Part II: Will Mr. X Survive American Craft Beer Fest?
Thirty minutes into the evening session of Saturday’s American Craft Beer Fest, I realized I’d only made it down one row of tables. So I started to skip a booth here and there, which led me to my old friends at Smuttynose. Star Island Single? Nope. I really wanted to have some of their Vunderbar, which I tried for the first time a few weeks back and loved. But I wanted to try something new. So I went with their Single Session IPA. It was good, but I should’ve gone with the Vunderbar.
I wandered by the booths for Red Hook and Wachusett, but didn’t stop walking. After all, if I want to drink those, I can just go hang out with The Beer Drinker.
I stopped at the Tuckerman booth, and tried their Headwall Alt. It was OK, a good solid beer.
Then I swung by Stone Brewing, for some of their Imperial Russian. Wow. They know their beer. If I could only have one beer in my fridge, that might be it.
I decided not to have any Harpoon, and then found myself walking by the Oskar Blues tent. It appeared they were giving away necklaces made of their cans. But they’re another canned brewery whose beer I can’t stand. And the line was massive. I guess there’s no accounting for bad taste.
I swung by the Opa Opa booth, and sampled their blueberry. Laugh if you want, but I’ve always liked blueberry beer. They get bonus points for having real fruit — I got an actual blueberry in the sample. And if you tried their watermelon beer, it came with a wedge of watermelon.
With my beer adventure nearing an end, I decided to try a few more before departing. Duck Rabbit sounded interesting. The North Carolina brewery bills itself as “The Dark Beer Specialist.” We’ll see. I tried their Baltic Porter, and it was OK, but not great. They may want to consider changing their slogan. Because if that’s their specialty, I’d hate to try their shitty beer.
On my way out, I wanted to try some Clown Shoes. I think I’ve only had their beer once, but The Beer Drinker raves about it. But the line was huge. I love ya Clown Shoes, but… In the end, though, I decided to wait. It gave me time to text The Beer Drinker and gloat about all the great beer I was getting to sample. I wound up going with their Tramp Stamp IPA. With a name like that, how could I not? It was quite good. It was flowery, a bit like Harpoon, only with more of a bitter aftertaste.
By 7 o’clock, the ACBF had become a bit of a mess, sort of what I had expected before I walked in. There were so many people that you had to wait in line for almost every beer, and some of the waits were 15-20 minutes, which is too long for my taste. If I had paid 50 bones to get in, I would have been pretty unhappy.
Next up was Haverhill Brewery, located just north of Boston. I had their Black Lager, and like so many others, it was good but not great.
I decided to end my night with a stop by the Widmer table, sampling their Black IPA, which is one of my favorites. Still no Rob Widmer. They said he was walking around, drinking beer. Good man.
Oh wait, is that a “Let’s Go Bruins” chant starting up? Time to go. See you next year, ACBF.
Mr. X is a contributor to the Beer Drinking Report.