect the crowd and remain cognizant of their mortality then it’s all peaches and cream.

If we were to craft a Craft Beer Festival survival guide it would follow these basic tenets:

Don't pre-game. We pre-gamed because we're maniacs, we strongly advise against that but here's what we do recommend:

Find out who’s brewing. Figure out what you want try ahead of time and be sure to include beers you’ve never had. No sense in guzzling the same ‘ol brews at a festival. S ure you can and should get to those but go out there and be daring and try as many new brews as you can.

Stay hydrated with something other than beer. Yes it’s a beer festival and yes you’re there to drink for several hours nonstop but work some H2O into rotation. It will cleanse your palate in between brews and keep you going for longer. Plus your kidney and liver will thank you.

Talk Shop when you can. There are a lot of good folks at these events and they’ll be willing to talk about the beers they are pouring, provided their lines aren’t too crazy. If you get a chance ask them some earnest questions, most of them live for that type of stuff.

Understand the crowd. The crowd is like most places where excessive alcohol is the theme and purpose of the event; there’s a bunch of good eggs, a few interesting characters and a handful of assholes. Fuck ‘em. Mix and mingle as you please, but remember to keep focused on the brews you choose.

We are dropping a two part podcast - Part 1 features:

Heartland Brewery  - Greg Balena Director of Beer Operations. Heartland has been serving unique, locally brewed craft beer since 1995.

Part 2 debuts next week and features:
Greenport Brewery Jon Kelly Sales Director – One of our Long Island favorites, we featured them in a blog a little while back.

Bellport BreweryBrian Baker Head Brewer and Owner stops by and hangs with the crew for a bit.

Two Roads Brewery – Their Regional New York Sales Rep stops in for a hilarious segment.


Check out the latest Podcast - BTBT Episode 17 - The 2017 Spring Craft Beer Festival pt1


BTBT  Queens Beer Week Updates

The Queens Beer Week Warm-Up Event will be held at the Pony and will feature a Queens Brewery Tap Take Over!

WHAT: Queens Beer Week Warm Up
WHEN: Tuesday 4/18
TIME: 7pm
WHERE: The Pony Bar  at 1444 1st ave. at 75th st. New York, NY 10036

This year’s Queens Beer Week will be epic and BTBT will be your go to media outlet for all Queens’ craft beer coverage!

WHAT: Queens Beer Week Opening Bash
WHEN: Saturday May 6, 2017
TIME: 4pm -  7pm
WHERE:  Hunters Point - South Park

Tickets Will be on Sale soon! Shout out to @kiacarbonephotography for the Opening Bash poster.

#queensbeer #qbw17 #nycbrewed

Sign up to our bi-weekly newsletter to stay up to date on all the #BTBT craft beer goodness. *MORE* Details around the BTBT Queens Beer Week contest will be included in the next newsletter.


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Check out ReGrained sustainable supergrain bars. ReGrained harvests high-protein high fiber grain from craft breweries. This bar fights food waste by recovering "Spent" grain from breweries in San Francisco. Other ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and fair trade, wrapped into a compostable wrapper.





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8 thoughts on “2017 Craft Beer Festival Survival Guide

  1. I like the tip about knowing the crowd. There’s always going to be the right group for you. You just have to find it. Beer festivals are a lot of fun and a great way to try lots of new breweries.

  2. Great tips! I’m definitely (slowly) becoming a seasoned festival pro. Theres SO many in and around NYC to choose from I’m starting to have to be picky just for my organ’s sake!

    1. Ha! There’s a ton for sure and they are not all created equally. Some are definitely better then others, Choose wisely! Cheers!

    1. It was a good time! Lot’s of good brews and good folks, check out Podcast from that evening for a full recap!

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