Libations + Bites = NYC’s Good Beer Festival 2016

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“Of course I want to take care of this planet, it’s the only one that has beer.” – Jared Geraci

Together a few good bites and alcohol can only give an event loud laughs and happy memories (or no memories at all).  The Good Beer Festival is all about great under-the-radar beers and some really good food.  This year, the event took place downtown in the financial district and stood to be quite an experience for someone like me, who isnt too well-versed in beer. But I can tell you, I actually now know what good beer tastes like.

Warning: This post is not for those who value their abs.

I am a lover of all libations but I could never really tell you what a good beer was.  I would just ask the men around me what they were ordering and going along with their decisions.  While alcohol education is becoming more of a valuable skill for me, I have still barely touched the world of beer. This event really changed that for me.

Food festivals are a great place to really learn about your tastes and what you like.  The difference between restaurants and food festivals is a sort of one-on-one experience with the more knowledgeable staff than simply just walking into a bistro. While a waiter could tell you about everything we have on the menu; a food festival provides a much simpler one or two offerings that I would image are chosen by the restaurant as their best dish.  This really evokes what the restaurant stands for. The two or three people at the stand can give you the rundown about the offerings, where it is sourced from, how it was made, and the inspiration behind it.  This gives you such a deeper look into the restaurant itself.

The venue was corporate: tall ceilings, panoramic windows, and pretty lighting fixtures, but that didn’t make it any less fun.

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The Good Beer Festival featured over 20 restaurants and 25 breweries. I tried nearly all of them before my stomach wanted to give out on me.  Who would ever think so many tasting size servings, could make you so full?

Here’s my top 5 round-up based on taste and service:

  1. Tröegs Independent Brewing

What I tried: The Perpetual IPA – 7.5% ABV American IPA

Why I loved it: A unique, rich taste.  A strong beer without being too bitter and balancing out a fruity flavor.

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2. Paulaner 

What I tried: The Hefeweizen and Munich Lager

Why I loved it: As told by the brewer himself–“Brewed just like in Germany, this is a top-fermented, unfiltered beer that is why it is so golden in color.” This is also all brewed onsite in NYC in Bowery.

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3. Delivery Only

What I tried: Nashville Hot Legs

Why I loved it: Delicious, crispy, dark red chicken-with a great spice and served with pickles.  Call me “mainstream” but Nashville Hot Chicken has my heart–it is also the big thing for food bloggers right now. The service was top-notch (even when they ran out at the event). Note to vendor: Please start delivering to Midtown!

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4. Kat & Theo’s

What I tried: Local Upstate NY Braised Bacon with Summer Peach, Almond, and Basil

Why I loved it: Bacon so fresh, I could’ve taken down the whole stand myself.  I’m not a big fan of sweet and salty but the balance was out of dream, taking nothing away from the crispy full flavored bacon.

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5. Flinder’s Lane

What I tried: Coconut & Crab Curry Laksa

Why I loved it: Firstly, I will say this Australian restaurant has been bookmarked on my Yelp.  But the coconut and crab curry was delicious although I did wish they turned up the heat.  The combination of bean sprouts and crab flavor created a royal mixture balanced with the coconut milk.  Something different for the tastebuds to enjoy.

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See more photos below.

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All in all, the event was a lot of fun and I suggest it to anyone is who looking for new craft beers in the city but doesn’t know where to start.

For a list of all vendors and participants, see the full list here.

If you have anywhere you would like me to explore or have any feedback, please feel free to contact me at francesca@coutureinthesuburbs.com.

 

All photos provided by Jared Geraci.

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