Category Archives: Beer Festivals

Broken Goblet’s Hoppy Halloween 2 Beer Fest

FullSizeRender5By now you know how this Gal feels about Broken Goblet Brewery and if for some reason you don’t check out my review of the Goblet.

Everything this brewery touches is fun from their beer to their festivals.  Fun, fun and fun! Naturally, this Gal had a ton of fun hanging out at the Hoppy Halloween Beer Fest and, sit down for this one, I don’t even like Halloween. That’s right folks this Geeky Gal isn’t and never has been a fan of the “spooky” holiday. Please do not ask me to dress up in costume for any sort of party or you’ll just get the death stare followed by “why?”. However, I do understand many of you enjoy the costume parties and other festivities that are a part of the Ghoulish Holiday and I have to say attending a beer fest where so many dressed up in costume was pretty cool.

FullSizeRender7Having been too Broken Goblet many times I wasn’t sure how they would pull off a beer festival onsite but they did it. The festival was set up utilizing the Goblet parking lot and beings they are located in an industrial park there was plenty of parking for guests. There were at least 20+ breweries, bars and meaderies pouring samples along with a few food trucks, and several vendors such as Beer for Babes, Philly Tap Finder and more. Plus, live music! I couldn’t believe they only charged $25 for this event ($30 at the door). Designated drivers only paid $10 and that included free water, ice tea and soda. It’s nice that thought was given to DD’s.  This really ranks up there as one of the best buys in the NJ/PA area for beer festivals.

The festival itself was well organized and laid out. There were plenty of tables and chairs for folks to kick back and relax at. The stage was as the far end so you could enjoy the music but still converse with your friends. Also, there was plenty of space in front of the stage to set up your own chairs and enjoy the show or , should you desire, you could hang out in the hooka lounge near the stage. Favorite thing I saw was kegs of water throughout the parking lot for rinsing glasses and/or drinking. THANK YOU!  It’s the little things that mean the most. Oh and yes real glasses. I understand why festival now a days hand out plastic tasting cups but it was so nice that at the Hoppy Halloween Beer Fest you were given a real glass and a pretty one at that.

Unfortunately, there was a down side to the evening and that was the bathroom situation. Many, many, many more port a potties were needed as there was always a long line at the ones provided. However, the Goblet is aware and has assured festival goers they are working on a solution.

The time of the festival was a bit unusual running 4 to 8pm instead of the normal 1 to 5pm. I for one loved the timing. It allowed you time during the day to get things done and provided for a fun relaxing evening. Of course, the evening hours added to the overall Halloween atmosphere and it was cool to see so many in attendance dress up for the occasion. I was also excited to try many beers I had never had before from breweries I’d never heard of. That alone  is a great reason to pick a couple of beer festivals each year to attend. You’ll have the opportunity to try new beers from new breweries. After all with so many new breweries opening up it’s hard to visit them all. A festival is one stop sipping.

FullSizeRender8I can’t say I had a particular favorite beer so many were good (I think I only disposed of 2) but I was excited I had the opportunity to sample The Shape of Hops to Come Imperial IPA from Neshaminy Creek Brewing and Broken Goblet’s  All Goblets Have Spirits a Scotch Ale (love Scotch Ales) with Maple Syrup and Gala Apples. I had heard good things about both and was glad to finally sample them. They did not disappoint. I was also supper happy that Saint Benjamin Brewing brought their Koffee Kolsch a favorite of this Gal’s. FYI – tried mixing it with their Little Peat stout and it was wonderful. Remember don’t be afraid to experiment with your beer.

Crazy Cat Lady
Crazy Cat Lady

Overall a ghoulishly good time was had and if they host Hoppy Halloween 3 next year I recommend going and suggest getting your tickets early since space is limited and tickets sell out.

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Garden State Craft Brewers Guild Battleship Beer Festival 2015

IMG_1258Garden State Brewers Festival 6/27/15
Aboard the Battleship New Jersey

This is surely becoming one of this Gal’s favorite beer festivals especially with so many new breweries opening up in New Jersey the past year. This festival provides the opportunity to try the best New Jersey has to offer in one place.

This year saw a bit of controversy with ABC limiting attendees  to 15 tickets each. Some where very upset by this but really folks this is still 5 pints worth of beer. I understand being upset that the change was announced after tickets were sold but it’s the ABC not the Brewers Guild who made the change. For the most part this is a very well organized event considering the last minute regulation changes and the uncooperative weather as in POURING rain. POURING!

In preparation for the tasting I printed out the beer list prior to my departure and highlighted the ones I most wanted to try. Being there were so many new breweries I hadn’t tried yet I knew some of my old favorites would have to take a back seat.

As usual there are just too many beers to review in depth but I’ll give you this Gal’s highlights:

IMG_2864[1]Breweries Most Interested in Trying – this is hard because there were so many breweries I hadn’t tried before. Demented, Flounder, Little Dog, Third State, Forgotten Boardwalk

Beer Most Interested in Trying – Tie Flying Fish Brotherly Suds Philly Pharmhouse brewed for Philly Beer Week by Multiple Brewers and made with pretzels – enjoyable. Tied with Lunacy Rocket Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout – you know this Gal and stouts. Very good but didn’t taste the Peanut Butter.

