Food

A festival to celebrate New York’s growing craft beer industry

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A festival to celebrate New York’s growing craft beer industry

The 4th Annual New York Craft Brewers Festival returns to Colonie’s Desmond Hotel this Saturday, a showcase for craft beers from every region of the state.

“The first year we had a band,” Paul Leone remembers. “But everyone complained they were too loud. People wanted to talk about the beer.”

So they got rid of the band. And they’ve continued to grow. This Saturday (March 25), from 4 to 8 PM, you’ll be able to sample the wares of over 60 breweries. (There will be 15 food vendors, too.) General admission is $40 in advance, $50 at the door (if available); “V.I.P.” tickets are $55 in advance, $65 at the door (if available). Designated drivers can get in for $15. Please note: Online ticketing has ended; you can buy tickets at the Desmond Hotel, The Albany Pump Station, Rare Form Brewing in Troy, or Mad Jack Brewing in Schenectady.

Leone says, “It will be absolutely full. Next year, we’re going to double in size.”

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Leone is the executive director of the New York State Brewers Association, the legislative advocacy group that sponsors the New York Craft Brewers Festival. He points out, however, that the group is more in the business of marketing New York state beer and breweries than pushing legislation, thanks, he says, “to Governor Cuomo’s wonderful legislative efforts” that have expanded the craft beer industry.

“New York state is in the top 5 in the number of breweries,” he says, and the quality of the beer produced increases every year.

The breweries at the Festival, Leone points out, will be represented by brewery staff–no volunteers. And they’re the folks who really know their beer.

For more info on Saturday’s New York Craft Brewers Festival, go here.

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