On Tap this Weekend: The TAP New York Craft Beer Festival

The TAP New York Craft Beer Festival

The self-proclaimed largest craft beer festival in New York happens on Saturday, April 25 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm and Sunday, April 26 from noon to 4:00 pm. It’s the 2015 TAP New York festival, an annual celebration of the state’s hand-crafted beer and food. Anyone 21 and up (and wielding the photo ID to prove it) is welcome at the event, held at Hunter Mountain in the Great Northern Catskills.

A Little Background

Currently in its 18th year, TAP New York began as the Hudson Valley Beer and Food Festival in 1998. It quickly outgrew its original home at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and was moved to Hunter Mountain in 2000. The following year, it became a statewide festival, with craft brewers from all over New York invited to participate, and its localized name was traded in for the more befitting and punchier TAP New York.

The festival has grown consistently and considerably every year. From a handful of breweries in the beginning to more than 50 breweries and 200 beers by 2012 to more than 120 breweries invited for this year’s event, TAP New York continues to expand by leaps and bounds.

A Little Friendly Competition

TAP New York is a competitive craft beer festival, as it has been from the start.

It began with the Matthew Vassar Cup, bestowed upon the Hudson Valley’s best craft beer brewery. Since 2001, the F.X. Matt Memorial Cup has also been awarded to the best craft brewery in New York. And since 2013, the Governor’s Cup has gone to the best individual craft beer brewed in the state.

In addition, five medals are awarded. Three are for the best individual beers made in the Hudson Valley, and two go to runners up for best individual beer brewed in New York.

What Else Goes On

While the judges conduct their tastings and deliberations, festival attendees sample an astounding array of craft beers and food. More than 300 individual beers will be served, representing every style you can name, plus a few you probably can’t. The food offerings will be based on this year’s theme, “The Great American Sandwich.”

Live music plays throughout the event on both days. Also, there’s an approximately 45-minute cooking demonstration each day, given by a renowned New York chef. Awards ceremonies, drawings for prizes, and other entertainment help fill out the afternoons with plenty of fun.

More Information

Different aspects of this festival are held indoors and outdoors. The area’s weather can be fairly varied this time of year, from frigid to gorgeous, so check the weather forecast before heading over.

Find out more about the TAP New York Craft Beer Festival at tap-ny.com. See the website for a complete schedule of events for both days, ticket information, directions, and other stuff you might want to know.

Eric Mohrman is a freelance travel and food writer. Coincidentally, he enjoys traveling, eating, drinking, and writing. He lives in downtown Orlando and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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