NERAX Boston - April 6-9, 2016

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by Jason, Mar 11, 2016.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,354) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
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    Who is going this year?

    Event link
    http://www.beeradvocate.com/events/info/78596/

    I'm hoping to make it at least one night, missed it last year due to the date change and overlapping the Craft Brewers Conference. Looking forward to checking out the new venue to quaff back some pints!
     
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  2. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,942) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    Already bought tickets for Saturday day. Pumped!
     
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  3. cskollmann

    cskollmann Initiate (67) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    Got tickets for Friday night, going to be an epic weekend with the Lawson's anniversary the next day!
     
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  4. Hophead717

    Hophead717 Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    Am I correct in seeing that Saturday is the best day for the American cask ales? I know HF has sent casks before--are they traditionally a Saturday offering? Thanks for the info! I am going to make this year my first visit--just trying to make an educated decision about what day to attend.
     
  5. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (472) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I'm planning on going - I missed last fall due to a 5 month old, hoping to get away for a night or Saturday day session.
    NERAX is by far my favorite fest of the year, Great beers, really chill vibe there, not a huge crowd like the big ones.
     
  6. rhino88888888

    rhino88888888 Initiate (129) Dec 12, 2013 Massachusetts
    Trader

    My favorite fest by a long shot. Very bummed I'm going to be out of town and will miss it this year.

    BTW - The NERAX Kickoff Party is happening Monday, April 4th at Redbones with 3 English casks. 6pm-8pm with free appetizers.
     
  7. rhino88888888

    rhino88888888 Initiate (129) Dec 12, 2013 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I think the NERAX cellar team taps casks as they become ready so it really is the luck of the draw as to which casks will be available any one session. (And sometimes casks never get tapped if the cellarman judges it not proper) However, they do a great job of having a wide variety of casks available at each session including American, UK and (occasionally) German.

    You really can't go wrong at any of the sessions. Check their twitter feed for up-to-the-minute info on tappings and kickings during the fest.

    If you want some hard data, here are the HF casks I've sampled at past NERAXes: Edward (2012 Saturday evening session), Simcoe Single Hop (2014 Wednesday evening session), Edward (2015 Saturday evening session). But there may have been others during sessions I did not attend.
     
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  8. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (473) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Can't wait for NERAX. Had the HF Simcoe in 2014 -- real nice blend of modern NE style w/ old world cask presentation. Sadly -- my sources tell me HF won't have a real ale at this year's fest.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,942) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    Just to add to the thread, I've only gone Saturday days (multiple times, too many to count) and I've never seen Hill Farmstead.

    That being said, if it's there, cool, but if not there's always plenty of awesome options available. In my opinion this isn't necessarily a festival you go to to seek out popular American brews. The highlight is the UK casks, skillfully handled, in great shape. You can drive a few hours north and get Hill Farmstead or go to Armsby Abby. To get UK casks of this quality you'd have to buy an expensive plane ticket and travel overseas.

    To echo the others, it's a crap shoot, and even if they predict a specific cask will be on, there's no guaranteeing it will be ready that day, if at all. Pick the day/night which fits your schedule the best and enjoy!
     
  10. cskollmann

    cskollmann Initiate (67) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    Yes to the above, go to try things you can't get without extreme traveling. In addition to the beer, don't ignore the ciders (in past years the Welsh ciders they've brought over have been absolutely unique and amazing). Also definitely try any German casks they get (I found zwickelbier from a gravity cask to be a life altering experience). Personally, I don't think the hoppier American IPAs lend themselves to cask anyway.
     
  11. liquorpig

    liquorpig Meyvn (1,293) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society

    HF will be there.
     
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  12. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Poo-Bah (3,468) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I'll be there Friday and Saturday, and perhaps Thursday, too. I don't think I'll make it Wednesday.

    It is a great event that I look forward to each year. Have a few pints with friends.
     
  13. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,354) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Society

    Agreed ... also, I would have to guess that almost all of the American beers were NEVER brewed to be a cask offering where the UK offerings are specifically brewed to become a cask offering. Not saying that the American casks are not worth a try, you usually never see finesse IMO.
     
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  14. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I guess you've never tried Jack's Abby House Lager then. Here's hoping they package in cask for special occasions.
     
  15. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,354) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Society

    Very familiar with that beer both draft and tallboys now ... that is the way I like it, I'm sure the cask version is fine but I'd still order the normal version over it.
     
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  16. mcintire78

    mcintire78 Zealot (563) Dec 16, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Definitely my favorite festival of the year. I was skeptical about the Lithuanian Club, but it really is a great space. I also agree that you're much better off choosing a random British bitter, ESB, or mild than trying your favorite American offering in cask form. Cask lends itself to certain styles that just aren't that popular in the States.

    All that said, I noticed that there has been a jump in the imperial pint / half pint / quarter pint pricing. I have the utmost faith in the folks running NERAX and I'm sure the cost increase is necessary to cover expenses, but it is unfortunate. Eight dollar pints (nine with tip?) really takes the fun out of things...
     
