This past weekend, June 3rd-4th, BeerAdvocate in collaboration with Harpoon Brewery, held the 4th Annual American Craft Beer Festival at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA. Craft beer lovers from all over the United States attend this annual event to taste exclusive and hard-to-come-by craft beers with a special treat on beer education from brewers and fellow aficionados. Known as the biggest celebration of American craft beer on the east coast, this year’s ACBF featured 500+ craft beers for tasting enjoyment. Now you know that this is definitely an event that a beer lover does not want to miss.
So, we packed our bags and trekked 772 miles to Boston. Thanks to modern air transportation, we only had to patiently go through annoying TSA searches and were able to get there in 3 hours. The rest is foodie and craft beer lover heaven.
The anticipation for this much awaited festival got us craving for what Boston has to offer. With that said, the first order of business on our list was to head down to the nearest local bar equipped with the best craft beer on the market.
Our first stop was at the Tavern in the Square on Brighton Ave where we met the best bartender a beer fan could ever ask for. Welcomed by a vast selection of their rotating draught list, the bartender offered us FREE samples of any brew we wanted to taste. From ciders to pilsners to IPAs to stouts, we tasted everything they offered on tap that we thought was worth tasting. For starters, we picked the Smuttynose‘s IPA “The Finest Kind” and Goose Island‘s Honker’s Ale, followed by Harpoon‘s UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen and Opa Opa Brewing‘s Opa Raspberry Wheat, and concluded with Troegs‘Hopback Amber and CBC‘s Spring Training IPA. A free offer like that should never be opposed to under any circumstance. And don’t be fooled, the Tavern does not mess around when it comes to food either. Order the margherita pizza or the buffalo chicken sandwich when you get the chance – it’s to die for.
The next stop was picked from numerous recommendations by some of our tweeps from Boston — the Sunset Grill & Tap where their slogan states, “Life’s too short to drink cheap beer.” Yes, we definitely agree. Located near the corner of Harvard and Brighton, this local bar is famous for their 112 taps and 380 of the best microbrews and exotic imports. Stepping inside, the place is covered with beer coasters and tap handles from all over the world. But as much as we loved staring and gazing at this spectacular collection, our taste buds were longing for more microbrews.
With Boston Beer Week in full swing, among the brews we sampled at Sunset included various summer seasonals from Mayflower, Sam Adams, Harpoon, and Anderson Valley. Also, we tapped into the NY Minute flight: Ithaca’s Flower Power and Porter, Sixpoint’s Sweet Action, and Southern Tier’s Oak Aged Unearthly. And due to convoluted and irrational beer laws across the United States, we focused our attention on craft beers that we don’t normally have access to. Also, some of the recommendations we managed to get a taste of were 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon (a solid favorite), Sam Adams’ Brick Red, Mayflower’s Summer Rye, and The Lost Abbey’s Bourbon Barrel Angel.
We were told that the Boston Harbor is a must-see during sunset, so we headed down there and hopped on the sunset cruise in hopes to capture some good shots of the area. Not expecting anything from it, the 90-minute sightseeing tour introduced us to the history, character, and some unheard stories about Boston. We even got to witness the USS Constitution’s sunset serenade as she fired her cannon and lowered her flag that ceremoniously signaled the end of the day. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel. Nerdy, but pretty epic.
Finally, Day 1 was concluded with an exceptional meal at The Black Rose located at the historic Faneuil Hall. With a great atmosphere of an authentic Irish pub, the food was delicious. We tried their Corned Beef & Cabbage and the Fruits of The Rose that included scallops, salmon, haddock, and shrimp. Both entrees were amazing – fresh and cooked to perfection. Service was friendly and fast. Two thumbs up from us!
Stay tuned for ACBF, Beer Week, Foodie Finds — Beantown, Pt. II.