What You Need to Know About the American Craft Beer Festival

Posted May 15, 2015 by Lindsey Day in Eat & Drink

Later this month, Harpoon teams up with popular craft beer magazine BeerAdvocate to host the East Coast’s largest craft brew festival. The American Craft Beer Fest, ACBF, brings more than 600 beers to Boston on May 29 and 30. Here’s what you need to know if you plan on going.

ACBF by the Numbers
ACBF is going down May 29 and May 30 at the Seaport World Trade Center. It’s expected to draw 15,000 attendees and will feature over 640 beers by more than 140 craft breweries. If you’re a serious beer geek, you can’t miss this event. It gives you the chance to try as many beers from all over the U.S. as you can drink during the session. Sample new offerings from some of your favorite breweries or delve further into the ever-evolving world of craft brewing.

There are three different ticketed sessions, one of which has already sold out. Tickets are available for the Friday, May 29 session, which runs from 6-9:30 p.m., and for the Saturday, May 30 6-9:30 p.m. session. Tickets cover beer only.

You can wander among the booths sampling 2-oz. pours of beer and talking to brewery staff, who will all be manning the booths. Every session will have the same beers so there’s no need to go to more than one; however, some beers may run out during the course of the event.

Breweries in attendance include 21st Amendment, Allagash, Anchor, Ballast Point, Baxter, Brewery Ommegang, Dogfish Head, Finch’s, Founders, Full Sail, Ithaca Beer Company, Left Hand Brewing Company, Magic Hat, Oskar Blues, Peak Organic, Rhinegeist Brewery, Rogue Ales, Sixpoint Brewery, Shiner, The Fort Collins Brewery, Tröegs Brewing Company, Uinta Brewing Company, Utah Brewers Cooperative, and Wormtown Brewery. Of course, Boston favorites like Sam Adams will be there as well.

There will be several food vendors on site to help you soak up all that booze, so be sure to bring cash to pay for anything you might want to eat during the event.

BeerAdvocate states, “No kids. No pets. No moochers.” Everyone in attendance must be over 21, and there is no special “designated driver” price for non-drinkers who wish to attend.

BeerAdvocate is also seeking volunteers to help run the event. You’ll get to sample a few beers during your breaks and will be able to connect on a more personal level with brewers and beer geeks.

A lineup of craft beers.

If You Plan to Go
It can’t be said often enough…buy tickets early as this event should definitely sell out. The Seaport World Trade Center is easily accessible from the MBTA’s Silver Line (the World Trade Center Station). If you’re not taking public transportation, use a car service to get home safely after you’ve enjoyed the festival events. There are tons of hotels in the area if you want to make a weekend of it as well.

If you want to maximize your time at ACBF, get there early and wait in line. Doors will open at the stated time, so the better your line position, the faster you’ll be inside with a cold one in your hands.

The week of ACBF, local brew pubs including Bukowski’s will be rolling out some exciting beer specials. the best place to learn more about these pop-up events; as with anything craft brew-related, it’s best to show up early for a guarantee you’ll get to try the good stuff.

Are you planning to go to ACBF or have you been before? Leave any tips for first-time attendees in the comments.