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Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jul 14, 2019.
The warhead beers and rolly janchers from artisanal were at least something different
All of the mortalis stuff was amazing. And the lines were not bad all night.
Can 3 Stars be removed mid-fest for lack of effort?
For anytime in 3rd session, the utopia line went real fast.
1) Drink Lost Abbey. You’re an asshole if you don’t.
2) Street Sodie at 4 Hands and So-Cal Pilsner at Breakside
best beers at the fest
I don't know what a Tartshake IPA is but I thought all 4 beers from Cinderlands were pretty great. It's possible they were just a nice change of pace from the double digit stouts :-). Either way I thoroughly enjoyed them.
I also thought Mortalis and Lost Abbey nailed it.
NEBCO peanut butter trooper is probably the best PB beer i've had. it actually tasted like peanut butter. Cambridge hot cheetos is super interdesting, breakside honeymate lager was top of the pops for me...real nice. short's london fog was really different and nailed the earl grey tea flavor, aardwolf lactic zeppelin was good and a nice change of pace. everything from mortalis was top-notch
i hated the circular set-up at first but then someone told me i was in line for utopia's and i was kinda near the front so i was like OK!
missed the weldworks taco...really wanted that one. i just went down the line starting at lost abbey. i think there was like 1 beer i had that i didn't like but i forget what it was. wicked cool day to spend with my dad.
hit up mela for some indian grub afterward, it was middle of the road.
pretty good saturday!
I was a fan of the smaller venue. Barely any lines, was able to hit up basically every brewery and got everything that I wanted. The only thing I missed was the amount of very high end beers with the bigger venue.
Highlights for me were Definitive Euphoric Nights, Great Notion Super Duper Over Ripe, Mortalis Cerberus (everything from them was good), Transient F---, Transient Parker, Kane BA French Toast and Saturday Night Lights, Barrel Souls BA Mexican Donut
Loved having it at Cyclorama. We were able to try everything we wanted and then some. The few initial lines died pretty quickly. Kielbasa/red pepper pierogi was worth the price of admission alone. One thing I noticed that seemed weird was the lack of carb on a lot of the beers, a bunch were near flat, including IPA’s.
Taco Gose and pretty much everything Weldwerks brought.
All beers from Kane.
Flaming Cheeto/taki cream ale from CBC.
Parker BA Barleywine from Transient.
Everything Lost Abbey.
Biggest surprise was the quality of brews from Common Roots. I never really paid attention to them much but their Spontaneous Wild was unbelievable.
Was a great event! Definitely more manageable than the last few years. Only feedback to Sam Adams is that it would have been nice to open a utopia for the early entry crowd. Having that at 7:45 with a massive line wasn’t that inviting so we opted out. It’s the only beer I wanted to try and didn’t. Otherwise Mortalis, Lost Abbey, Weldwerks, Artisanal rocked it.
Poor Night Shift brewing didn't get any love in the guide book other than their booth location on the map. I got a beer, went to look up their listing and it wasn't there. Mentioned it to the guy and he was "ya we're in there" looked, and turned to he co-worker "we're not in it."
Exhibit A's Sunday Paper Imperial Stout with Coffee had a really good coffee flavor.
The North Brewery's God Complex was another that stood out to me with a delicious chili pepper flavor. And that was at the end of the session when my taste buds were pretty shot.
Nice to have EBF day not be freezing cold for a change when waiting outside to get in.
God complex a highlight for me
There’s still $300 bottles for sale .
Can we rename this fest to the Kind of Extreme flavored Stout and Fruited Beer Fest?
Really, how many coconut stouts can you drink? i love them, but that fest was lacking some of the best breweries of years past. I think there were 3 non-fruited /Lactosed IPA's and Pale ales in the whole place. for the price, they need to dramatically step up the brewers that were there. Not to knock to amazing ones that were there...but there was no need for some of the breweries. Also, i second the whole Utopia thing. So 70 people out of the 750 got to try it and the VIP people got shafted. this was probably the last one, sadly. it was a fun run.
what do you mean...they had the best gangster rap playing the whole time. If you're going to critique...how about the breweries with AMPLE means $$ (eh hem...burley, great notion) get there on time and not their beers offered written on a piece of cardboard with a bic pen that they stole from a homeless guy.
