If you’re looking for a way to simultaneously sample exclusive beers from renowned breweries around the New York State, and show solidarity for local restaurants, pubs, and cafes—then look no further, because Albany’s first annual Craft Beer Week is just around the corner.
From April 17 to the 23, Albany Craft Beer Week will host several festivities sure to be keen to the lifestyle of any bonvivant. The week will serve as a teaser for the main Albany Craft Beer Festival on Saturday.
All week long, exclusive tasting events will take place at local sponsored businesses. From the City Beer Hall, Albany Ale and Oyster, Savoy Taproom, Madison Pour House, Oliver’s and Westmere Beverage, among others, will be hosting. From Monday’s pub crawl, to the unique releases of never-before-tasted beers from the Capital Region’s craft beer heavyweights. Included in the week (but certainly not limited to): Druthers, Ommegang, Troegs, and Firestone Walker Brewery Co. But it hardly ends there, with free beer tastings, live music, and excellent local gastro fare, even those with the most mundane of interests are bound to find something.
Prices for the Craft Beer Week’s festivities will vary per event, but the Albany Craft Beer Festival on Sat., April 22 will have two ticket options. General admission tickets for those itching to wet their whistle with an unlimited selection of Albany’s finest beers will be $65. While many craft beer festivals offer a VIP ticket upgrade option, the Albany Craft Brew Festival wishes to make the exclusive accessible to all, there will be no class stratification here. And for those of you that have been conned into being the designated driver by your so-called “friends”, tickets will only be $20. But I wouldn’t feel so short-handed here, especially when considering the food samplings.
The week and festival will focus on the rare or limited offerings from New York State’s premiere brewers. Exclusive previews of seasonal summer beers will also be held. But even if you’re not a drinker (or was suckered into driving by someone else), the Craft Beer Festival is surely worth the investment. In addition to the plethora of alcoholic beverages, the festival will feature live music from the Graham Tichy Band, smooth coffee on draft provided by Stacks Espresso and a cornucopia of culinary delights.
Next week is not exclusively for brew aficionados who look down their noses at you for drinking domestic beers–it’s for the community. Those responsible for organizing the festival and this week of suds n’ fun, are Oliver’s and Westmere Beverage of the Brew Crew. Since 1986, the sibling-owned Brew Crew outlets have been a mainstay in the Albany beer community. They have actively promoted community togetherness, and next week’s festivities are no different. The Brew Crew want to use the week as a way for business owners and managers to make connections in hopes of furthering the success of the festival for years to come. Not to mention a premiere Craft Beer Festival like this will create a more inclusive artisanal beverage scene here in Albany. Oh, and there will be raffles for charity. What’s better than being publicly intoxicated for charity?