What did everyone think about Rochester Real Beer Week?

It’s come and gone.  The building anticipation of what it was going to bring, is now over.  Rochester had it’s first REAL BEER WEEK!  What were the highlights?  What were some of your favorite events!!!?  Many of us had so much going on at our own establishments that we didn’t get to experience all that was going on in Rochester!

On Friday, the 15th, we did our own little kick off with an event featuring Victory and Long Trail Brewery – Philly vs. Vermont if you will!  They sampled beers to the few thousand people we had at Park Point to the soundtrack of  some boot kickin’ Country music.  Though it was close, Victory pulled just slightly in the lead, but we got great comments on all of the beers!

Following our own party, we did get a chance to stop out to Sticky lips for the official beer kick-off party, put on by Three Heads Brewery!  As usual, they threw a kick ass party!  great music, delicious 3HB beers, and most importantly, amazing company,

Clearly the beer expo was wonderful:  From the beer selection to the beautiful weather, to the exquisite execution on the part of the Tap and Mallet crew and fabulous volunteers.  Clearly, there was no other way to REALLY kick off a great week of events!   What beers were highlights for you?

We continued the week with a laid back Sly Fox Kan Jam Tourney with Patrick Mullin!  We sampled beers in the sunshine, people kan jammed and I personally acted as team cheerleader and spectator.  It was a nice change of pace from the craziness of the beer expo, as we all nursed our hangovers!  Don and Jay won the tournament with their spectacular skills!

Tuesday night brought more fun at the cup as Three Heads brought us yet another killer party – cause that’s what they do – the Chris Hollywood and Friends Pro Jam!  We had the best musicians in Rochester, gracing our stage and improvising some amazing jams!  What a lovely thing to listen to when drinking Three Heads brews!  Yummy on the palate and the ears!

On Wednesday, we snuck out for a few drinks down at the Nathaniel Square Corner Store, where Todd Fowler was serving up delicious samples!  My personal favorite was the tripel 😉  tasty treats!

We then made our way back to Lovin’cup for our night with Great Lakes Brewmaster, Luke Purcell!  This event was AMAZING!  Not only were we serving up some Great Lakes favorites on Tap, but we also had a glorious firkin of the Edmond Fitzgerald infused with vanilla bean and dried cherries. Needless to say, it was delicious…..and GONE by the end of the night.  I also played a friendly game of cornhole with my partner, Matt Roth of Great Lakes – we may or may not have dominated against Luke, himself and Great Lakes Ambassador Ryan McLoughlin.  Amazing times.

Thursday brought more experiments with some of our favorite beers, as Kara Henderson and Cora Murphy created some delicious beer cocktails and paired them up with complimentary nibbles!  My personal favorite was their play on the French 75, which they paired with a pretzel bar (EXCUSE ME?) with beer cheese and hearty mustard dip!  I loved all  that they did though – creating seven different cocktails, which each were unique and delicious in their own way.  They named each station after different Rochester Musical Reference – such as, the Froho Moho – a play on a manhattan, was also delish.  If you missed this event, you missed out!!!

All of these delicious treats were served alongside Stacey Mrva’s beer art, which she dubbed “Brewing Metal” – if you aren’t familiar with your art…first of all, I feel sorry for you…second of all, get your butt down to Lovin’cup – it will be up till the end of July!

On Friday, we were a little pooped from a week of events…not to mention we had to get up bright and early the next morning for Rochester’s first Real 5 K and beer week finale 🙂   We weren’t too tired to hit up the Nathaniel Square Corner Store for a little Troegs sampling from Mike!   Although it is no secret that all of their beers are amazing, we got the opportunity to order the delicious “Perpetual IPA” and a scratch beer in the style of an English  Bitter.  Although they were both very pleasing to my palate, we ended up taking home a growler for the Perpetual IPA (and ordering a keg for Lovin’cup, which will be here VERY SOON!) which Erik ended up drinking all by himself!

We turned in early because on Saturday, June 23rd, we had the finale for Rochester Beer Week, which was to be kicked off by Rochester Real 5 K!  The day was perfect for a race.  Warm, but not too hot…sunny, with a light breeze.  We had about 100 runners for our first year of doing this!  Great people who were inspiring in every way!  For how quickly we had to put this together, we were very happy with this turnout!  We got nothing but positive feedback on the route, the way that the race was run and the people!

It was followed up by lots of beer drinking in the sun, and fabulous music by the Reactions, the Absolutes, Sisters and Murphy, and Teagan and the Tweeds!  It couldn’t have been a more of a perfect ending to the week.  We look forward to growing this event each year!

I would say…it was a good week.  A very good week.  Cheers to everyone for all you did to make it happen.