By Mark Marnell
Returning for its 22nd year, TAP™ New York is the largest and longest running Craft Beer Festival in NY. It is also the largest Single State Craft Beer Festival in America, and it continues to grow bigger each year with respect to people and participating breweries. The 2-day event takes place Saturday, April 27 from 2pm to 6pm and Sunday, April 28, from noon to 4pm at the Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in Hunter NY. The ticket price includes food, all the beer samples you can handle, live music, cooking demonstrations and plenty of friendly opportunities to mingle with brewery owners, brewers, maltsters, hops and grain farmers, writers, bloggers and other NY beer personnel. This year’s food theme is “Wraps”.
Over 7,000 attendees are expected to sample from between 350 and 400 beers served by over 125 breweries. There will also be samples from a few Distilleries and several Cideries. The sky is the limit on beer categories and adjuncts. If the past is any indicator, expect festival specific casks, barrel aged, wild, fruit and sour ales as well as traditional styles, lagers and sessionable beers. Whatever it is you like, you will find many samples that fit your latest fancy. You will also find some state Farm Breweries offering special ales crafted with some NY grown and malted grains, some NY cultivated hops and other NY tended adjuncts. This festival affords you a chance to taste the Empire State from Long Island clear up to the Canadian Border, from its eastern borders to the shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie.
Check out the downloadable app that will have a listing of the breweries, interactive social media features and a map that will help you navigate around. There is also a VIP Experience, limited to 100 people on Saturday, that includes special parking, an extra hour of access, a special seating area in the lodge, exclusive beers, a VIP specific bathroom and exclusive food offerings. To go along with the usual coveted awards like The Matthew Vassar Brewer’s Cup for The Best Hudson Valley Craft Brewery, the F.X. Matt Memorial Cup awarded for the Best Craft Brewery in NY State, The Governors’ Brewers Cup for the best beer in NY State and the John Calen Memorial Plaque, there will be many awards that will be given out specific beer categories.
Pre-tax DD tickets can be purchased for $30 and many Breweries and Craft Beer Bars offer bus trips that include a chance to sober up on the trip home instead of in a DWI jail cell. Saturday’s pre-tax ticket prices are $77 online and $82 at the gate, and $67 and $72 for Sunday. There are 2-day passes for $123 online and $133 at the gate. Drink Intelligently and Taste the greatness of NY!