Beer festivals are a popular pastime. With the emergence of a lot of new brewers of craft beer appear more and more festivals where you can enjoy a beer.
During the planning of a trip to New York, a friend gave me a tip about the OctFest, a beer festival in Brooklyn with music, and lots of (mostly local) breweries. Ideal for a Saturday afternoon.
Tickets for OctFest were $ 60 per person, or 100 if you are two. That seems like a lot of money, but for that price you get quite a bit back. So, you could have unlimited trials. At most beer festivals, you need next to the entrance for the coins to pay. Here so not. In addition, there was help of website Pitchfork, for the musical line-up. This consisted mostly of indie-rock: Guided by Voices, Built to Spill and Okkervil River. All in all, a pretty good idea of value for money.
The location of the festival was the Brooklyn Hangar, a large hangar in the south-west of Brooklyn. Now is still a mainly raw mix of old industry and dilapidated buildings, but here and there you could already see what the new and hip companies. It could just be that in a few years the new hotspot of New York. It did make me a little thought to the Islet in Antwerp, but many times larger.
The festival consisted of 2 floors in the Hangar and a small outdoor area. There were, among others, the toilets and a few food trucks. These trucks were pretty pricey and later in the day there were long queues. So that’s a point for improvement for the organizers. Because it is the first edition of OctFest is, we consider it as a childhood illness.
The supply of beer was quite large. It is impossible to be everything to taste. There were no less than 40 breweries, most of which is so New York came. Only a handful were foreign, including Weihenstephan (still not as well known in the US), and it is always good Camden Town in London. Early because I was indoors, I could still easily go along all the stands to make a first inventory and to determine which beers I really wanted to do was taste it.
In the end I had 20 beers tasted. Because the tasting glasses still were smaller than I of Dutch festivals know was that easy to do. Also, the brewers are more than willing to have everything about their beers and the brewery to tell. In addition, shared some brewers goodies like stickers, linen bags, shirts and caps. Nice to see that everyone was so enthusiastic!
Beer from the United States
The quality of the beer was very high. Those developments in the bierwereld a little bit of follow, you will know that currently the beer from the USA is very good. Maybe even better than the beer from Europe. Therefore, it was nice to get acquainted with a few interesting new names.
For example, Threes Brewing out of Brooklyn, who with especially with their Home-pils impression. Or the also Brooklyn-born Five Boroughs Brewing Co. From this brewery, tasted I the Gose with yogurt and the very hoppy IPA. The Canadian Collective Arts Brewing fell in with the beautiful artwork on the cans. Their Guava Gose with pink salt from the Himalayas was very good. The Bronx Brewery had a great Rye IPA and the best beer of the day came from Adirondack Brewery of Lake George in the state of New York. Their Purée: Apricot was a barrel aged wild and sour beer with a lot of lightly sour apricot.
And then there was music! In the great hall of the Brooklyn Hangar was a strong line-up ,of which I have the first three bands I have seen. I’m not to the end the same, as 20 of beer is more than enough and because I the same day also to Depeche Mode in Madison Square Garden went. The music on OctFest, I enjoyed especially The Sadies, because of their energy and enthusiasm and of Okkervil River, because I have always been a fan of this band.
How cool is it to be on a short holiday, a festival to visit with great beer and a gig of one of your favorite bands to see? OctFest, for me, was really a perfect start of a few wonderful days in New York. Are you also a lover of beer and music? Then it is advisable to check the website of October, one of the organisers of the festival to follow. Here you can read interesting articles, that have interfaces with both beer and music. For example, about the favorite beers of well-known musicians.
This article was created in collaboration with October, Pitchfork, and Icelandair (which for the plane tickets provided).