Did you get to the American Craft Beer Fest at the World Trade Center in Boston last weekend? I was pretty impressed with the size of the crowd and the well-planned logistics of getting everyone in the building. I was less impressed with the huge set-up given to "Michelob Brewing Company" and Here's to Beer as you entered the festival. Why not throw up a huge neon sign that said Anheuser Busch sponsored this event. But then again I have a hang up with AB, to each their own...I guess you have to pay the bills and if people really want to drink that stuff with all the other amazing options available to them, let them, it only makes the other lines shorter. Speaking of that, the lines were significantly longer than those at the Cyclorama, especially for the great breweries, but I didn't mind too much...it really was kind of awesome to see so many people drinking great beer.
The list was pretty impressive--0ver 300 beers and 75 brewers. There were so many great options and the hall was so large I barely made my way through the whole place in three hours...in the past, I would loop around the cyclorama several times. Just curious, did anyone figure out the IBUs on Garrett Oliver's shirt...that thing was badass, I loved it.
Bottomline I had a great time, but I have two major complaints. The food was awful. I needed my Belgian waffle fix and I was so upset to discover I would not be getting one. Moreover, the Sunset Grill catering at previous festivals provided much better options and quality, the food available this time was less than desirable. It was also a bit concerning that you had to stand in line for water, at least I didn't notice water stations elsewhere. I gather the World Trade Center would not allow outside catering, but I would rather have the Sunset Grill at the Cyclorama than crappy concession food at a nicer venue. Did I mention I wanted my Belgian waffle, I was Jonesing for that waffle by the end of the night.
The second complaint is the portopotties...are you kidding me...wtf! The event was at the World Trade Center. I could not believe I was forced to piss in a johnny on the spot while indoors. After two previous sessions, the whole area reeked of urine and I pretty much had to avoid the right side of the hall after 8pm. The lines had diminished a bit and I was talking to Tod Mott at the Portsmouth booth, but I just could not stand the smell.
Ok I am done bitching, overall the event was fantastic, choices, choices, and more choices. The most exciting part was discovering a few breweries I had never heard of.