By Chad Polenz, Beer Nut Blogger
There’s a blog I’ve been meaning to write for a while called, “Why I don’t go to beer fests anymore.” The glaring exception to that would be the awesome TAP New York Craft Beer & Fine Food Festival held every year on the last weekend in April at Hunter Mountain. I’ll write that other blog someday, but for now let me tell you about this year’s beer fest.
Actually, there isn’t much to “report on” as far as news and events. As great as this beer fest is, it’s essentially the same thing every year – and it’s probably the only event where that’s a good thing. About the only thing that changes from year to year is that it keeps getting bigger and bigger. I counted 94 total breweries listed in the program guide (though four of those are cideries). I’d say 2015 was the year that TAP New York officially became a little too big. By which I mean it was so big that I did not get to try a beer from every brewery’s table – not even over the course of two days.
It also makes me wonder how big this festival can become. There’s obviously limited space for tables both indoors and out. I assume someday they will have to limit the number of breweries in attendance. But if so, how will they decide who makes the cut? Is there a chance TAP New York could be extended to a three-day event? And why-oh-why does Hunter Mountain continue to hold the event in April when it’s so cold outside? Last year it was probably below freezing with the wind chill and it was only slightly warmer this year (less windy, but equally cloudy). Holding a cold glass of beer with your bare hand in winter-like weather is no fun.
Here are a couple of local Greene County favorites:
- Too Many Cooks IPA by Crossroads Brewing Company: This was actually a collaboration brew between Crossroads and several other breweries in the Hudson Valley. I was at the brewpub the day they made this and was at their table when it was tapped at 2pm on Saturday. This was a great IPA with delicious hop choices.