Coming into its 10th year, the Spring Craft Beer Festival now at Belmont Racetrack is an event me and 3 friends of mine look forward to. It is starting to become a tradition as this is the 2nd year we have attended together and are already looking forward to next year.
Last year we saw everyone with the typical pretzel lanyards and wanted to step it up a notch and do something different. Something no one has done before, (at least to our knowledge) and we did. Not only did we have a lanyard we could refill (clip in the back) for our pretzels but thanks to The Shark 94.3 providing cup lanyards, we had a place to hold the mustard for dipping our pretzels. So remember if you start to see that next year, you heard it here first. It’s ok because we are already looking into ways to really step it up next year.
Now onto our beer/cider picks. Here are some of our joint picks at this years festival in no particular order with the exception that we all agreed on NYF Ginger Ale:
Not Your Fathers Ginger Ale – Not a craft beer but after we all agreed last year that the root beer was something we all liked and would go out and buy, it only made sense we were going to try the ginger ale this year. Along with the ginger, which may be less than desirable, there is a kick of sweetness with some hints of citrus. ABV: 5.9%
Crooked Ladder Kolsch – Unfortunately due to the weather they were not pouring from their Crooked Ladder fire truck parked outside but that didn’t ruin the fact that it was a hit. With 2 Germans in the group and 1 marrying a German this summer it was understandable to be in the list of favorites. ABV: 4.4%
Long Ireland Nofo – A Belgian ale that is most commonly pale, refreshing, moderately strong and finishes dry. It pours a hazy golden color with the aroma combination of spicy yeast and tart yeast. It comes with a bright aroma including big lemon sourness and tart green apple. ABV: 5.5%
Kona Big Wave – One of the guys previously had and enjoyed Longboard so I was a little disappointed that I was unable to try it but Big Wave was very nice, smooth and refreshing, with a light fruity aroma. Not sure how I missed drinking this on my honeymoon while in Hawaii. ABV: 4.4%
Shipyard Monkey Fist – With a bright amber color and a thick creamy head formation Monkey Fist is hoppy to the nose. The beer has a nice caramel maltiness up front with a hint of butter and toast but don’t be surprised by the resiny, citrusy hop aroma at the end.
Ace Pear – Ace Pear is the desert wine of ciders. If you haven’t tried a hard pear cider they are, in general, littler and sweeter than most apple ciders, crisper, and less tart. It is, however, more golden than the norm, slightly heavier (although still not as heavy as most apple ciders).