GlensFalls.com talks with Glens Falls Brewfest organizer Bill Mason about the upcoming beer lover’s event
on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the
Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls NY!
The beer and ale tasting event will feature the best pubs and local breweries, giving you the chance to pick a favorite new beer! Here, Mason tells us what to expect from the festival and what it takes to pull off such an event!
1. Do you consider yourself a beer connoisseur?
Hardly! I have always preferred only a beer or two when I am out. I like most beers. My buddies – and the other two organizers, Chris Reed and John Cordes, always make fun of me because I’ll drink lots of beers that they consider to be not so good. Their loss!
2. Where are your favorite places to enjoy a beer locally?
Davidson Brothers, Coopers Cave, and Adirondack are my favorite brew pubs. Of course, my very favorite bar is the Sans Souci. It is around the corner, the food is great, and the atmosphere is easy-going and relaxed. All of these establishments will be represented at this year’s Brewfest. They are generous contributors and I thank them very much.
3. What are your favorite beers?
#1 is Davidsons IPA. After that, my second favorite is probably the Radeau Red from Coopers Cave or Beaver Tail Brown Ale from Adirondack. I also can’t resist Sam Adams. I drink plenty of Budweiser as well…Didn’t I say I like most beers?
4. What can you tell us about the brewers that will be at the Glens Falls Brewfest this year?
Of course, we have all of the local brewers. Aside from that, there will be many brewers to choose from. We deal both with brewers and distributors and each year we are finding that more and more brewers want a table. Last year, we had 40 different brewers, each with 2 – 3 selections. This year, we will have at least that many. It makes it very difficult for our customers to select the ones they want to sample – a good problem if you ask me.
5. What sort of entertainment or speakers can we expect to see at this year’s Brewfest?
We will once again have two bands throughout the event. Cabin 3 will be in the Ballroom and Sunglow Polka Band will be in the Adirondack Room. If anyone tries to speak – good luck to them! This year we will be raffling a kegorator to one lucky customer. I want to buy tickets for that, but I believe I am disqualified…Darn!
6. What can you tell us about the groups that will benefit from the proceeds of this event?
We support two local non-profit organizations: The Adirondack Theatre Festival and The Feeder Canal Alliance. Both of these are hard working organizations with working boards. They both bring a tremendous amount of value to our area. The members of our Brewfest board have been avid supporters of both of these organizations for years, and we are very proud to use this fun event to help them.
7. What exactly goes into the planning of a Brewfest?
It is huge! We start with the location and date. We have always held this event at the Queensbury Hotel and find it to be a perfect location, due to the sort of intimate nature. We have one guy who deals mainly with the brewers and distributers – that is a huge job! Then we need ice, bins, sponsors, sample glasses, advertising, printing, hotel rooms for brewers, signs, loads of volunteers, website and on-line ticket sales, and entertainment. We start meeting the moment the Brewfest ends and have countless meetings throughout the year to make it happen. It is loads of fun because it is all about beer, but it is loads of work too!
8. What sort of food will be available?
This year we will have food donations from Coopers Cave, Sans Souci, Talk of the Town, Poopies, and Dickies Barbecue. There will be pizza, pulled pork, soups, chili, and other good food. Our customers get beer sampling tickets and food sampling tickets with their entrance fee – so the food is complementary. It is not meant to be a meal, but it is good to give everyone a bite to eat in the middle of 4 hours of beer sampling! And the food is hearty and delicious!
9. Can you give us any spoilers as to any unusual flavors or varieties we can expect to find at this year’s event?
This year, we are going to repeat our “cask room” feature. This is where the breweries make a small batch of cask-conditioned brew, and share their best. We are expanding it this year to a larger room and including “rare beers” as well. Last year, we charged a small extra fee for these samples and most people thought it was well worth it. Since it is all about more money for the charities, and more and better beers for our customers, everyone wins! Maybe this is a good time to mention that we are also repeating the wine table this year. Adirondack Wine Merchants are donating a table and sampling for a second year! We have found that some of our customers have friends that don’t understand what this craft beer thing is all about. We get them in the door with wine and then maybe they figure it out.
10. Do you have any tips on how to get the most out of a Glens Falls Brewfest experience?
Get there early and look around. We open the doors at 3:30 and begin to pour at 4:00. This has reduced the long lines that we had the first few years and gives people a chance to preview the various offerings. We provide a map with the location of the breweries. Food starts about 5:00 and runs until about 7:00, so plan some time for that. As with any tastings, you should avoid the stronger brews at first and sort of build to them. Then grab a slice of pizza or some soup and start over! This isn’t rocket science – it’s beer!
- Location: Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls NY
- Date and Time: Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 4:00 PM – 8:00 pm
- Cost: $35 in advance/$40 at the door/$10 for designated drivers
So, will you be attending the fun festivities at the Glens Falls Brewfest 2013 in Glens Falls, NY?