NYC Craft Beer Festival Preview Tasting Guide

With the recent craft beer craze sweeping the Nation, more and more enthusiasts are finding ways to gather and share their passion for suds. November 10 marks the NYC Craft Beer Festival Winter Harvest, which serves as a summit for some of the best microbreweries in the nation to share their taste with local connoisseurs. Not only does the festival sport quality brews, but they have also taken the initiative to bring in top-notch food vendors to create a food and beer pairing experience for the ages.

To help build anticipation for the unique event, Cicerone Robert Hodson of Great Brewers stopped in to share some of of his insights on the forthcoming food pairings that will be seen at the festival. What we came up with are a few perfectly paired menu items and craft beers that will all make an appearance at the November festival.

First up is the Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, a staple for those of you who aren’t quite ready to let go of the summer BBQ season. This hearty item will be topped with twice backed potato salad, bacon, scallions, cheddar cheese and a zesty BBQ sauce. Hodson brought up the coveted Sierra Nevada Torpedo, an American style IPA that boasts a 7.2% ABV. This assertive, self-proclaimed “Extra IPA” will work wonderfully to combat the kick that BBQ sauce is going to bring to the table.

Next is the Ale Braised Bratwust Sandwich, a must-have for any fall beer festival. This item is going to be served with traditional sauerkraut and Mother’s Milk Mustard. For such a traditional food, we are going to have to call on a traditional beer, which will come from Victory’s Märzen style Festbier. With a malty, medium body, and a smooth finish, the first bite of that juicy brat is going to come right at you with a blast of rich traditional flavors.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the festival decided to incorporate a turkey sandwich that will be herb stuffed and topped off with cranberry mayo. It doesn’t get any more American than that. Pair this one with Sixpoint’s Sehr Crisp Pilsner, which will dance nimbly around the complex flavors of the sandwich. In German, Sehr translates to “very,” which means this “very crisp” beer will be the perfect palette cleanser after you down this homely menu item.

The final entrée to bring to your attention is the Vegan Empanadas, perfect for those trying to escape the prior meat offerings. The empanadas will come with crispy tortillas and fresh salsa, a combination of ingredients that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With a vegan item so deceptively flavorful, we are going to need to bring in a beer with extra finesse. That is where Allagash White comes in, a traditional Belgian wheat ale that packs a delicious punch of herbs, fruits and spices. The citrus tones of this beer will flirt swimmingly with the empanada acidity, while the coriander will tango all night with that devilish salsa.

Brought to us by Hand Crafted Tasting Co., the same company who produced the sold out NYC Craft Beer Festival last spring, will hold the NYC Craft Beer Festival Winter Harvest on Nov. 10 at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57, Indoor Event Space at 15th Street & Westside Highway. The event will be held indoors, so no need to worry about the cold or inclement weather. Tickets are moving fast, so you best head over to their website ( and take advantage of this fabulous opportunity.