If you haven't figured it out yet, TAP NY is pretty much exclusively for NY breweries, but there is an exception. New Jersey's own High Point Brewing, was on hand offering up quality brews, including: Double Platinum Blonde, Imperial Pilsner and the ever delicious Maibock. Being from the Garden State ourselves, we are privy of the Ramstein brew and love the fact they are able to share their delicious beer at this great festival.
High Point Brewing qualified to be part of TAP NY, in the early days, back when it was just Hudson Valley breweries. The man you see above , Head Brewer and President; Greg Zaccardi, physically took a ruler to a map and discovered that he was "within range" of Â the Hudson Valley region and qualified to have his beer at the festival full of NY breweries. Some of the NY breweries may frown at this, expecially when he takes home an award for one of his quality brews, but good beer is good beer. Congratulations by the way on taking home gold with Double Platinum Blonde!
Chatham Brewing, from Chatham NY had an amazing ESB. I had to go back for a refill...such a good brew.
One point of interest at the festival was the Suprenant's Berry Farm stand. They had home-made craft beer jellies and jams for sale. We had some samples, really enjoyed the spicier red pepper/garlic varieties more so than the sweet jellies.
Another unique vendor was Spacey Tracey's. They specialized in pickled items such as garlic, peppers, carrots, and (of course) pickles.
They had a nice spread out for people to sample the goods. Pickled garlic was amazing!
Now, back to the beer - we thought the best brews at the festival were from Three Heads Brewing located Â in Rochester, NY. Â While all their beers were quite delicious, their "Black Skunk" black IPA really stood out. A phenomenal beer.
I should have gotten one of these shirts, to represent! The designs come from a local Rochester artist, pretty sweet.
Schmaltz Brewing was on site, with offerings from both the Hebrew and Coney Island series. They brought out a fresh barrel of their famous Sword Swallower (an IPA brewed with lager yeast - India Pale Lager?).
They even found some of their brews turned into to jelly from the guys over at Suprenants Berry Farm.
As an outsider from the filthy foothills of New Jersey, I'm not too familiar with a lot of the NY breweries in attendance. Despite that, I was satisfied with some exceptional brews - especially Olde Saratoga Brewing's IPA and Barley Wine.
Half Time Beverage was on hand as well. They have the biggest selection of craft and micro brews in the world. Hell, not only do they have thousands of beers from around the world in one place, you can go for a growler fill and even buy from them online. I think a trip there is due in the near future.
Greenport Harbor Brewing from Green Port, NY has an awesome logo and great beer to boot. We chit chatted with Rich Vandenburgh briefly, super nice guy, I do believe we will be taking a field trip to their facilities in the future as well.
They were one of the few that had a cask beer in their line up. It was there Ahtamatic IPA ,which is essentially, their Disorient IPA but brewed with Ahtanum hops.
Crossroads Brewing had some really good brews... I started off with their Outrage IPA which took home the John Calen Memorial Award for best English style Pale Ale. Not to long after sampling that, I noticed that they too had some cask beer which was their Outrage IPA. The cask version was dry hopped and smoother- We preferred the cask version over its force carbonated twin. Congrats on the award guys!
Overall, TAP NY was a great time. Both the food and the beer we're enjoyed by everyone. Hunter Mountain did a fantastic job organizing and handling the event; I couldn't think of better venue for a statewide NY beer/food festival such as TAP. We're looking forward to next years event, and hope after seeing our experience, you are as well!