I’m sure I’m not alone in asking where the bleeping summer went, and I’m unwilling to relinquish August without a fight. If we’re headed for shorter days and cooler nights here in the Hub, we might as well make the most of it. Fortunately, the 4th annual Mass Brewers Fest on August 30 promises a fantastic last hurrah – with a surprise twist.
Although the festival has been held since 2010, this is the first year participating brewers have been given a mission. At the beginning of the month, a dozen Guild members converged on Mayflower Brewing Company to claim their share of a cask English Mild to take home and tinker with. Attendees at the World Trade Center will be able to taste each spin on the base beer to compare, contrast, and play a little game I like to call “Who Brewed it Best?”
Fest-goers will also be given the power to access, track, and rate the list of beers at the event via a nifty new phone app called BrewGene. I’ve long been an admirer of a similar app found at Second Glass’s Wine Riot events, since carrying pen and paper around while you sample is a pain, and who can remember if it was the Pinot Grigio or the Pinot Noir that you loved when you’ve been sipping and schmoozing for three hours straight?
My favorite part of any craft beer celebration is staking out fresh talent, and this year’s looking very promising. “We had quite a few new breweries join the Guild in 2013. We’re excited to continue expanding the number of participating brewers at the fest and to bring attendees more variety in the styles of beer showcased,” said Katie Piepiora, co-chair of the Mass Brewers Guild Marketing & Events committee. If you haven’t yet had the chance to check out RiverWalk, Newburyport, or High Horse, this is an excellent opportunity to scope out some up-and-comers.
It never ceases to amaze me how much time and energy brewers pour (pun intended) into these events. It takes a ton of elbow grease to assemble, haul, set up, distribute, and disassemble a boatload of beer, all with a smile on your face, in the name of drinking locally. To kick off Labor Day weekend, I propose a toast to the hardworking men and women who make up our vibrant craft community, and I hope you’ll join me.
Tickets for next Friday’s Mass Brewers Festival can be purchased here.