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Mar 2 / Josh

Springtime and Beertime

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On Saturday, March 30th, 2013, beer lovers of all steins will gather once again for the NYC Craft Beer Festival, which returns to the Lexington Avenue Armory (68 Lexington Ave.) in Manhattan.  Featuring 75 of America’s best craft breweries, with approximately 150 different selections to tantalize even the most cultivated taste buds, this year’s Festival will highlight spring craft releases—many of which are in extremely limited batches.  In addition, a number of renowned NYC restaurants, including The Guilty Goose, Coopers Craft & Kitchen, and Tavern29, will offer food samples intended to complement various seasonal beer pairings at the Festival.

A few smaller but noteworthy craft breweries in attendance will include: Bronx Brewery (Bronx, NY) Captain Lawrence Brewing Company (Elmsford, NY), Cricket Hill Brewing Company (Fairfield, NJ), and Keegan Ales (Kingston, NY).  The Hand Crafted Tasting Company (www.handcraftedtasting.com), which is well known for quality tasting events that “pair beer and spirits with delicious, local food purveyors and restaurateurs,” will host this event on heals of a very successful Winter Harvest Festival, held on Dec. 1st of 2012.  In addition, leading craft beer and homebrew experts will host a few very intimate, 50 person (first-come, first served) seminars, while many brewery representatives will be available at the taps to educate the guests about their liquid offerings.  Douglas Amport from homebrew store Bitter & Esters will also be on hand to teach people the basics of Home Brewing.  In his discussion, Douglas will cover all the basics of brewing and provide all the essential resources to brew your beer in your own apartment in no time.

Now, time for the food…

Here at Epicurean Musician, we always get excited to know ahead of time what tasty morsels await us at any given festival.  Fortunately for us—and you!—the NYC Craft Beer Festival is sure to bring the culinary heat… Warning: Sampling all of the following may or may not induce sensory overload!

Gourmet snacks available for purchase will include:

  • Stout braised pulled pork sandwiches with chipotle barbecue on a brioche bun;
  • Turkey and Swiss with house aioli, beer mustard, toasted country boule;
  • Veggie Chili with black and Cannellini beans with a tomato base;
  • Roasted & sliced porketta sandwich on toasted baguette with BBQ sauce;
  • Spicy chicken tacos made with pulled roasted chicken, mole sauce and Napa slaw;
  • Triple cream gluten-free mac and cheese;
  • Jalapeno guacamole with cilantro lime chips;
  • Hickory smoked chicken empanadas with charred tomato sauce;
  • Steak skewers with grilled grass-fed hanger steak, bell peppers, and ancho bourbon BBQ sauce

Not to be outdone, however, Saturday’s event will include a full-service “Connoisseurs’ Lounge” for those ultra-refined palates.  The NYC Craft Beer Festival will provide all Connoisseur-ticketed customers the opportunity to mingle in this relaxed setting with top brewery representatives and industry experts (and live music!), all while enjoying “free-flowing taps of special brews and complimentary finger foods” provided by NYC favorites Draught 55 Bar and Kitchen, Firebird Restaurant, and Pennsylvania 6.  A complete list of these extra-special treats include:

From Draught 55:

  • Slow roasted pork belly with maple brown sugar sauce & Founder’s Ale-soaked pickled cucumber;
  • Grilled raclette cheese with brick oven-baked lard bread, smoked bacon, and fresh chopped tomatoes;
  • Prosciutto-wrapped bleu cheese burger bites with pecan porter aioli;
  • Mini Allagash-glazed meatloaf with caramelized onions & potato puree

From Firebird Restaurant:

  • Beef stroganoff in puff pastry;
  • Mini chicken kiev with khren veloute;
  • Wild mushrooms and lamb vereniki with dill crème fraiche;
  • Lobster kasha mac and cheese with truffle essence

And from Pennsylvania 6:

  • Slow-roasted pork shoulder marinated in fish sauce, sugar, chilis, & lemongrass—gilled & sliced, served on toasted baguette with pickled daikon radish, carrot, cucumber, jalepenos, cilantro, & plain mayonnaise;
  • Beef short ribs braised for 3-4 hours in dark stout, with vegetables & herbs served with carrot puree & a balsamic jus made with veal stock—garnished with Brussels sprout leaves & roasted cipollini onions;
  • Burrata served with oven-dried tomatoes & broken kalamata olives that have been tossed in sherry vinaigrette—accompanied by crusty Italian bread that has been brushed with extra virgin olive oil then grilled

Whew!!! We’re going to have to bring our A-game appetite for this one!  Tickets are almost sold out, so be sure to visit their website by clicking here and purchase yours soon!  The NYC Craft Beer Festival will offer two sessions, from 12:30 PM-4:00 PM, and from 6:00 PM-9:30 PM.  Ticket options range from the Connoisseur’s Package (with access to the Connoisseur’s Lounge for the entire 3.5 hour-long event) at $125; to the VIP (which includes an extra advance hour of tasting) at $75; and the General Admission (which includes a souvenir tasting glass) at $55.  Day-of tickets will each be $10 more, so get yours today!

We are very much looking forward to the top-shelf brews and gourmet delicacies to be offered at this spring’s NYC Craft Beer Festival.  If you love good beer and good food, especially together, you surely won’t want to miss this event!  Spread the word, sound the alarms, and grab some buds for this fantastic NYC experience.

Thanks to Aaron for writing this preview and getting us excited for this fantastic beer festival later this month!

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