April 25th, 2009

It began as an idea: The first-ever DNO Road Trip!

One of the great things about drinking at Heartland, is that it's one of the few places where I can reliably find a copy of the Ale Street News (I know, I should just subscribe again...). And one of the great things about Ale Street News is the calendar of beer festivals around the country. In it, I learned about TAP-NY, a beerfest exclusively celebrating New York State craft breweries!

I went up with fellow dads Dan and Dave. Dan arranged for his co-worker, Alfred, to act as our Designated Driver for the ride back. After a stop in Westchester to pick up Alfred, we started up the trek upstate to the festival, which was held at Hunter Mountain Ski Resort. Hunter is in the Catskills, past Kingston, about 100 miles up I-87 and then another 20 or so off of Exit 20. It's a beatiful area. Driving up through the canyon we passed the impressive Kaaterskill Falls and when we got to the ski areas we saw patches of snow still on the mountains, despite the warm 80-degree April day!

You'd have loved the festival! It was well run and well attended. It was busy, but not insanely crowded. And there were lots of GREAT beers! I tried about 40 different beers—from lovely hefeweissens to chocolate stouts, and everything in between! There were 32 breweries and brewpubs respresented and each brought along 4–6 of their best beers to sample.

The setup is that tickets cost $54. You get a wristband and a small glass. It's a 2-3 oz. pour, so my forty beers adds up being about 80 oz. or, five pints (all in a day's work for me!). Of course, you have to mix the beers up to have any critical faculties for comparison. Fortunately, plenty of food was included in the ticket price! The pizza was only passable, but the rest of it was pretty good: Wurst, pita & hummus, chicken satay, gumbo, cheese & crackers, soup, chili...

We drank really good craft beer and had a blast! Can't wait 'til next year!

Click through to see more pics and my
picks and pans.

Post-Script: Heartland's South Street Seaport location sadly closed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, October 29th, 2012. There was extensive flooding in low-lying areas of New York City, including South Street, which was located directly across the street from Pier 17. At the time of this writing (June, 2014) there are still five Heartland locations, including Union Square and the Empire State Building, as well as Houston Hall, Flatiron Hall and the just-opened Port Chester Hall.

In the Base Lodge. Busy, but not insanely crowded. Lots of GREAT beers!

Plenty of food was included

No idea what she was trying to hide in there!