Drink Craft Beer Springfest, Friday evening VIP Session
Last weekend was Drink Craft Beer Springfest: A Celebration of Hops. And what a celebration it was! So many great beers that make me proud to live in this beautiful state. I was lucky enough to volunteer for two sessions: the Friday night VIP session and the Saturday evening session.
Being part of the VIP session was really neat. Each brewer brought their own special VIP brew, served only on Friday night. Some brought new brews, others brought special variations on beloved brews. Backlash brought a cask-conditioned Declaration, which was delicious. But perhaps the most special (and perhaps even the most tasty) was the test batch of Slumbrew‘s Sittin’ on Hop of the World, a delicious white IPA with peaches! I’m glad I got to try it, and it will be interesting to see what changes are made (if any) based on the feedback they got from that evening. Another good one was Peak Organic‘s cask conditioned Spring Simcoe – another great summery brew.
There were a lot of familiar faces with new brews – Backlash had Salute, their American IPA, which launched during Boston Beer Week. Night Shift had a early preview of their second release of Ever Weisse, a delicious kiwi, hibiscus and strawberry sour, which was officially released at Everlocal 2, held on April 16 (more on that later). Notch, second in my heart only to Slumbrew, brought their latest brew, Left of the Dial, their first IPA offering.
One of the most exciting things this time around was seeing the newer breweries. I had met Bill from Newburyport Brewing Company during Boston Beer Week, and I was super excited to see him again at Springfest. It was really neat hearing his story about how he and Chris founded NBPT, and how their love of music and beer brought them together – not only do they run NBPT together, they’re also in a band! I tried their Pale Ale, and let me tell you, it was delicious. I told everyone I could to try it. It’s light and refreshing and definitely something I could see myself drinking all summer. They come in cans, which is nice for lightweights like me. Chris told me their cans will debut in Boston in a few months, and I can’t wait! I’ve already made plans with a few friends to try to head up to Newburyport so we don’t have to wait that long to enjoy some more of their brews 😀 Their brewery is slated to open for tours in August.
There was a lot of good food there too! Bon Me had this really great pulled pork sandwich with a miso green salad. They also had deviled tea eggs, which weren’t really deviled (they just put some spicy sauce on a cooked tea egg) but still really good. It had a nice heat to it and the tea egg was well made. Roxy’s Grilled Cheese had their Green Muenster (muenster, guacamole, and bacon!) as well as their Rookie (classic cheddar and tomato). The food corner was nice and steamy and full of many delicious smells. Q’s Nuts had samples a-flowing, and they were so delicious and I ended up getting one of my co-workers addicted to them when I shared some with him at work the week after. And of course there’s Grillo’s Pickles. Ever since I tried some of their pickles at SoWA last summer, I can’t quit them. Their spicy ones are so good! And for DCB’s fest they throw hops into the brine, giving the pickles a delicious hoppy flavor to them. I can’t resist a cute bearded guy offering free Grillo Pickles. 😀
One of the other neat things about local beer festivals like the ones DCB hosts is that you get a lot of repeat volunteers (like me!) And I feel really blessed because I’ve been able to meet a lot of really cool people, as well as make some new friends! Plus, Jeff and Devon are really awesome guys who are very passionate about good craft beer. It’s always a pleasure volunteering for their events, it’s hard to believe last July’s Summerfest was their first one due to how well they’re run! Everyone – brewers, volunteers, staff, food vendors – brought their A game and it was awesome.
Tickets for the second annual Summerfest are now on sale! Last year’s Summerfest was my first exposure to the local craft beer scene and it’s definitely worth checking out! Even better, it’s in Boston so it’s a little easier to get to than the Armory 🙂 You can buy tickets here: http://drinkcraftbeer.com/summerfest