“Who cares how time advances? I’m drinking ale today.” ~ Edgar Allen Poe
It was Saturday morning and I felt like a child about to go to Disney. Let me be honest and explain to you that I am a huge beer geek. Therefore as beer geeky as I can be, I knew it was going to be a great day for beer lovers. After all, it was the 2nd Annual Saratoga Brewfest at Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa and my husband and I had VIP tickets; a small splurge for our Mother/Father’s Day present to each other. We were amped to say the least. We had a babysitter until late that evening, read up on the visiting breweries, and had our pretzel necklaces ready. Yes, it was going to be a great day.
Riding with some of our neighbors deep into the country side of Ballston Spa, we arrived shortly after the doors opened for the VIP session. We were given a nice little goodie bag that included our tasting cup, a koozie (who doesn’t like those), a pen, and other whatnots. From that point, time just flew by as we enjoyed ourselves with the catered lunch and all-you-can-drink VIP beers. There were only a few points throughout the day that we actually paid attention to the time: one, being when the general session opened; two, when the Belgian tent opened; three, when Adirondack Brewery opened their special cask; and finally when the event was over. For several hours we were whirled into the madness of trying any sample we had never tried before as well as talking to any brewery representative.
One of the breweries, Wandering Star Craft Brewery, was an exciting find to see there since they had such a difficult time getting their licenses. Chris Post, owner and founder, was beyond amazing. He was generous enough to spend some time talking with us and even gave my husband a few pointers on home brewing. Another great discovery, which almost came too late in the day, was Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout; we were lucky enough to get samples from the last bottle! By the end of the event, we didn’t even come close to finishing our 15 samples. Although some pointed out to us that we were participating in “alcohol abuse” by not using all our vouchers, I like to think we truly enjoyed our samples while lounging in the shade of the VIP tent listening to the band play. It was, after all, a wonderful day.
All and all, the day lived up to what we imagine. Yes, there were some things this festival lacked in compared to other festivals, but for the 2nd year… Good job Saratoga Brewfest! I will definitely be there again next year and singing your praises to others. Festivals like these are always a great time and we always leave with a few extra friends. My biggest let down for the day, however, was from Adirondack Brewery with their cask “CocoWhat?”. This beer was an amazing five-gallon, once-in-a-lifetime, brew. It’s a shame this one doesn’t have a permanent place on their tap list to say the least. I can’t remember all the details, but it was aged in a rum barrel with vanilla and coconut. Sounds amazing right?
If you didn’t get a chance to go, no worries, there’s another beer festival around the corner. On July 23rd, the 2nd Annual Capital Region Craft Brewers Festival will be taking place at the Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy. I can guarantee that I’m already planning on attending and you should check back to see how it goes (of course I hope you join me there). However, if you did attend the Saratoga Brewfest, and hopefully you did, what was your favorite moment or sample you tried that day? Love to hear your thoughts! Cheers!