NYC Craft Beer Festival: Spring Seasonals

On Saturday the Handcrafted Tasting Company brought its NYC Craft Beer Festival back to the Lexington Avenue Armory. Beer from over 70 craft breweries poured alongside tasty offerings from NYC restaurants like Tavern 29 and Coopers Craft and Kitchen.

The Armory (Lexington Ave between 25th and 26th) was a great setting for the event, which, while crowded, never felt cramped.

The beer highlight for us was the 2013 Founders KBS (left), which had its NYC debut at the festival. We really geek out for that beer, and it did not disappoint.

We led one of the three seminars, discussing what the definition of “craft” beer really is and conducting a blind tasting of two pairs of beers, one craft and one not. The first pairing was Blue Moon and Allagash White, the second was Widmer Rotator Series IPA and Alesmith IPA. Props to Widmer here, because many of our seminar participants thought it was the craft beer. Which proved the point of our discussion, because Widmer is a notable casualty of the Brewers Association definition. Though it uses its own recipes and retains creative control, a 35% ownership by Anheuser-Busch InBev means it cannot be called “craft.”

In our opinion, the definition of “craft” is outdated, and probably should go the way of “gourmet,” also not a good descriptor. The audience responses we got to Blue Moon and Widmer underscored this theory. A thought-provoking discussion. Thanks everyone who attended our seminar, we had a great crowd!

Top photo by Mitch Tobol. Bottom and cover photos by Robin Stevenson

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