American Craft Beer Fest 2013 - Best session to go?

Discussion in 'New England' started by MissMoxie911, Apr 17, 2013.


Which session is more worth it? Taking into account crowds and beer availability?

  1. Session A (Friday, 6-9:30pm)

  2. Session B (Saturday, 1-4:30pm)

  3. Session C (Saturday, 4-9:30pm)

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. MissMoxie911

    MissMoxie911 Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2012 Delaware

    This will be my first time attending (2013) and I'm wondering what the best session is either Friday evening, Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening. I though Friday because they won't necessarily be out of things, but is Saturday afternoon worth it to beat the Friday crowds?
  2. pjl44

    pjl44 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2008 Massachusetts

    My experience has been that the Saturday afternoon session is the least crowded of the three, but the difference is negligible given the size of the room. With the number of breweries in attendance, I've never had to worry about much being kicked.

    For the ACBF I would choose a session solely based on what fits around the rest of your weekend plans the best. Optimize that and I guarantee you'll wind up having a great time.
  3. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Given that they pretty much expect them all to sell out, there should be very little difference. Historically the Sat afternoon session is a little bit more "craft friendly" crowd with the night sessions being a little more "drunkard" crowd, but I've noticed the gap narrowing in the last two years.

    The beers are identical at all - they typically set aside a certain amount for each fest.

    Honestly, just go to whichever session fits your schedule best. You can't go wrong with any.
  4. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia Initiate (105) Sep 20, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Last year's ACBF was my first time attending (Fri session), and I made a beeline for the Goose Island booth to get BCBCS IIRC. What I discovered was that they also had a keg of Imperial Brown Goose from a barrel they had forgotten about, so it had aged for another 2 years or so in the barrel. They may have brought enough for all 3 sessions, but if they didn't, only the Fri attendees would have had the chance to sample that unexpected gem.
  5. willbm3

    willbm3 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    I've been going to the Saturday afternoon session since 2008. I can't comment on the others, but I would think just pick the one that fits your schedule. I like afternoon so I can grab dinner afterwards and then head out to a bar or to a friends house to continue the party. If you're dead set on not missing anything maybe you should go Friday? Some stuff gets kicked at the tail end of Saturday afternoon. For all I know they replace it for Saturday night, but I can't comment. If I had to guess I would guess Saturday night is a little more rowdy, with people doing back to back sessions and likely a stronger 'bro' presence trying to get as drunk as possible before heading out to Seaport/Financial District bars.

    Also, the venue uses portapotty's (although there's a real, but crowded bathroom along the back wall) so they could be in pretty rough shape come Saturday night.
    TheMonkfish likes this.
  6. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad

    Yeah, there were quite a few dudebros in the crowd, but for the most part the attendees were pretty cool.

    The toilets were in surprisingly good shape last year at the Saturday PM session, and I don't recall any kegs kicking super early.
    Cabbage_pants1 likes this.
  7. beeeeeeeeeeeer

    beeeeeeeeeeeer Initiate (39) Jul 3, 2010 Colorado

    Whichever you do, get there extremely early, or your price of admission is going to go towards standing in a line for an hour outside after the event begins.
    mpyoung215 and WeymouthMike like this.
  8. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    They've gotten pretty good at moving the line fast. For ACBF they also seem to open the gates a bit earlier to help.
  9. jdauria

    jdauria Initiate (172) Sep 15, 2010 Massachusetts

    I think all three sessions are something like 5,000 tickets sold, so the numbers are the same. Maybe after the initial rush when doors open, people trickle in on Saturday afternoon where the night session fills up kicker. All I know is I got there at 12:30 last year for the Sat. afternoon one and the line was huge, did not get inside to 1:30 and missed 1/2 hour of drinking! :grimacing: Needless to say, getting there earlier this year! Like I really need the extra beer by the end of the day!
  10. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad

    Yep - especially if it's raining cats and dogs like last year. We were waiting outside after opening time for a good twenty minutes before we got to the covered (roof) area of the line.
  11. willbm3

    willbm3 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    They have gotten better at moving the line along, but I would either get there at least an hour before or a half hour after it's scheduled to start. It's not worth it for me to spend over an hour waiting for the gates to open so I just show up a little late and stroll right in after the initial horde dissipates.

    And don't bother showing up 30 minutes early. There will still be a huge line and it will still take 15-30 min to get in
  12. Janeinma

    Janeinma Devotee (419) May 24, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    just looking at the website for this, wouldnt it make sense to link to the beeradvocate pages for each brewery? That way when beers are posted we can quickly check ratings etc.
  13. ptrc

    ptrc Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2011 Massachusetts

    They usually do that, I think it's just too early to right now.
  14. fearfactory

    fearfactory Disciple (350) Aug 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The one I have tickets for!
    See you Saturday afternoon...
  15. WeymouthMike

    WeymouthMike Devotee (455) Jun 22, 2004 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Best advice given in this thread, the line queue meanders longer than anything I've ever seen at Disney.
  16. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,427) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    I wouldn't worry too much about the line to get into the fest. We get people in pretty damn quick given the numbers (thousands of people in line) and this year we have a new entry/queue system that should expedite things even more.

    As far as the best session to go, it's more or less the same number of tickets sold and beers being poured for all sessions. It's more about which session fits into your plans.
    soulkeeper1369 likes this.
  17. emannths

    emannths Initiate (187) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    The crowd management/ticket-taking improvements over the years have been impressive. It's nice to see the commitment to improving that aspect of the fest.

    I can't make it this year, but I'd still get there 45-60 minutes early and bring a book or entertaining friends. It's a small price to pay to get in early and see 100 booths and zero lines.
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