The Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Festival: Summer 2014

Mike Fitzgerald, co-owner, Growler & Gill

Mike Fitzgerald, co-owner, Growler & Gill

We had a blast at Growler & Gill’s Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Festival this past weekend! How could you not have a great time on a gorgeous 80-degree Saturday in the beautiful suburbs of Rockland County, surrounded by more than 50 of the country’s top craft brewers? (Click here to check out our “NY Bottles” article about Growler & Gill.)

Some of our favorites included many local beers. The two standouts were Defiant’s Orange Cream Beer, which tasted just like an orange creamsicle, and Carton’s Rickey wild ale, made with sour cherries and lime, which had strong blue and aged-Parmesan cheese aromas that was cut nicely by the citrusy tart cherry and lime flavors.

Carton's Rickey wild ale, made with cherries and lime

Carton’s Rickey wild ale, made with cherries and lime

Defiant's Orange Cream Beer

Defiant’s Orange Cream Beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also really liked Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche that was “Randalized” by passing the tart peach Berlinner Weisse through a tube filled with sweet, fresh summer fruits. Doing this took the bite off the tart sour beer. It was so delicious that we had to go back for seconds … and thirds.

Dogfish Head Randallized Festina Peche

Dogfish Head Randallized Festina Peche

The beer wasn’t the only great thing about the festival—so was the food. We had top-notch pulled pork sandwiches thanks to Bailey’s Smokehouse. In the VIP room we snacked on some delicious kielbasa, pot stickers, cheese and other tasty bites that complimented some of the rare beer. We especially appreciated  Firestone Walker’s Sucaba, a bourbon-barrel aged barleywine, and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout on draft.

Bailey's Smokehouse BBQ

Bailey’s Smokehouse BBQ

Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout

Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout

And one of the best parts of having a beer festival at a beer store is being able to take some of the world’s best craft beer bottles to go! We had to fill a sixer of Jack’s Abby’s Mass Rising and Hoponious Union IPL—two of our favorite hoppy beers.

We can’t wait for next year, because we’re sure the Growler & Gill team will somehow top this year’s amazing event!

 

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