So you came to Extreme Beer Fest looking for IPAs and Pale Ales without adjuncts? I can see how you would be disappointed.
I loved what Against the Grain did with their booth and i made sure to toss them a coin so they could get home.
I think I've been to eight years of it, and I agree. We had one newbie who enjoyed himself, but the rest of our usual crew just didn't love it this time around. I remember loving it when I went to it in the Cyclorama back in the day, and there's things to like, absolutely, but we may be done with it, or at least done for a few years.
They had last minute staffing and beer issues.
Some of their beers got delayed, but they're in the Boston market as of today. They were beyond bummed.
They were a last minute addition from the waiting list. Guide had already gone to print.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support Extreme Beer Fest this past weekend!
Special thanks to all the brewers for spending the weekend with us and our sponsors: Dogfish Head, Brewers Association, Hop Head Farms, and Eastern Standard Provisions.
Personally, I met hundreds of attendees and brewers who had an awesome time and I didn't have one beer that I considered "bad." Overall, the creativity and caliber of people was high and it was great to host it at The Cyclorama again. We also broke a record during session two: everyone in within eleven minutes! Our fest crew crushed this event!
It seems like a few who've posted had high beer expectations that weren't met, but we've learned that this will always be the case. And trying to compare a fest and selection that's roughly a 1/4 the size of the previous year will automatically create disappointment for some. I get it. That said, keep the feedback coming! We're listening and there's always room for improvement.
In the meantime, we'll get back to work on some exciting ideas that we have for future fests (including Extreme Beer Fest). More to follow...
I rarely chime in around here (hell, I barely resemble my pic at this point, and that poor cat must be long gone), but my wife and I haven't missed a fest since our first one (American in June 2007) and we had a great time at the third session. Definitely agree that Utopias should have been available during the VIP period, but other than that, it was one of the best beer nights we've had in a long time in terms of quality (along with the utterly absurd variety). Love having it back at the Cyclorama too!
I've gone to probably the last 6, maybe 7 EBFs. Went to session 1 this year.
VIP experience was great, the staff outside was on point, directing early entrance to one line, checking IDs, tickets, was very well run. Was great to get to chat with some of the brewery representatives before the madness started.
Venue is cool, in a great neighborhood. Very cool area in Boston I don't get to enough
Standout beers were Transient F--- w/walnuts, Kane BA Saturday Night Lights, and even though I've had, GN Double Stack.
The beer was a let down. Perhaps my expectations were too high as Todd alluded to above, but those expectations were set by previous EBFs. I always knew at EBF I was going to have a few of the best beers I had all year. This year was mediocre stout after mediocre stout with a few mediocre sours thrown in. I know it's "Extreme" beer fest, but the IPAs were few and far between, with maybe 1 or 2 better than a can I get from the store around the corner. I'm admittedly a "beer snob" but comparing to years past, disappointed is the only word I got.
Brewery selections. I'm not sure who turned down invitations, but the # of "world class" breweries in attendance was again disappointing. I'm thinking destination breweries. Kane, Transient, Mortalis, Great Notion, Weldwerks all fit the bill. Others like Lost Abbey, Against the Grain, 4 Hands, Carton, Definitive, and NEBCO are good to fill out. And it's always good to see Dogfish Head as they are a sponsor and have done a ton for craft beer. But 5 or so more of destination breweries would definitely help. Not going to list all that I put in destination brewery bucket, but start in top rated beers (Tree House, Side Project, J Wakefield, Other Half, Angry Chair, Bottle Logic, etc.)
Too many people for venue. I get that the fest downsized and there is probably a break even point where it's not fiscally possible, but on numerous occasions I just wanted to get out of peoples way who were going to a line and felt we had nowhere to go.
I'm glad some people had an awesome time and felt this was a great year. Myself and the other 4 in my party did not feel the same. Not sure if I'm in for next year. After last year's operational debacle, and this year's lack of quality, this festival is no longer a must for me. It's a shame since EBF used to be a beer highlight of the year. I know the BA folks are always evaluating feedback, that's what makes them great. Figured I'd share my two cents.
