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Beer Today, Beer Tomorrow

February 22, 2019

There may have been beer yesterday too. Actually, there was totally beer yesterday.

In between events on Thursday, I was putting up a little post about oysters on Instagram, and that’s when I saw a notification from my local beer store. They had received a case of 3 Fonteinen Cuvée Armand & Gaston. The limits were one bottle per person, and I just so happened to notice within the hour. So I made a beeline to the bottle shop and bought my full allotment.

This has been an incredible week for beer, and it just keeps on getting better. You do know what today is, don’t you? It’s the launch of the 2019 Capital Craft Beverage Trail passport! I’ll let you in on a little secret, I already got one, and it’s amazing.

Do you know what else is amazing? The latest line up for the Saratoga Beer Summit tomorrow! Hey, it’s Friday. If we’re going to talk about beer and other adult beverages, today is the day to do it.

So what makes these two things so amazing? I’m glad you asked.

Think about this. The Capital Craft Beverage Trail started just over three years ago. Back in 2015 it was the Albany Craft Beverage Trail and included just four spots, CH Evans Brewing, Albany Distilling Co, Nine Pin Cider Works, and Druthers Brewing.

Last year’s passport program was a lot of fun with over twenty different producers included. There were some people who completed the whole thing within a couple of weeks. This year the trail has doubled in size and there are over fifty different stops. It’s an incredible story about the growth of an industry, and the regional cooperation and collaboration of craft beverage producers.

I love these businesses and the people behind them, so I’m thrilled by this marketing promotion.

You can pick up one of the 2019 passports for free, starting today, at any of the producers who are on the trail. Here’s the full list. Just be advised to get those passports soon, because with more producers in the mix, you’re going to have to “work” a good bit harder to complete level four. 

The Saratoga Beer Summit on Saturday is not free, but it’s going to be incredible. How do I know? Because they recently updated their list of participating breweries, along with beers being poured at the event. I’m going to be there representing Yelp, but I’ll also be able to get a little bit of sampling in as well.

There are seriously some incredible beers being served. Here are a few that my beer nerd friends tend to get excited about:

Barrier Brewing Company from Oceanside, NY will pour its Money IPA
Cigar City Brewing from Tampa, FL will have its Jai Alai IPA
Equilibrium Brewery from Middletown, NY will sample its MC2 IPA
Goose Island Beer Co will have its 2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout
Troegs of Hershey, PA will have its famous once a year batch of Nugget Nectar
LIC Beer Project of Long Island City is bringing out its Coded Tiles American Pale Ale
Maine Beer Company is a new addition, and the Lunch IPA is a long time favorite
Oxbow Brewing Company from Newcastle, ME is bringing its Farmhouse Pale Ale
Plan Bee Farm Brewery from Poughkeepsie is pouring its American Wild Ale called Barn Beer

I’m personally curious to sample a few of the below for my own crazy reasons:
Brewery Ommegang’s Brut IPA, because those are two words I don’t associate with this brewery
CH Evans is bringing its Ditch Digger NEIPA, and hopefully also bringing Sam the brewer, who rocks
Burial Beer Co from Asheville, NC has its Surf Wax IPA which is gloriously in the west coast style

There are also amazing small local breweries like:
Common Roots from Glens Falls who will have its Snowy Night imperial stout
Frog Alley from Schenectady which is bringing its Re4resh IPA
Rare Form from Troy will be there with Freshy, its American lager
Royal Meadery of Delmar will be bringing up a couple of its meads
Unified Beerworks of Malta will sample the blackberry Fruit of All Evil sour

And this is just for starters. Because there are also many other beers I enjoy like Sloop Juice Bomb, Nine Pin Ginger, Lost Nation Mosaic IPA, Left Hand Nitro Stout, Ithaca Beer Company Flower Power, Half Acre Daisy Cutter, Guinness Stout, Collective Arts Life in the Clouds, Brown’s Brewing Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Adams New England Pale Ale, Bell’s Two Hearted, and more.

Even with this long list of beers, I’ve left out a lot. And surely I’ve missed a few remarkable ones as well. But without a doubt this is an incredible line up. Tickets are still available, but the first session is filling up. It’s $45 for three hours of sampling. Or if you wanted to go VIP and get an extra hour before the crowds arrived, it’s $65. That extra hour is totally clutch. Plus it’s such a treat to be in the hall for a little while before the masses.

Regardless what you do, I hope to see you there. And if you see the fellow with the red Yelp track jacket, please come up and say hi. I’ll even give you a little something for making the effort.


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