  17. MrDarcy

    MrDarcy Devotee (400) Aug 28, 2013 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Friday tix purchased. NERAX #6 for me :slight_smile:
     
  18. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (473) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I hadn't noticed the prices rising. Given that the whole affair is volunteer driven -- my sense is the prices are set to cover costs. Hall rental costs, promotion, casks/beer procurement, serving and chilling equipment (a single beer engine like they use at the bar is $850 new), permits/insurance perhaps etc etc. are not cheap for an event of that size. I'd gladly pay $8 or more for a pint for an authentic cask fest experience which is extremely rare outside the UK.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (960) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts

    I dont think it's uncommon to pay $6-8 a pint around London so maybe NERAX is a good deal
     
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  20. Ericness

    Ericness Devotee (415) Nov 21, 2012 Massachusetts
    Society

    Any major disadvantages to the Wednesday session? Never been to this event before, and that might be my best chance to do so.
     
  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,942) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    I've never been on Wednesday, if anything the major advantage is that there will be less of a crowd (not that any particular session gets that crowded, chill pub-like atmosphere all around).

    If I had to guess, it's less popular simply because it's a Wednesday night.
     
  22. Ericness

    Ericness Devotee (415) Nov 21, 2012 Massachusetts
    Society

    Sounds reasonable, thanks!
     
  23. RBCORCORAN

    RBCORCORAN Initiate (0) May 18, 2009 Massachusetts
    Deactivated

    I would have been but my nephew made a mistake ,He wanted to pay me for helping him with a project but i wouldn't take his money so he offered to buy me tickets . I agreed and told him to get me tickets to Nerax .He's not into craft beer so he went online and ended up getting me ticket to the craft beer fest at the cyclorama on April 3rd. ( this weekend) no big deal , at least I have something to do on Sunday afternoon.
     
  24. yuppiescum

    yuppiescum Initiate (47) Jun 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    You might call this a "teachable moment."
     
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  25. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Poo-Bah (3,468) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    You can still get tickets for NERAX, I would think.
     
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  26. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,942) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    I would think so, it's more of a niche event that doesn't sell out quickly.

    It also runs Wed - Sat if you didn't want to go the day before another beer fest...and it's not a huge investment, I paid $5 for my ticket.

    There's still time, you can do it!
     
  27. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (473) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Heard the NERAX team was in VT last weekend -- 5 casks returned to the Bay State. VT Brewers and Cask Ale --nothing could get me more excited for NERAX 16....:slight_smile:
     
  28. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,354) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Society

    Anyone see a beer list yet?
     
  29. barracuda

    barracuda Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Unfortunately I don't think they post the beer lists online anymore. At least, they didn't ever for NERAX North this past November. I suppose we'll know in about 7 hours. :slight_smile:
     
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  30. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    Looks like they've been a bit preoccupied. They're an entirely volunteer nonprofit organization, so not every base is always covered...
     
  31. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts

    For those wondering... A certain northern New England brewer's cask-dry hopped variant of their pale ale is already pouring on a Wednesday night for perhaps the first and only time...
     
    #31 chinabeergeek, Apr 7, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  32. Stormfield

    Stormfield Aspirant (229) Feb 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    Can someone share a picture of the big board?
     
  33. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,326) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts

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  34. Ericness

    Ericness Devotee (415) Nov 21, 2012 Massachusetts
    Society

    It was real (ale) and it was fantastic...
     
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  35. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (473) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
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  36. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,942) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    I haven't bought tickets at the door in a long time.

    My brother wants to go on Saturday afternoon, are there plenty of tickets available at the door, and if so, how long do they sell them for? (We might get there a little late 12:30/1ish)
     
  37. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (960) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts

    I can't imagine you would have a problem. I've only ever bought tickets at the door and usually show up about an hour into the fest. Website says they still have plenty of tickets for all sessions too.
     
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  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,942) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    Perfect, thanks!
     
  39. ElmerTLee

    ElmerTLee Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Connecticut

    Any decent places to eat in this vicinity? Nothing too fancy...wife won't have it :slight_smile:
     
  40. AirBob

    AirBob Crusader (713) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts
    Trader

    A restaurant group owns threes places all within a few blocks of the Lithuanian Club - Lincoln (great pizza, sandwiches), Capo (Italian), and Loco (tacos, oysters). They tend to attract the bro crowd later at night, but the atmosphere is fine around dinner time. A little down W. Boardway is Worden Hall - good tap list and food, but a little expensive for what it is. KO Pies (Australian food) is right around the corner from Worden Hall and is supposed to be excellent and low-key. The Paramount has a location on E. Broadway, 3/4 of a mile away - solid, simple food and low-key, family atmosphere. Seapoint on E. 8th is a solid option if you're looking for a neighborhood place.

    Is Redbones serving food at the festival this year?
     
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