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Rochester Real Beer Week, 2013
We are really getting the outdoor itch as spring is finally coming into it's own here in western New York. As we excitedly look forward to the summer, one of the great local beer events is on the horizon: Rochester Real Beer Week! It's probably more accurately described as a theme than it is a singular event as great craft beer establishments set up their own events between June 14th and June 23rd.

The Rochester Real Beer Expo is the centerpiece event, happening on Saturday the 15th. They close down Gregory Street outside the Tap and Mallet, set up a bunch of tents, and a bunch of breweries serve great beers. Each brewery in attendance is encouraged to bring as many casks as possible to embrace the real beer portion of the title. This year's event is the third incarnation. We skipped last year's after being disappointed with the first one. It was overly crowded, there weren't enough bathrooms, and food options were lacking, but the beer was great! We decided to grab tickets again this year and see if they made any improvements. We are hopeful!

While many events have yet to be announced, we are already filling out our schedules for the week. While not technically part of Rochester Real Beer Week (and a bit of a haul for those living in the city), we will be attending the Crossborder Blues, Brews & Que over in Wilson, NY on Sunday the 16th. I believe this will be its third incarnation as well. It's much smaller in scope than the event in Rochester but it's a great time. Tastings are extremely affordable, there's great bbq available to eat, you can watch a very well done bbq competition, and my Dad sells ice cream at it. You can't go wrong!

The Old Toad is having their cask festival again this year. It happens the second weekend of Real Beer Week. I totally missed out on this last year, but I remember the buzz on Twitter. It seemed like a can't miss event. We already snagged our tickets for the session on Friday the 21st. They haven't announced all of the breweries who will be involved but Oskar Blues is already on the list. We are hoping to get to try some of their rarer beers (like Vanilla Old Chub and/or Mango Habanero Dales). We missed our chance to try them at an Old Toad event last fall that was cancelled and it seriously bummed us out.

Lovin' Cup is holding an interesting event to close out the week on Saturday the 22nd and I stupidly signed up for it. Yes, the morning after staying up late enjoying amazing beers at The Old Toad I will be getting up early to attempt to run a 5k race! Called the Rochester Real 5K, runners show up early, do their best to get a good time, then get a free t-shirt and pint glass filled with a post race beer. I hope it will be a lot of fun and I won't embarrass myself. After the race is done we may swing over to Tap and Mallet for a Dogfish Head tap takeover. Sounds like a pretty cool way to end the week.

Rochester Real Beer Week is a great way to get out and support local businesses. We've already got two busy weekends planned and surely a ton more events are going to be announced during the week. Here's hoping an amazing pairing dinner will come up for the 20th. It would be an awesome way for Heather and I to celebrate our anniversary.
By Mike on April 29, 2013 at 6:15pm EDT Topic(s): beer events rochester real beer week

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