by Lynda Calimano
The biggest names in international brewing are returning to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 for the second annual Long Island International Great Beer Expo. This year’s international beer tasting extravaganza will include more than 20 countries, more than 50 breweries, and showcase more than 100 beers from around the globe. Each country will provide samples of their proudest brewing achievement. Shoulder-to-shoulder with some of America’s best breweries—including many Long Island’s favorites—will be amazing beer from Japan, Germany, Nicaragua, Canada, Indonesia, Trinidad, France, Belgium, Australia, India, Spain, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand, Poland, New Zealand, China, and others.
Special guests include a rare U.S. appearance by Jef Versele, a seventh-generation brewer from Belgium’s Brouwerij Van Steenberge, producers of Gulden Draak, Piraat and Augustijn.Versele will lead talks about “living beers” and will share insight into his brewery’s unique art of second fermentation. Also among the scheduled speakers will be Paul Dlugokencky, owner/brewer of Blind Bat Brewery, who will address the pros and cons of “Starting A Brewery.”
As the U.S. beer industry continues to battle for highly coveted market share with the wines and spirits category, the range of styles and flavors offered by the imports is attracting new fans and enthusiasts. “We want to help introduce Long Islanders to some great imports. Beer lovers here on Long Island are educated about beer and have sophisticated tastes. I think they are ready to do some global exploring. A sold-out event is expected,” said event producer Andy Calimano of Starfish Junction.
Back by popular demand, the entire middle of the expo hall will be set up as a beer garden with German beer tastings sponsored by DAB, Jever, Weihenstephan, Konig, Veltins, Gaffel, Hofbrau and Radeberger. To compliment the beers, a special menu of German-inspired food will be available for purchase. New this year will be the addition of special, limited edition U.S. cask ales, for session one only, sponsored by the Matinecock Masonic Historical Society of Oyster Bay.
The International Great Beer Expo will have two sessions: 12:30-4 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be sold. Once the event sells out, no additional tickets will be available for purchase. Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased at the event website, www.GreatBeerExpo.com, or at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum box office. Tickets include admission to the expo, participation in special programming, a souvenir tasting glass, and the freedom to enjoy a 2-ounce sample of any of the beers present at the expo. Designated driver tickets are also available for $10 each. No one, including designated drivers, under 21 will be admitted and photo ID is required for entry.
The event is sponsored in party by WBAB 102.3 FM. This event will raise funds for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund. The event is produced by Starfish Junction, winner of two prestigious awards honoring events produced for the beer industry: The 2008 Philly Craft Beer Fest was named one of the “Top 10 Beer Festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler and The 2007 North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival was awarded the North Fork “Event of the Year” honor from Dan’s Papers.