Last Friday night after work I walked the short distance down Seaport Blvd on Boston’s waterfront to The World Trade Center where the 2nd annual Mass Brewers Festival was being held. It was a picture-perfect night weather wise so I knew that there would be a lot of people showing up. I didn’t get there until about 8:30 so there was no line at the entrance which was great.
The Massachusetts Brewers Guild encompasses all of the state’s nano, pub, micro, and regional breweries and continuously deals with the state government to ensure fair representation in the commonwealth. The Mass Brewers Fest is one of the only fund-generating events the Guild puts on a year so a healthy attendance is very beneficial despite the lack of advertising dollars to promote it. It’s also the only opportunity for every Massachusetts brewer to set up a booth and pour their beer amongst themselves which is pretty cool.
Last year’s fest took place in the same location. Although despite the monsoon that occurred during the whole event, the fest was well attended considering the lack of advertising in it’s first year.
The upper floor of the World Trade Center is probably one of the most unique venues for a beer festival that I’ve ever been to. It’s basically a vast open space half indoors, half outdoors with huge open archways separating the two. All the booths were set up in the inside part while the outside was free for people to roam around and listen to the live entertainment while taking in glorious views of the Boston skyline.
Three Day Threshold performed, a rockabilly/country rock band from Boston, and really had the place going. Most of the people in attendance were 20-30 year old Boston locals so the energy was fairly high despite the long lines. People were well behaved for the most part and there wasn’t an overwhelming security presence which always makes for a more comfortable experience.
All in all this was a really great night especially for the Guild who were very pleased with the turnout from what I’ve heard from board members. The Massachusetts brewing scene got a lot of great exposure and I think a lot of people left with a new appreciation for their local beer. The best beer I had the whole night was the Hoponius Union brewed by the newly opened Jack’s Abbey Brewing in Framingham which was absolutely excellent. A cold fermented India Pale lager with a huge citrusy aroma. It was the last beer of the night that I had and put a nice cap on the event.
Support your local brewers! Drink local beer!
The lineup at the 2011 Mass Brewers Fest:
Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, Pumple Drumkin, The Grey Lady, Indie IPA
Honey Ale, Blessing
Wachusett Brewing Co.
Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Green Monsta IPA, Blueberry Ale, Octoberfest
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Steel Rail EPA, Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager, Berkshire Bock, Lost Sailor
The Boston Beer Company
Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Octoberfest, Chocolate Chili Bock, Imperial White, Maple Pecan Porter, Oaked Ale
Cambridge Brewing Company
Cambridge Amber, CBC HefeWeizen, Mind Left Body, The Black Ryder
Clementine White Ale, Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA, Hoppy Feet Black IPA
Notch Brewing Company
Notch Saison, Notch Pils, Notch Session Ale
UFO Pumpkin, IPA, Chocolate Stout, Uncle Fester
Watch City Brewing Company
Toasted Ah Ah Pale Ale, Titan German Red Ale, Monkey Monk Saison, BeeJezus Botanical Fruit Ale
Haverhill Brewery/ The Tap
Kolsch, Alt, German Pilsner, IPA, Pale Ale, India Schwarzbier
Gardner Ale House
Oma’s Altbier, Chair City Pale Ale, Summer’s End, The Hef
Blue Hills Brewery
IPA, Watermelon Wheat, Okto Brau, Antimatter, Imperial Red IPA
Pumpkin Ale, Octoberfest, Be Hoppy IPA, Buk Rye Pale
Frosty Knuckle Brewing Co.
Frosty Knuckle Ale, Helles Alt, Frosty Knuckle Sea Spray IPA
Ipswich Ale Brewery
20th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale, Ipswich Harvest Ale, Ipswich Oatmeal Stout, 375th Summer Barley Wine
Mayflower Brewing Co
Golden Ale, Porter, IPA, Autumn Wheat
Cape Ann Brewing
Greenhorn Double IPA, Fisherman’s Tea Party Barleywine
Cape Cod Beer
Cape Cod Red, Cape Cod IPA, Cape Cod Beach Blonde
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Jack D’Or, Baby Tree
Backlash Beer Co.
Amherst Brewing Co.
Anniversary Ale, Wedding Wit, Cascade IPA, Cask
Jack’s Abby Brewing
Smoke & Dagger, Copper Legend, Hoponius Union, Saxon Sons Pilsner Cask