This was one hell of a good time. We lost out on tickets since it sold out soo fast. We had a friend that knew a guy, that could help us. lol We ended up volunteering to help pour beer during the tasting. Next year we will try to get tickets.
We arrived fairly early on Friday morning, around 11am and there were quite a few campers already grabbing the prime camp spots. We grabbed a good spot of land next too a group that were from Mayflower Brewing in Plymouth Mass. They were a great bunch of people, very accomodating and had no shortage of beers. They had 4 from Mayflower on tap and offered us all we wanted. There were some people from the Moan and Dove in Amherst Mass as well, I didn't catch the name I think he owns the place.
We heard good and bad things about the VIP dinner on Friday night. They said the food was great and no shortage of beer. Dinner was multiple courses all paired with beers from Ommegang and Duvel and others from the parent import company. The volunteers made off with a lot of the left over beer, it seems like there was a LOT left over.
Friday night was by far a big party night. They showed "The Big Lebowski" on the big inflatible screen at 10pm. I saw people from all the participating breweries as well as some new ones(like Mayflower) and some that did not come to serve for the tasting, but came bearing beer for tasting
There was also some campsites with multiple cornies of homebrew on tap.
Saturday was easy going, as pourers we had to attend some New York mandated TIPS training, mostly it was how to deal with drunk people. Nothing about pouring. lol
We volunteered for setup and pouring from 12-4pm, the tasting ran from 2-6pm. For volunteering for 4 hours, we got our camping and tasting for free and a case of Ommegang beer. I got a case of 12 750ml bottles and my wife a case of 24 12oz bottles. I'd say a good deal. I almost worked a second shift for another case, because the people who volunteered for 4-8pm never showed to our brewers table. Apparently this happens a lot and no one seemed to care. I guess too many people enjoyed the 2-4 tasting and were too hammered to pour.
After we retrieved our beer and stashed it in the car, we went to the tasting. And wow...... what a time and what a carnival of beers. There were a lot of one-off's and beers not seen in a long time.
Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA thru the RANDALL(hopback)
Dogfish Head's Festina Pêche my wife loved it.
Ironhill's Ring of Fire Porter - porter aged in Tobasco barrels
Unibrou - all of it, especially the Quelque Chose which is so very cherry.
Stone Brewing's Vertical Epic 070707 that was aged in red wine barrels
Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgance Stout coming soon to stores for the season, we saw it in their conditioning warehouse on the tour!!
Ommegang also has some of their Hennepin aging in Howe's Caverns until Christmas, so that ought to be awesome as well.
Russian River ran out of beer before I got to them, From the pictures I saw they were very popular.
There is probably more, but in under two hours I was pretty much toast. Some brewers were pouring too much, like full tasting glasses. I ended up wasting their beer really.
Saturday night was laid back, as most people drank way too much. The midnight bonfire started early, but it was cool. Some band played some wild rhythmic stuff way into the night.
Sunday we hit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and headed home to Rochester.