Whereas most beer festivals cram as many people as possible into a cramped space for an all-you-can-drink free-for-all, the New York Super Craft Beer Festival, which came to the South Street Seaport’s Pier 15 last weekend, took a different approach. Along with the usual all-access passes (for the full day as well as afternoon and evening sessions) guests could purchase ticket packs for three, five, or 10 tastes, and the festival lasted from noon until 11 at night, so guests could come and go as they pleased.
Even though rain turned a sunny day into a dreary afternoon, the event was a lot of fun and definitely a success. A steady stream of guests coming and going prevented it from ever getting too crowded, and instead of focusing on one brand, tables set up on the pier featured several brands of the same style, including IPAs, lagers, dark beers, kolsch, pilsners, and sour ales. An ample selection of hard-to-find ciders was also welcome and a great way to get educated on the many styles out there. Needless to say, the view out over the river was also phenomenal.
The festival was looser and more casual than others we’ve attended, a spectacular way to sample beers and ciders while educating yourself on the many different styles, and an all-around great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Be on the lookout for it again next year.