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New York Beer Fest Slings Suds on Randall's Island

By Victoria Bekiempis | September 20, 2013 12:50pm
 The inaugural New York Beer Festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 21, on Randall's Island from noon to 4 p.m. 
Randall's Island Beer Fest
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RANDALL'S ISLAND — Bottoms up!

The inaugural New York Beer Festival kicks off Saturday at noon on Randall's Island.

The fest, which organizers say will bring in between 2,000 and 2,500 beer aficionados, will focus on NYC and state breweries. 

Its roster of 70 brewers includes local favorites such as Alphabet City Brewing Company, Bronx Brewery, Harlem Brewing Company, and Shmaltz Brewing Company.

Dan Silberstein, a promoter with event organizer Drink: Eat: Play, said the company wanted to bring the festival to the Big Apple because of the city's burgeoning interest in beer.

"New York has an up-and-coming craft beer scene, and people are more conscious of craft beers," he said. "So we thought: 'Why not put an event together?'"

Though there are other beer festivals in the metropolitan area, Silberstein said: "What makes it unique is we have a focus on local breweries and national craft breweries."

Tickets to the festival, which cost $50 for general admission and $65 for VIP, cover "unlimited beer" and entertainment — including '80s cover band The Ronald Reagans

Food trucks such as Gorilla Cheese and Old Traditional Polish Cuisine will also be on site selling eats.

Silberstein, who has been putting on beer fests for five years, said attendees shouldn't exploit the unlimited beer.

"It's not a drunk fest — it's an opportunity to explore beers," he said.

To that end, Silberstein offered up some advice.

"Be patient with your consumption at the beginning," he said. "Take it slowly, the lines aren't going to be bad at all." 

Silberstein reminded that attendees should explore as man brews as possible, and even "take a few sips of the ones you don't like."

"You don't have to finish all your beers," he said.