The NYC Craft Beer Festival was probably the best beer festival I have been to so far. If you were one of the lucky ones, you would have bought the early bird VIP ticket which would be the best deal. The one hour extra saved you a lot of troubles with the lines, since by the time the general admission ticket holders were let in, the lines got a lot longer.

My favorite of the evening was the Founders Breakfast Stout. I am an IPA kind of person; not to say that I do not like stouts, but it is not what I prefer. This stout is out of this world and definitely worth being in the top 25 in the world. The beers that surprised me were Dark Horse Special Reserve Black and Firestone Wookey Jack Black IPA.

I was underwhelmed with Magic Hat selections which were Magic Hat humdinger series and Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout, they just did not have enough umpf behind them. The Connoisseurs Lounge had seats catered food with more beers to choose from, but aside from being admitted early, may not have been worth the additional ticket price and was disappointing when it came to the beer selection. I only had one favorite out of the 20 beers they were pouring, which was the Widmer Brrrbon. The Brrrbon would give you a sense of drinking a stout with a really big shot of Bourbon in it, as it was that strong a flavor and highly alcoholic.

In the upstairs lounge, they had food from Tavern 29, Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen and cheese from Murray’s Cheese Bar. The two cheeses they had brought with them were both really good options and I never liked blue cheese much but this was such a creamy and tasty cheese that I could not help myself. My favorite food was something that tasted a little bit from home which is strange as it is supposed to be a New Orleans kinda inspired food and me being from Denmark. It was Cooper’s BBQ Shrimp with crispy onions and remoulade. In Denmark we a lot of remoulade and fried, crispy onions so those flavors brought me back home for a bit and I liked the twist with the shrimp because I had never eaten remoulade and fried onions with Shrimp before but it was soooo good!

The music as not bad either: One-man band Willy Gantrim was playing some blues and country style music that fitted very well with the setting of the Connoisseurs Lounge and made it just a bit cozier and laid back.

– Line B.