Atlantic City Beerfest 2011, a.k.a. “Celebration of the Suds 6” – By Lee Salawich.
April 1 and 2, 2011, marked the Atlantic City Beerfest 2011, also known as “The Celebration of the Suds 6.” Over 70 breweries and other vendors held court at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and thousands of attendees packed in to sample over 150 different beers and a few varieties of cider.
Both Saturday sessions were sold out and were wall-to-wall people! Breweries macro- and micro- were represented, including Spaten, Labatts, Sam Adams, Shiner, Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish, Abita, HeBrew, Pabst, Brewery Ommegang, Blue Moon, Great Lakes, Newcastle, Duvel, Victory, Troegs, Boaks, Stoudts, Stone, Oskar Blues, Magic Hat, Boulder, Allagash, Riverhorse, Leinenkugel, Longtrail, Harpoon, New Jersey Beer Co., Lagunitas, Lancaster, Weyerbacher, and many, many more.
From the list, one can see the heavy representation of companies based in the mid-Atlantic and New England states, but a few Colorado-based and other western breweries were also present. This was the perfect opportunity to sample beers unavailable nationwide, as well as to enjoy old reliables in the Boardwalk environment with cheese steak stands and midway games adding to the fun.
The two “new” standouts to me were the Cape Ann Brewing Company Fisherman’s IPA and the Tommyknocker Brewery Maple Nut Brown Ale. The Cape Ann Brewing Company is based in Gloucester, Massachusetts and had a “fisherman” handing out samples. I didn’t ask if he also worked for Gorton’s, but I did trust him when he said their beer was great!
Tommyknocker is based in Idaho Springs, Colorado. If their beer is distributed in Maryland, I’ll definitely pick up some. These were a few of the ones that I actually drank the entire pour; I was driving home after the event. Any excuse to drink Lagunitas IPA and Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale works for me; these both rank pretty high in my book!
Almost all of the stalls had lines all evening long, and the crowd never thinned out significantly.
If you’ve considered attending a beer festival but have not done so yet, run, don’t walk to the nearest one! Where else can you try so many beers in one place in such a short period of time?