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The Mass Media

A Delicious Tradition: Boston’s Annual Beer Summit Harvest Fest

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Boston’s Annual Beer Summit Harvest Fest

If you’re a fan of endless samples as well as alcoholic beverages, you need not look too far out of your way; one of New England’s oldest and most famous craft beer tasting festivals is right around the corner.
On November 20 and 21,  Boston’s annual Beer Summit Harvest Fest allows you and your friends a cheap way to break out of the old humdrum standard beers you pull out every weekend. You can easily find a delicious flavor of your favorite frothy drink that you may not have even known existed. In fact, you may find several; after all, it has been announced that as of November 3, 55 brewers will be attending and giving samples of their beers.
One of the runners of the event, Mike Munnelly, has been helping to run the festival since 2005 and sees just how beneficial such an event is to the regular or even occasional beer drinker.
“We try to be low-key about having people trying new flavors. We just want to make it accessible. No one wants to go out and spend 12 dollars on a 22 oz beer that they may or may not like,” Munnelly said. “That’s kind of the whole point. We don’t need to be evangelist,  but we’re still recommending, ‘Oh, if you like this beer, then you should try this one.’”
Munnelly also explains that, although the festival includes some breweries from across the country and even across oceans, the Beer Summit Harvest Fest tends to stick to local brewers out of consideration for consumers; naturally, it would be much easier for festival-goers to continue to buy a local beer that they discovered, rather than get their hands on something only produced on the other side of the country.
There’s also an important historical undertone for why New England lays claim to one of the oldest beer festivals in the country.
“The New England community has historical roots in brewing, like Sam Adams,” Munnelly said. “There’s a sort of tradition to beer making here.”
Although beer has deep roots in New England, craft beer is only more recently becoming appreciated by bigger consumer audiences. Back up almost 30 years, and the Beer Harvest Fest played the role that social media now plays in promoting craft beers. Nowadays, Munnelly explained, the festival acts more as a curating hall.
Ultimately, the festival tries to bring fresher names to the table.
“We go for quantity and quality and aim for around 50 brands. Each brewer brings two or three styles and it ends up being about 200 different styles and flavors,” Munnelly said.
In recent years, festival attendance has grown to several thousand people sipping, tasting, and exploring the day away. Despite obvious appeal to the college-aged consumer base, the crowds at the Beer Summit Harvest Fest are quite mixed with different age groups. Many families and couples attend the event as well, creating an atmosphere of universal appeal.
To buy your tickets and for more information, please visit beersummit.com