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EBF 2014: Tell us all about it

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Fests' started by tobelerone, Mar 22, 2014.

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  1. GuitarIPA

    GuitarIPA Savant (345) Connecticut Mar 24, 2013

    Great time. My favorite was Spontaneous Cheer (glad I got seconds before they ran out); Juice Machine was good too. It was also great to have the chance to try some Cigar City offerings.

    I was extremely disappointed that Crooked Stave was gone in twenty minutes; I was unable to try anything from them. They are not available here in CT, so they were one of the reasons I bought tickets. Hopefully they'll be back and prepared for the number of participants.
  2. BobCobb

    BobCobb Savant (345) Illinois Jul 10, 2012

    Had a great time despite getting there an hour late for C session. Thanks to @TWStandley for the ticket!

    There were some stunningly short lines at times, e.g. Toppling Goliath. I walked up at 7 and had to double check it wasn't one of those instances where you mistakenly cut in front of 90% of the line. I'm not sure if TG still isn't well-known by the EBF crowd, but there are several things that made for great lines generally as already pointed out. Keep the venue, don't increase the number of tickets sold, and continue working to have great selections throughout the fest.

    Thank you to the volunteers, particularly the woman who stood guard in the middle of the Funky Buddha line tossing out those jackasses who suddenly merge into the line with friends.
    Christopper and AshlixTee like this.
  3. They brought 6 beers and poured two each session.

    My favorites were TG mornin delight and FB French Toast. I think the biggest surprise for me was Sam Adams pouring something unlisted - an "in process" Utopia, next years batch that hasn't finished aging yet, but still delicious.
    Ristaccia likes this.
  4. Another fantastic EBF!

    Highlights:

    Toppling Goliath King Sue- So friggin' good!!!! Even more juicy than Juice Machine. Mornin' Delight was fantastic as well!!
    Funky Bhuda Maple Bacon Porter and French Toast - both awesome!!
    Avery Tweak - so smooth for something so powerful
    Crooked Stave- WWB Batch 60 - beer of the fest!! Perfect use of brett and hops. Seriously glorious!
    Lost abbey - Spontaneous Cheer! Beautiful fruited sour.

    Volunteers and security did a great job!! Super helpful people everywhere. Right amount of food options. Even though some breweries didn't bring enough beer still plenty of great options all night. How cool is it that you could go up and get any of Lost Abbey's always great options with next to zero line!!

    Brewery of the fest for me was Toppling Goliath. They are the real deal. Give me them and Hill Farmstead and I'd be a happy camper on my deserted isle!
    Ristaccia likes this.
  5. Blazedale

    Blazedale Zealot (80) Illinois May 4, 2007

    I don't plan on even looking at a Crime or Punishment ever again. That was as extreme as I was willing to get. Overall a great experience and many great beers, but Firestone needs to pick up their game.
  6. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (390) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012

    I'm glad you wrote this because now I don't have to make a post because this is exactly what I would have wrote. I also thought the FB French Toast was the most fun beer.
  7. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Awesome Fest. Got to try most of my "must haves" and a ton of other great beers. Not a bad beer all night except for Punishment (but I knew that going in - had to see if it was as bad as advertised) which was mind blowingly undrinkable. Crooked Stave was extremely disappointing, being completely out of beer 40 minutes in when I got over there. Firestone was also disappointing (seemed like they were only pouring the Berliner in session C).

  8. ~~*~*Hey Mom, I made the forums!!*~*~~* Regulatoooooooors! :cool:
    RBCORCORAN and MenardMa like this.
  9. BobCobb

    BobCobb Savant (345) Illinois Jul 10, 2012

    I'm not sure if this meant to mock me, the volunteer, or Warren G.

    Regardless, I stand by it.
  10. Nope, I'm pretty sure you meant me as part of my volunteer shift, I was excited to make the forums! I was "the woman tossing people out of line." I also walked most to the back of the line, showed others where it was and chatted with them through out their wait as they progressed. "You're almost there, you're almost there!" I also reminded them one person is pushing it, a group cutting is just mean.
    LeRose, Ericness, jbaker67 and 6 others like this.
  11. dcisco44

    dcisco44 Savant (260) Massachusetts Sep 22, 2013

    Can't agree more with this post as others have. Crooked Stave shouldn't be invited back to any festival until they prove they understand that it isn't OK to come with 15 minutes of beer and act like it's cool they're the first ones out.
  12. MenardMa

    MenardMa Savant (320) Connecticut Feb 6, 2011

    Great fest! Just as good as the ones at the Cyclorama in my opinion. Well done all around. Of course it's a slight bummer when brewers run out early, but I planned accordingly and tried everything I wanted to try.

