Down in the (Hudson) Valley

Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Festival

I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion.
                  — Miguel de Cervantes

Now *this* was an occasion! The festival name is a little long, but the event was just right. Saturday June 6, D-Day, with 53 breweries pouring over 88 brews, and 5 cideries pouring another half dozen libations. Two 3-hour sessions, or 4-hour sessions (with additional choices) for those who purchased VIP tickets.


Many of my favorite breweries were represented. To mention just a few: Allagash, Ballast Point, Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Ommegang, Stone, Unibroue, etc., etc., and two that I just reviewed recently, Knee Deep and Jack’s Abby. I generally skipped beers that I have tasted in the past, and I skipped the sours.

It was mildly scary to realize that only about 7 of the 53 breweries were new to me. I made sure to try these (though now I realize I missed one). Many of these new ones are local. To briefly list those I tried: Altech, Alphabet City, Peekskill, Roscoe, and Speakeasy, plus Cigar City and Other Half where I might have had them before. To call out a few beers in particular, Altech Kentucky Bourbon Ale, Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale, and Roscoe Trout Town Red Ale.

Perhaps I let down my faithful readers , but I did *not* take notes at the event. I was there to taste rather than to review, and besides, after 20 or 30 tastes my reviews might be a bit too favorable, kind of a variant on beer goggles.


My brother in law and my sister in law’s boyfriend came with me, and I feel like I let them down a little. Their tastes don’t range as widely as mine (i.e. they don’t like hoppy beer), but usually I’m pretty good at pointing people to brews that they will like. I thought they would like the Pale Wheats, and those were a bust for them. However, I was able to direct them to some sure things, like Unibroue La Fin Du Monde and Ommegang Fleur de Houblon. You may notice a theme there. A couple of others were the Cigar City Maduro and the Firestone Walker Opal. In any case, they had a great time.

Many, many thanks to my wife for making this possible. The problem I have with beer festivals is getting home safely and legally after doing justice to a $50 admission. Last year I looked into using cabs to and from, but that would have added $60 each way! This year, she volunteered to drive the three of us over and pick us up afterward.

Thanks also to Growler & Gill for hosting the event, and congrats on doing a fine job.

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One thought on “Down in the (Hudson) Valley

  1. Mike

    Glad you enjoyed our event. I too was pleasantly surprised by new comer Roscoe brewing co. La fin du Monde was no surprise though – always a favorite. Cheers! Mike.

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