TAP New York is 17 — and boy, how our little festival has grown. What once was a gathering of a hundred or so beer-drinkers and craft brewers has now blossomed into the self-proclaimed “largest and longest-running craft beer festival in New York State.”
Of course, it owes much of its success to the region’s wildly growing craft beer industry; here at the mag, we like to joke that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a new Hudson Valley brewery. Not that we mind: Held at Hunter Mountain, the weekend-long celebration offers everything from ales to weissbiers — about 250 individual beers in all — from nearly 80 of the state’s breweries, including several from the Valley (full list of confirmed Valley breweries below).
The Newburgh Brewing Company is serving a cask of its yet-to–be released XYLEM SAISON, a special ale made with sap from Crown Maple Syrup, while the Dutch Ale House in Saugerties can bus you to the event for $85 (which includes admission, a T-shirt, and even brews on the bus).
The breweries are all vying for coveted awards, such as “Best Craft Beer in New York State” (last year’s honor went to Peekskill Brewery for its Higher Standard Imperial IPA, in case you were wondering).
Naturally, there’s plenty of grub for those looking to soak up all that booze. Guests can nosh on dishes inspired by regional fare; enjoy daily cooking demonstrations; and sample goods from two dozen vendors, including artisan goat cheeses, sausages, cinnamon-roasted nuts, and venison jerky. Pick up souvenirs, too: cigars, home brew kits, beverage gadgets, and even scarves and “beer jewelry” (we’re intrigued) are all available.
Though the festival is for those 21-and-up (sorry, kids), there’s still plenty to do if you’re not partaking in the sudsy festivities. Raffles, live music by local bands, and overnight packages on the mountain provide enough fun for designated drivers and their lager-lovin’ friends alike. Now here’s a weekend we can raise a toast to!
TAP New York
Apr. 26-27: Sat. 1-5 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m. $56-$68 early rate, $62-72 at the door, $105 two-day pass, $20 designated driver pass
Hunter Mountain, Hunter. 518-263-4223; www.tap-ny.com