    I tried 47 beers apparently (yikes), and some of my highlights echo some of the ones posted in here already...

    - Funky Buddha was fantastic as usual. No crusts and the French Toast beer were mind blowing in how much they taste like those two things. Ridiculous. I wish I had the first clue how to brew something like that.

    - Toppling Goliath...wow. Had heard great things and they still exceeded my expectations. Sue was fantastic and Mornin' Delight was the best stout I had all night I think, even better than Vanilla Bean Night To End All Dawns and Chocolate Rain. VERRRYYY excited to find out more about this collaboration between Tree House and TG which supposedly took place this week.

    - Crooked Stave was another that I was really looking forward to trying. Glad I went straight for it when the doors open, really really good stuff.

    - Cigar City - the guava sour they were pouring was delicious. Would love to get my hands on some more of that someday.

    - Tree House - They never disappoint.

    Can't wait for next year!
    Ristaccia and jomobono like this.
  13. Firestone Walker = Fail!!! Even the serving wench had an attitude at my disappointment at 1:02 when I was denied a quick Parabojava on my way to Funky BL. Don't bring it if you can't pour even a little at each session. Did I mention FAIL?
    hikeeba, Christopper and johnnnniee like this.
  14. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (365) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006

    I was volunteering for all three sessions and had a blast. Even though my sampling was mostly limited to my break time, and a few others, I think I had everything I would have as a paying attendee.
    The rest of the volunteers were great, the paying folks treated us great (except when we had to be jerks at the end of the session after beer stopped, and people walking past asking for "just one more!")
    I was amazed at how long the lines were at a few breweries - within minutes of opening Toppling Goliath had lines 3/4 the way across the hall all 3 sessions. Cigar City and Funky Buddah were the same.
    There were some great beers, and some that, while well done, left me scratching my head.
    Oddly, my favorite of all wasn't one of the 'kitchen sink' ones, or even a high-abv. Carton Brewing's Boat Beer took the title for me. A nice low test (4.2% abv) brew with some malt sweetness and a good hop kick.
    While it might have been a touch too hoppy for a true session beer - I could see my palate shutting down if drinking it all day - it was definitely something I could drink quite a few of.
    Other highlights were the Brasserie Dunham out of Quebec and Franklin's from Maryland - both of those guys didn't have a single downer in all the lineup. Sierra Nevada and the 2001 Bigfoot, NERAX and the Cask of Flower Power,
    Both Treehouse beers
    Throwback's cask of Apple Brandy barrel stout.
    Against the Grain had some great beers and enjoyably demented pourers in hilarious costumes.
    Sam Adams with Utopias and the KMF Cru.
    Cigar City's Rum Aged Marshall Zhukov.
    Half Acre's Double Daisy Cutter.
    plenty of others I'm not remembering right now.
    Ristaccia and jomobono like this.
  15. this was my first EBF and will definitely not be my last. there was so much great stuff there i almost wished i had tix for another session, despite being drunk and then hung over for most of my saturday. logistically, everything went pretty smoothly, and it was great to be able to talk to so many brewers--you can really get a feel for each brewery's vibe that way. my only complaint (and perhaps this is my own fault) is that i had no idea how quickly some breweries would run out. i understood when the guys at the bruery said they ran out of chocolate rain in 45 minutes (session B), or when i went to founders at 4 and there was no kbs left. however, it kinda sucked to go to breweries that brought 4-5 beers and see them only pouring one (or none) toward the end of the fest.