We sold 725 tickets per session, which was intentionally under capacity, and each session had 30-50 no shows. The last time we hosted the fest at this venue we sold 850 tickets per session.
View from Canada
This was my 2nd EBF. 2 VIP/Early sessions each year. I figure im crossing a border I might as well make it worth my while
Last year I flew in, stayed in the Seaport and didnt venture out much. Granted it was -40 all weekend so there is that.
This year I decided to drive down and explore the area a bit more, including a stop at Trillium Canton and Treehouse on the way home.
I liked the smaller vibe this year and did not have a problem finding beers Ive never had, mostly because everything was new to me. A ton of great beer. I was early in so I hit lots of the big lines early, but even when I went back for a 2nd (or 3rd) choice the lines were not bad and those that had lines were worth it (save for the Jolly Rancher sours which I found underwhelming)
A couple quick thoughts:
I was VIP last year, and while I enjoyed the early in, I missed having a seating area where I could escape and chill for a few minutes while I sipped on a 12% stout. Maybe an expanded seating area for everyone rather than the light folding chairs that seemed to always be taken in the corner.
I have no quarrel with the utopia line. As luck would have it in Session 2, I had just got a tartshake from Cinderlands and was drinking it when I found myself at the back of the line. I didnt realized until someone else asked me if I was in the line, I said no, and a fest crew corrected me and told me I was! So I stayed. Waited 12 minutes and got a taste. Well worth it.
Favourite beers: Aardwolf Guava Lactose, Definative Euphoric Night, all the sours from Burley Oak especially the Strawberry Rhubarb, everything from Kane, everything from Mortalis and I loved the Pickleback from Common.
I probably wont be back next year due to some timing issues, but will do another BA event in a second.
Some coverage from Brewbound and extreme beer thoughts from brewers: BeerAdvocate’s Extreme Beer Fest Gets Intimate and Undefinable
I want to thank everyone that came by to say hello to Artisanal Brew Works. We've been busting our arse to make a great selection of beers, and try and be great at each selection. I hope we were able to give you all a small taste of what we do in little ol' Saratoga Springs.
My team was super humbled by everyone's response to our beer lineup, especially the Warheads Sour.
Personally I really enjoyed the smaller Cyclodome venue. I was able to talk to many of the attendees, and other brewers, both of which were real tough to do in the Seaport venue in 2019.
Our mission statement is quite simple: Make great beer and don't be a D-bag. I hope we came across as such.
Thanks again for all your support!
Artisanal Brew Works
Size large, please.
Yeah, the crowd was the right size. Never felt crowded to me, speaking in festival terms of course.
Beer on Wood in Portland a few years ago was the ideal situation. Never felt crowded there, huge warehouse space. Too bad I heard it's no longer an option, I think it's getting replaced with condos.
Beer Meets Wood was an awesome fest at a unique venue...but we didn't sell enough tickets, which is why it never felt crowded. The venue has been demolished.
My first EBF in 2006 was vastly different than this year's. Fourteen years later, boundaries have been pushed to the point that some of the 'extreme' beer styles back then are now normal. So was this year's better than the first? Can't say, I see no point in comparing them, and I thought it was fantastic. I love that brewers are still up for the challenge of experimenting with weird flavors (hello, Cheetos! hello tacos!) for this fest. As consumers, this is stuff we may never see again, so have fun with it. Sure, there were a lot of spicy stouts, but they were all unique. Ditto the fruited ales, etc. I like that some tried and "failed." It is exactly this sort of festival that has expanded my beer palate.
As part of the fest crew for a lot of years, it's awesome to hear the great feedback about the line, and overall operation of the festival. I was out there scanning and banding you guys, and it's a lot of fun to see y'all getting pumped up for the show. Thanks for coming!
I see a lot of hate on this thread but my wife and I went and had a great time, per usual. Obviously there was less variety and fewer breweries but we were able to get everything we wanted with shorter waits. This led to a better time overall. This was probably our tenth or so EBF and one of our favorites. Keep up the good work.