For $50, unlimited beer -- and mirth

(Credit: Urbanite)

This photo says a lot about what Brewfest was like.

Friday night, the Seaport was a rainy, miserable place to be. Except for the free-flowing beer. That made up for a lot.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Brewfest, if you aren't aware, is a large annual tasting festival of craft beers hosted by the New York State Brewers Association. For $50 you get a four-ounce glass and unlimited (within reason, of course) refills.

When I got there, around 6:30 p.m. (the doors opened at 5), the Seaport was crowded and my friends were ... well, let's say less than sober. I was cold and wet and not in a good mood at all. A few swigs of some quality craft-produced beer, and that all went away. We were making friends left and right, and while it was raining cats and dogs outside, it was sunny in our hearts. There was singing, there was sports-team-cheering, there was beer.

Which is not to say the event is just an all-night drinks fest. It is that, but it's not just that. Talking to the brewers as they served up their suds, you could tell that they were really passionate about what they do. If you wanted to engage, they were happy to educate or just share a love of beer.

Of course, toward the end of the night, people did start to get rowdy. But security was speedily on hand to make sure no one's face (or buzz) was ruined.

-- Emily Hulme

Tags: south street seaport , brewfest , beer , food , bars

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