    treehouse and half-acre killed it. glad to see carton pouring some nice stuff (only had the boat beer before this weekend). i think nerax was quietly one of the best booths there. i'm glad i got to try some toppling goliath before they ran out, and i was pleasantly surprised with the dfh collabs. as childish as it sounds, grabbing a waffle on the way out was one of the highlights of my day.
    jomobono and MenardMa like this.
  16. I've been to quite a few festivals over the last two years and this was the best event yet. I loved it. Great beer, super friendly people, and killer waffles ;-). These Guys know how to put on a festival. On a beer note, the French Toast beer was crazy good and so was the Regular Coffee. I was also a fan of the Maple Orange beer from Due South. I'll attend this event for as long as it continues.
  17. I will echo the complaints of Crooked Stave. VERY disappointing. I will not say angry as there was SO MUCH other awesome stuff though. There were so many amazing brewery tables without any line whatsoever. As much as I love FB, I didn't need to wait in the line more than once with Cascade or The Bruery (post Chocolate Rain) having next to no line.

    I loved it and loved the venue. I think it was a nice step up from the Cyclorama (not my favorite venue at all).
  18. Liked the idea of checking ID's, scanning tickets, and wristbanding while in line allowing us to walk right in. Only problem was there wasn't enough people doing this and they weren't very systematic. When 1 pm came around, there were still a lot of people who werent banded yet. Other than that it was a great fest! Thank you!
  19. madmanjf

    madmanjf Savant (350) New York Sep 18, 2005

    It was a good fest, but I did miss the intimacy of the Cyclorama, the High-Tops to stand around to meet and chat with new people. The space at World Trade is very sterile; it feels more like a trade show than a beer fest. Sometimes bigger isn't necessarily better.

    Other than that, everything was excellent and well managed with a great selection.
  20. Had such a great time and what a great event.

    I walked out of there having had Tree House for the first time, and it is now amongst my favorite breweries.

    Sixpoint also continues to be amongst my favorite breweries, and I stand by the fact that I've never had anything bad from there.

    And Carton was awesome. As a Jersey guy, I already knew, but I was happy to hear so many people really excited about and liking what Carton had to offer.

    Food: The sausage rolls were bad, btw (I had to send one back because it was raw), but the beef pie was awesome.

    Finally, so happy to get some great glassware from some awesome breweries including aTeku glass from Carton
    jomobono likes this.
  21. Biff_Tannen

    Biff_Tannen Savant (275) Missouri Dec 8, 2013

    SHOCKED to not see any comments on 4 Hands. How did my favorite hometown brewery show out there?
  22. MattVC

    MattVC Zealot (85) Massachusetts Aug 21, 2012

    I mentioned 4 Hands in the sleeper thread. Loved the Chocolate Peanutbutter Milk Stout.
    Biff_Tannen likes this.
  23. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,410) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Our goal wasn't to process everyone, but rather process as many as we could so that everyone was in the venue in under 25 mins; which we did.
  24. My first ebf and we had a great time. Kudos to the bros and their staff who ran a tight ship very efficiently. I attended the Saturday afternoon session, lined up about 25 minutes early, was carded and handed quickly and was inside sampling by ten after one at the very latest. Even the long lines for TG and FB moved fairly quickly.

    Only complaints are the same as others here, crooked stave without beer, cascade kicked surprisingly early and I missed out on trying anything from either brewer. By the time I made my way over to FW all they had was opal and we were served by an entirely disinterested woman who handed us samples without ever looking up or stopping her conversation with her friend. Not impressed although I remain a huge fan of their product.

    After the event I read through the guide and saw how much I missed but I got 41 pours I think, plenty to have a great time and leave with a nice buzz but not excessively drunk by any means. I chatted with a lot of folks and didn't approach the event like a race. I could easily have tried another 20 beers but didn't feel the need to go nuts about things at all . At one point I stood talking with my friends by the bruery stand drinking numerous samples of bottleworks and bois with no line at all. There were a bunch of brewers without lines where we were able to get multiple pours without a wait.

    Bruery, TG, twelve percent, due south, and relic were all exceptionally friendly, among others. Great time- I didn't really get into too much trouble until well after the event at after parties at tip tap and stoddards (got a bottle of fou foune at stoddards though!).
    dar482 and brewsader like this.
  25. Btw does anyone know, at session b was bruery pouring bois fume or French oak? I can't recall.

    Also sojo on cask was so freaking good.
    masterob8 likes this.
  26. Sojo was one of my favorites of the day too. That whole NERAX table was awesome and (shockingly) didn't have huge lines to wait through.