Most Interesting Beer of the Day Forgotten Boardwalk What the Butler Saw Wit with Orange and Lavender. I’m not even sure how to describe this one but it worked. I’m loving Forgotten Boardwalk and need to pay a visit soon.

Most Surprised by Little Dog Linzer Tart. I’m not big on fruit beers but this kicked butt. Their Steinerweiss German-Style Wheat was fabulous as well.

IMG_2866[1]A FavoriteHearthstone Grille Black Arrow Black Ale – loving the black ales

I really wanted to try the  Carton Dune Fruit but was thoroughly so bummed to find they ran out  before I got to try it. Sour ale made with Prickly Pear Cactus.

Favorite Beer of the Day – for the second year it a row it goes to Kane Brewing this year for their Mexican Brunch. Kane is truly becoming a favorite of this Gal’s

Until next year!

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Washington Crossing Brewfest

11170346_862296180503737_7407487984248921207_nWashington Crossing Brewfest
May 2, 2015 – Washington Crossing, PA

2015 marked the 5th year for the Washington Crossing Brewfest but this Gal’s first year to attend. Truth be told I just always figured it was rinky dink little festival. However, I stand corrected and admit I was very wrong.

With 64 breweries on hand serving at least 2 beers each plus, Isaac Newton’s had a booth pouring several different beers it’s no wonder this Brewfest sells out in advance each year.  The list of breweries was impressive – to name just a few: Avery, Allagash, Ballast, Bullfrog, Clown Shoes, Firestone, Flying Dog, Founders, Heavy Seas, Ommegang, Southern Tier, Stone and Weyerbacher. Truly just the tip of the ice burg.

11205012_862297230503632_1943157952283000694_nNot only is the list of breweries impressive but the setting for the festival is beautiful. It’s held outside under a canopy of trees along the banks of the Delaware of River. This particular year the weather was gorgeous and the trees provided not only a nice breeze but plenty of shade as well. It’s a spacious setting with ample room for the 2600 folks in attendance. Three things that stood out to me about the planning of this festival: 1. A brochure was provided to each person clearly marking which breweries were located where along with a full festival grounds map. 2. Each and every brewery tent was clearly marked. 3. (and this is a big one) Each and every brewery either had a brewery rep or distributor rep pouring their beer.

As with past festival reviews I’ll just give a quick recap of the standouts…

Put a Smile on this Gal’s Face: Bullfrog (love this brewery and glad to see distribution of their beers) the Sunny Disposition IPA was very refreshing

Most Excited to Try: Ballast Sculpin on tap – it lived up to it’s reputationbeer3

Surprise of the Day (is a tie):
The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale Saison (this beer made me do a double take – wonderful)
Capt. Lawrence Kolsch (nice to see a Kolsch represented)

beerHighlights – Dark Horse End of the Spectrum Belgian Strong Pale Ale & Sapient Trip Ale Tripel (Whoohoo a Belgian Strong and a tripel on tap at a festival)

Shout Out to Long Trail for their Long Trail Imperial Stout. Say what, an imperial stout at a spring festival? Thank you Long Trail for remembering stouts can be enjoyed year round and aren’t just a winter beer. Oh and it was might tasty.

New to this Gal:
Rivertowne Brewing Grateful White
Roy Pitz  Greatful Red Scottish Style Red Ale  (Roy Ritz is brewing German beers with a twist – be sure to check them out)

Best Selection: Brooklyn Brewery with 1/2 Ale (a session saison!) and Wild Horse Porter

Favorite Beer of the Day: Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter (decadent)

beer4Very Happy to see representation of Saisons
Great Divide Saison
Colorado Saison
The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale Saison
Brooklyn Session Saison

Bonus: Proceeds from the brewfest benefit the non-profit Friends of Washington Crossing Park.

The Washington Crossing Brewfest is certainly one to add to your festival calendar for next year!

Garden State Brewers Festival

Battleship New JerseyGarden State Brewers Festival 6/28/14
Aboard the Battleship New Jersey

This event was a ton of fun. It’s been several years since I’ve attended this festival and have never been since it started being held on the Battleship which let’s face it is a really cool setting for a beer festival.

This year I decided to volunteer and help out which was a great way to meet fellow beer folks. After my shift was done I had the pleasure of enjoying the festival itself. I have to say this particular festival is run nice and smooth and there is plenty of room for everyone with both seating on the open deck as well as coverage under tents and there is always a nice breeze on the deck even on real hot days. Bonus, the live band was really good as well! Great beer accompanied by Grateful Dead tunes is a win win for this Gal!

Too many beers to review but will highlight a few.

Most interested in trying – Village Idiot Brewing
I have to say their Tripel didn’t disappoint

IMG_1262Best Selection – Triumph Brewing
They were pouring 4 beers and had something for everyone. Pleasantly surprised by their Saison and their Porter was nice too.

Most Surprised by NJ Beer Company
I didn’t think I would see an Abbey on tap and was surprised they offered one – delish by the way. Keeping my eye on this brewery – this was only the 2nd time I’ve tried one of their beers and both times really enjoyed them.

Second Favorite Beer of the Day Cricket Hill Nocturne Chocolate Ale
I found myself at this tap a few times and directed others there as well

IMG_1261Favorite Beer of the Day – Kane Brewing Morning Bell
Just had this beer for the first time 2 days prior but it’s quickly becoming a favorite of this Gal’s!