During either session festival goers will experience a “true celebration of American craft beer[s]” from local breweries such as Blue Point Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery, and Sixpoint Craft Ales being among the 75 featured brewers. While attempting to sample all 150 high-quality seasonal brews sample the specially prepared food designed to be paired with each tasting. The food court will include menu items such as a grilled cheddarwusrt topped with green apple on a pretzel roll, vegetarian soft tacos, and a little something called the Frito Pie made with fresh chili, sour cream, chives, and sharp cheddar cheese, all served on a bed of Frito Lays chips.
Besides sampling some the best craft pours and tasting the outrageous food court’s menu, festival goers can actually learn a thing or two about the beers they love. Seminars will be held by leading Craft Beer and food experts. Each seminar will be a first-come, first-serve basis with a limit of 50 guests in order to keep the seminars intimate. Hayley Jensen, Beer Sommelier at Taproom No. 307, will speaking about which beers are perfect pairings for each food court offering. You better leave some room for dessert! Clay Gordon, author of Discover Chocolate, will also be holding a seminar dedicated to discussing the complexities of pairing fine chocolate with brew in order to enhance the flavors of each. A full list of seminars can be found on the festival website. If you miss out on a seminar you had in mind, never fear. Brewer representatives will also be available at the taps to help educate and answer any questions you may have about their product.
VIP and Connoisseur tickets will also be for sale. These ticket holders will be allowed to enter the Armory’s main drill floor an hour early in order to sample the beer, explore a new brewery, and snack before general ticket holders have access. Connoisseur ticket holders, although only a limited number will be sold, can enjoy such perks as The Connoisseur’s Lounge where judges from the NY International Beer Competition will be sampling the winners of the trade only February 26th competition held at Jimmy’s No. 43. The Lounge will be an ideal environment for beer sommeliers in training, with live, acoustic, early twentieth-century country, blues, ragtime, and folk influenced music while having the chance to pick the brains of the International Beer Competition judges.