Beer of all types, styles, flavors, and strengths was flowing on Saturday, November 10, at this year’s edition of Long Island, NY’s annual celebration of one of the world’s oldest and most popular alcoholic drinks.
The Great Beer Expo, beautifully produced by award-winning marketing firm Starfish Junction Productions, with assistance from charity partner Suffolk County Homefront, Inc., and held once again at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, was, simply put, a beer lover’s dream as dozens of local, national, and international breweries showcased their best expertly-crafted fermented beverages that began as malted cereal grains before evolving into the luscious liquid that’s become such a huge part of our social culture.
There was truly something for everyone’s taste at the 21 and over event. For fans of lagers, the established Barrage Brewing Company, a local favorite out of Farmingdale, NY, poured its aptly named Lager of Sin, an accurate description of such a delicious brew. Another nearby refinery from Bay Shore, NY, Great South Bay Brewery, presented a wonderfully bitter experience with its Field 5 Golden IPA. Stouts and porters were in abundance as well, with two particular standouts being the Christmas Bomb! born in Krebs, Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales and a java worshipper’s fantasy, the Dunkin’ Coffee Porter, mastered in Boston’s Harpoon Brewery. And for those opting for lighter fare, the 21st Amendment Brewery, located in San Francisco, offered the crisp Corona-esque El Sully.
While the beer was obviously the premiere attraction, wine aficionados were represented as well with an impressive list to sample, including an assortment of Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and many others from Italy, Spain, and Argentina.
A fast-moving concession stand satiated the expected hunger that accompanies steady alcohol consumption as attendees made sure to coat their stomachs, as others opted to save a few bucks by bringing homemade pretzel necklaces to wear, a creative staple of the event.
When taking a breather from the imbibing, there were plenty of other activities spread throughout the area, several associated with supporting our veterans – it was Veterans Day weekend – including filling out holiday cards that organizers were sending to active duty soldiers overseas and a Color Guard presentation by the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). Backyard games proved to be crowd-pleasers too, as players tested their skills at both giant Jenga and cornhole. And for collectors of sports, music, and other memorabilia, the silent auction was an essential visit.
With notable sponsors such as Newsday, WBAB (102.3 FM), and News 12 Long Island taking part, the Expo’s popularity has grown exponentially each year, as evidenced by the sheer number of people perusing the booths, many of them repeat guests. And with two different sessions (afternoon and evening) available to alleviate crowding, all bases were seemingly covered. Cheers!