Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meadowlands Int'l Beer Expo - Part 1

I heard about the International Beer expo from a member of Tristate Beer Lovers Meetup back in January when tickets were being offered at half the $40 entrance fee.  Of course, I didn’t act fast enough to get that deal but waiting worked out in my favor.  My nephew Sean, who had to work the show, was able to get me a comp ticket so I felt ahead of the game right from the start. My brother and I and our wives took the train into Secaucus Junction and then hopped in a cab for the 10 minute ride to the Expo Center.  On the train, we split a bottle of Labyrinth Black IPA and some pretzels in order to prime us for the show.

We accepted our plastic tasting glasses and program at the door and took a lay of the land.  It was a very similar set up to The Atlantic City Beer Fest I attended last year.  The girls headed for the food stands while Joe and I scouted out some of our favorites.  The program listed all the breweries of which only about half were foreign.  We were a little disappointed to see there were only 2 Belgian Breweries in attendance.   American Craft beers were well represented though. 
The first beers that caught my eye were the distinctive cans of 21st Amendment from San Fran whose Monk's Blood Strong Ale is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  I walked up to the pourer and asked for some Monk and he poured me some amber colored ale from a bottle.  I asked him why it wasn’t served from a can like the others and he said that he was from North Coast Brewery also from California.  Apparently, they didn’t bring a sign which made for some confusion. 
The beer has a sweet complex taste like the Monk and is called Brother Thelonius Monk. It too is a Belgian Style Abbey Ale, and part of the profits from its sale go to a Jazz Institute named for Thelonius.  Not a bad start.  I just have to remember to ask what I’m getting before they pour. 

I sidled over to the 21st Amendment table and was bumbed that they didn’t bring their Monk, but they were pouring Back in Black.  This black IPA is toasty malt with a nice bitter finish; not too different from the Labyrinth we had on the way down. 
We joined the girls for some basic beer fare of burgers and sausage and pepper heroes.  Then we set out to try as many international beers as we could. We got our next fill from a St Paulie Girl look alike at the Stiegl table.  She didn’t have much of a personality, but this Austrian beer had a floral nose and was one of our favorites on the day. 

My sister-in-law, Irene, is Polish so we made a bee-line for the two Polish beers at the show:  Tyskie and Lech (as in Welesa).  We had a little trouble pronouncing the former, calling it Titsky even before we saw the girl behind the counter.  Both beers were standard lagers but I thought they stood up well to the competition. 

To be continued . . .


  1. Glad you were able to make it. I'm often in the Meadowland's area on weekends, but not this weekend. Thought the event might draw more Meetup folks.

  2. Ralph, Sorry you counldn't make it. We had a blast!!

  3. Funny post uncle Mike, especially that part about Titsky! Looked like a good way to spend the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday.