Brew Biz: Werts and All

brewfest glass

Written by Ken Carman


 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

The Topic: Old Forge Brewfest

 Looks cold, doesn’t it?
 Although this picture of the North Street Pavilion: down towards the old airport, pavofcourtesy the Adirondack Weekly, was taken at a different, more winter-y, time, the scene the day of the first annual BrewFest in Old Forge, NY, was similar. A snow squall kicked up and it reminded me of many days spent in the winter-y Dacks, past tense.
 Being BJCP beer judges, members of several homebrew clubs, having poured for many festivals, and one of us a former Old Forge area resident, of course we volunteered to pour. This was run by The View and I was amazed they got over 40 breweries the first year, and a bit busy because we poured for many different breweries: hence less pictures than I would like.
 Barkeater, Fulton Chain Brewery, Saranac, Sierra Nevada, Browns, Founders, Ithaca Brewing, Lake Placid, Ommegang… just to mention a few. There were two big areas where multiple tables had been put together, and a few off to the side.
 At first we thought turn out would be sparse, but suddenly we were deep in samplers and multiple pours. Music from multiple groups swayed in the air from the main stage with groups like Slug, Old Main and October Downs. Gwen Tracy, Jim’s daughter, also sang a few. I met Jim and discussed our music careers after the beer competition at The Back Door, and for the first time sunk deep into Gwen’s better than Janis Joplin blues style.
 This event offered over 100 releases of tasty, pleasing, brews, and a free sampling glasses. Justin, brewmaster from local Fulton Chain, offered money off pints, so never guess where many of us went after?
  For the first year? Incredible.
 Many thanks to Jim Connerty, and Cory Card who was my earlier contact, for all the hard pre-work. We helped tear down, sort out dead soldiers (empty bottles) and put unopened bottles in cases. Tables put away, then it was off to do one last duty: annoy Justin and Rich at Fulton Craft Brewery down the street once again.
 And like some beer focused Arnold, next year, “We’ll be back!”

Photo courtesy Justin Staskiewicz, Fulton Chain brewmaster: Old Forge, NY


Brew Biz: Werts and All, is a column dedicated to reviewing, discussing and commenting on all things beer including, but not limited to: marketing, homebrewing and homebrew/beer related events, how society perceives all things beer. Also: reviews of beer related businesses, opinions about trends in the beer business, and all the various homebrew, judging and organizations related to beer. Essentially, all things “beer.”

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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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