Just like New York State’s wineries, cheese and specialty food producers, New York State Craft Beer makers are riding a big wave of growth and popularity.
This past Saturday, October 12th, I was fortunate enough to participate in the first Bethel Woods Craft Beer Festival and Chili Cook-Off, located at the original site of the Woodstock Music Festival in Bethel, N.Y.
This was a spectacular event on many levels. The turnout was huge on a beautiful fall day and there were about two dozen craft beer and cider makers handing out tasty samples in two large pavilions that are part of the sprawling Bethel Woods site.
There were also local seasonal fruits available and many food vendors and craft people selling their goods.
I participated by giving a cooking with beer demonstration using barley and Octoberfest beer to do a twist on risotto with butternut squash, bacon, onion, sage.
I also used a beer washed Gouda cheese called “Bier Meck” from Fingerlakes Farmstead Cheese Co., but in the recipe link above, I used grated parmesan cheese instead, which is a fine and traditional option.
Lots of great music too and I got to play a few solo acoustic original songs before and during my cooking demo on the stage right at the top of the hill overlooking the concert site.
Beyond the pleasure of being part of such an amazing day and event, just being at the site of the Woodstock Music Festival was an incredibly moving experience.
Keep your eyes and ears open for the second annual. I sure hope it happens!