Pam and I decided to attend the first annual North Creek Beer Fest on the Hudson, tossing Elvis's butt to the curb. But first, we had to stop at Basil & Wick's just to check in and say hi to some of our most devoted fans. I also had to re-shoot a photo of the museum quality exhibit of a barstool from the original Basil & Wick's. The bartender was one we hadn't met before, and shame on us for not asking her name, but she was a real sweetheart. There were only two other people there, not surprising since everyone must be at the beer fest! It was hard to leave, but we had to get down to the train station before the beer was gone!
Pam, designated driver, parked the car and we made our way to the ticket area. I got my 5 oz. commemorative glass and 10 beer sample tickets and was off. I approached the exhibitors with a fair amount of excitement, the ribbon of tickets clutched in my hand fluttering in the breeze. Like a kid in a penny candy store with only a dime to spend and a hundred goodies to choose from, I carefully window-shopped the entire lineup before making my first selection, worried that I might spend foolishly.
Thinking this should be approached somewhat scientifically, I immediately eliminated flavors I had tried before. To avoid bias in my study, I vowed to taste different types of beer, including at least one IPA, though I don't usually care for them. I will only list my samples here, not go into detail. Plus, by the end I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention.
1. Mendocino Imperial Barley Wine Ale (Never heard of a Wine Ale.)
2. Goose Island Pere Jacques 2011 Belgian Style Ale (Rather fond of Belgians.)
3. Samuel Adams Imperial Stout (Love Sam. Hadn't ever had this one.)
4. Ithaca Beer Company CascaZilla (Couldn't resist the name.)
5. Southern Tier Jah-Va Coffee Stout (Also a big fan of coffee.)
6. Three Philosophers Belgian Style Ale (I liked the bottle top. Oh, and the beer too.)
7. Peak Organic Maple Oat Ale (I really wish my taste buds weren't numb by then.)
We talked to a lot of people, getting advice about bars to check out in other parts of the Park. Cliff was a wealth of information, and it's a good thing I took notes or I wouldn't remember a thing. We were pleased to meet Michael, one of the owners of barVino. I also conversed at length with Jeff and Nina. Jeff is working on a book on the history of rafting in the region and knew quite a bit about the Oak Barrel Tavern in Indian Lake; quite helpful to this week's High Peaks Happy Hour review, appearing on the Adirondack Almanack on Wednesday. And I think we're doing "an event" with Jared, one of the vendors.
Here I was, worried that 10 tickets wouldn't be enough, and I actually had to give some away! I should have stopped at #6. The walk to the car was a little unsteady. I am somewhat a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, but in my defense, let me just say that I should have eaten before I went, and most of the beers were much higher in alcohol content than what I'm used to.
It's hard to determine the success of a "first annual" event, but I have to say I thought the brew fest was pretty well-attended; I'm guessing about 125 people were there when we were, and a fair number of brewers and beers were represented. I liked every one of the beers I tried, but really, what's not to like?
OUR MISSION - WE'RE PUBLISHED! Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 marked the Premier of our new book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide. The hardcover, 160 page book can be found at bars and bookstores throughout the Adirondack Park or order online at www.happyhourinthehighpeaks.com. You'll find a list of our book signings on the Events page and where to buy the book on our Retailers page. The book contains reviews of 46 of our favorite bars in the Adirondack Park, and 46 drink recipes with an Adirondack twist. As a companion to the book, we have also published a 46er Passport so that you can follow the Happy Hour Trail to become a Happy Hour 46er and make new friends along the way. Summit Tour t-shirts will be for sale at our book signings or available online. Whether you are a native, resident, or visitor, you'll find 46 more reasons to visit the ADIRONDACK PARK!