    Chocolate Rain, Night to End All Dawns, Baby Maker, and the 120 Minute with Simcoe randall stand out as some of the more memorable favorites as well (probably one or two more of significance in my notes though). Stone sadly underwhelmed me. Punishment (and to a lesses extent crime were undrinkable), Burning Rosids I thought was only decent and Double Bastard I've had too much of to get at a fest. Been a big fan of Stone so it hurt to say that (though the 4/20 Enjoy By that I had at Lord Hobo Friday night was delicious).

    Regarding the execution of the fest, I thought it was well handled. Great volunteer presence on the floor and entrance area. My only suggestion would be to improve signage about where to lineup. As an ACBF veteran I was a bit lost going to usual lineup area and I know my group wasn't the only one that got as far as the lobby to ask for directions (Saturday B Session). As for the lines, there were some that were absolutely silly so I avoided them. Plenty of great beer elsewhere.
    masterob8 likes this.
  27. MattVC

    MattVC Zealot (85) Massachusetts Aug 21, 2012

    French Oak.
    tobelerone likes this.
  28. Bizoneill

    Bizoneill Savant (285) Connecticut Apr 19, 2012

    I agree there were some breweries that just didn't show up. Crooked Stave ran out in 10 min of opening of the second session. And Cascade also ran out fairly quick as well... FB was pouring the entire time and so was TG. Overall great time and lines moved quicker then I thought they would!
  29. I just want to take a moment to thank the Beer Advocate Crew and Volunteers and the brewers who made the EBF easily the best beer festival I have ever attended (or worked). I was not a volunteer for this festival but have poured beers in many festivals in the PA and MD area. It got to a point that I would no longer attend festivals if I was not working, and then I burned out of that.

    This was the opposite of everything that is typical in a beer festival. I know not every festival will have 74+ world class breweries bring one-offs and rarities. Honestly for me, the best part of the festival was all of the available space to walk, stop, sip and talk to my brother or whoever else might be nearby.

    The fact that so many great breweries I knew of or learned about had short to no lines also makes this event unparalleled.

    Again thank you to everyone who helped put this on, and also all the awesome people in Session B.
    jlordi12 likes this.
  30. MenardMa

    MenardMa Savant (320) Connecticut Feb 6, 2011

    Is it 10 minutes now? I have heard an hour, 40 minutes, 20 minutes, and now 10. Next it will be that they didn't even bring any beer at all, and then finally that they no-showed.

    Mostly kidding, because I do agree that it's not cool to run out so early when we've all paid for tickets for this event and a lot of us were looking forward to trying their stuff for the first time, and i'm glad I checked on here and saw that they had been running out because I went straight to their table in session C...but this is their first year here, right? Maybe they just hugely underestimated how much beer they needed...an honest mistake, perhaps? The anger from some here is a bit silly and childish. But then again maybe I just think that because I tried their beer and it was delicious.
  31. MattVC

    MattVC Zealot (85) Massachusetts Aug 21, 2012

    It certainly wasn't 10 minutes, it was about an hour - give or take 15 minutes. The bottom line is there are breweries who had lines for 3.5 hours at each session and everyone got a pour. CS didn't have enough beer for 3.5 hours between the three sessions. That's shitty.
    Christopper and Robtobfest like this.
  32. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    I was outside their shut down booth at exactly 6:41pm at session C. They had obviously shut down before then, but at 6:41 they were definitely closed. I didn't even have enough time to make it to the back before they were gone. Plenty of other great beer to be had, but that's just pathetic
    Robtobfest likes this.
  33. Bizoneill

    Bizoneill Savant (285) Connecticut Apr 19, 2012

    Maybe it wasn't 10 min but seemed like I just got there... I was inline for TG my first line which took maybe 15 min to get through and my buddy comes up to me with Nightmare On Brett and says its all gone CS shut down and they only brought bottles. Do they ever have anything on tap? I feel like these breweries who only bring bottles always run out quickly...
    codasnap52 likes this.
  34. Great festival, much more enjoyable IMO than GABF. Very organized, space to enjoy the beers, short lines. Other than a few breweries (FW and Crooked Stave) everyone really stepped up their game, even having some surprise beers towards the end of the light (Vanilla Bo and Luke). When the Crooked Stave dude told me I got the last of the batch 60, I laughed and thought he was kidding and about to open a new bottle since I got about one sip worth. It was a complete joke, don't show if you're not going to bring at least some type of back-up beers to pour for the entire session.

