Boston has quite a few local beer festival every year, from the ones at the Armory in Somerville or at the Seaport World Trade Center. This time around, it was at Space 57 at the edge of the Theater District that we headed on a wonderful, fall evening for the first of three sessions of the Fall to Winter Festival.
The organizers of this event, Drink Craft Beer, did a wonderful job gathering not only local breweries but local businesses as well. From delicious Roxy grilled cheeses to Grillo pickles and Union Square Donut goodies, our stomachs were kept quite satisfied as we made our way from table to table to sample some of the 80+ available brews.
One thing that stood out, as I had somewhat anticipated, is the presence of not one, not two but five (!) speciality cideries present at the event. Harpoon also poured some of their cider as well. So if beer isn’t your thing.. well… what the hell are you doing at a beer festival.
So all of the beers and ciders came from VT, ME, CT and MA. It was all local and everything was pretty damn tasty. Most of the pours weren’t hop-centric and it was more of a malt-heavy and barrel-aged beer kind of night. Lots of porters, stouts and a few experimental ones as well. Jack’s Abby poured a cinnamon and nutmeg version of their barrel-aged Smoke & Dagger which was outstanding as was Wormtown Brewing‘s Sweet Tats stout. Night Shift Brewing had some gems in there as well like their Fallen Apple and Chinooknation and Harpoon did something unique: they poured 50% of their cider with 50% of their Winter Warmer which they called an ‘apple pie’ and which was delicious.
One big surprise there was a fairly recent newcomer to the scene: High Horse Brewing out of Amhrest. They presented four very different beer and on top of that had a cask ale available as well. Their latter was a smoked ale which was finished with some maple syrup. Really tasty stuff. Smuttynose also had some interesting beers like their red wine barrel-finished scotch ale which was great. All in all, there was a fantastic selection of very unique beers from a lot of various breweries, small and big. A lot of them weren’t afraid of experimenting either or putting a unique twist on their beers. Much like Berkshire Brewing Company did when you asked for their ‘secret’ beer which was one of their beers finished with some vanilla syrup of sorts. It was great.
And to top things off, the food available was great. From the free Grillo’s pickle spears (mustard or beer pickles) to the Union Square Donut’s maple bacon donut (!) and Roxy’s grilled cheese sandwiches, it was all very tasty. The people were great, the space was great (although a tad small as things got busy) and my only two negatives for the evening was that while we got in line before 6PM, we didn’t actually get in until almost 6:25PM even though the event was scheduled to start at 6PM. It took a long time, this despite the fact that EventBrite’s app makes it super quick to scan tickets via the mobile app… Oh and my other complaint was that Wormtown Brewing’s Norm coconut stout wasn’t available despite being listed on the site. I was bummed. But these minor complaints aside, everything was pretty great, and good times were had. I hope this is an annual thing.