    Thanks for putting this together, wish this could be twice a year so I don't have to wait 12 months for this again!
    jlordi12 likes this.
  35. That would be sick, I'm kicking myself for waiting until this year to attend.
  36. Large Bone to pick with Crooked Stave - As volunteers. Myself and the fiancé volunteered, both sessions setup/cleanup. I was out ticketing all morning and 2nd session so was told of this as I entered again. She was posted up by the back bathrooms by her captain. Keep people from the neighboring convention out of the fest. Which she did and handled it fine. Crooked Stave dudes kick their beer which she witnesses minutes into the fest. The proceed to cheer and laugh about it. From there they decide ah well lets go drink! THEY ask her to watch their kegs, bottles, gear ETC. NOT A BA CAPTAIN or the like for a few min. She complies and wants to grab a BA Captain but can't leave the corner as people kept trying to enter. Crooked Stave never come back and are off drinking. She is told by her captain to leave the bathroom area and assume her duty which was some water duty. During the fest both people from Crooked Stave confront her. Stand over her as to intimidate her and lay into her about who is watching their gear and why did she leave. She was never assigned to them, that was never a duty assigned to her, and why weren't they watching their own stuff. She politely says she is working and has to do her job and they can ask a captain or organizer about what to do with their gear. Extremely rude to her as a volunteer. Later in the fest they saw her and made additional comments and belittled her in front of attendees and other BA volunteers all while not pouring, watching their gear, and drinking. She felt very uncomfortable and was angry at this point. As much as I wanted to jump in and take care of the problem my way I did not. I was there for a reason and this would be something for the Brothers and Organizers to address. So I want to add to the hatred now of this brewery. That has to be the most unprofessional and disgraceful thing I have ever seen or heard of a brewery doing to someone (especially two males verbally abusing a woman) There is no biased as to her being family to me. I would have felt the same way for any other volunteer, friend, or person I don't know. I truly hope the brothers and organizers see this and this can paint a clear picture of what those @$$ holes had to offer to the festival. This infuriates me and I would hope an apology is at least a thought from them. I think she was hesitant to bring it up to authority there as they had been drinking and she did not want to make this blow up into something and jeopardize her time there or have them become more aggressive/physical towards her. (As any woman/man might be) I know the brothers and organizers were very professional about this fest and aside from that we both thought everything was great.

    Aside from that did anyone else happen to see the person get form tackled next to my area towards the end of the day? Not sure what he did but when I checked in on it I think he ran his mouth at security? He was also tackled again in the tunnel on his way out. Most violent thing I've seen at a fest. Security handled it all not BA.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    dar482, Bizoneill, jomobono and 4 others like this.
  37. emannths

    emannths Savant (390) Massachusetts Sep 21, 2007

    I wish there had been water stations near the ends of the rows of booths (i.e., near 26, 74, 52, and 4).

    When that's your only suggestion for improvement, you know it was a pretty good fest.
    mendvicdog and jlordi12 like this.
  38. ChrisMQ

    ChrisMQ Savant (275) New York Jun 30, 2010

    incredible night and very professionally run. I will be a regular at this fest in the coming years
    jlordi12 likes this.
  39. MenardMa

    MenardMa Savant (320) Connecticut Feb 6, 2011

    Shit, man...that's fucking awful. I would have been EXTREMELY pissed as well if they did something like that to me or my wife. Watch your own shit and don't give VOLUNTEERS a hard time as if they're there to serve you, you scumbags. You or your wife should address them with a facebook comment or message or something...not sure what'll come of that and it might sound a little lame, but something as shitty as that needs to be addressed somehow.
    csniezek, Rochefort10nh and Jbrews like this.
  40. I hear ya, but I don't know the relationship between Brothers and the Brewery. I was at their event representing them. I can vent my frustration but I only even posted that since so many people were upset with them. I'll never see them again anyways most likely.
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