I’m all about the local breweries, which means I’m all about Keegan Ales. Tori had been telling me about TAP-NY for weeks, but beer festivals were never really my thing. (Except, of course, Oktoberfest in Munich.) But a beer festival with my beloved locally brewed Super Kitty on tap? How could I refuse? I snatched up one of the last tickets a few days ago.

TAP-NY is one of the biggest beer festivals in the state. Thirty-eight breweries from around the state set up stalls at Hunter Mountain for a weekend of beer-drinking and merriment. Oh, and delicious smells…

A few feet away, the “Beer Goddess Headquarters,” where Tori was enticed by a pair of beer goggles–pardon me, beer sunglasses.

Keegan's was there and free Super Kitty was had. Be still, my heart.

And one of the vendors was selling dried Korean seaweed?

The next few hours went by in a blur. So much of a blur that apparently, I forgot to take pictures of the beer. Stolen from Elina:

Highlights to lowlights:

Sixpoint Craft Ales ‘Apollo Wheat.’ Light and sweet without being too light and sweet.

-The friendly guys working the Southern Tier booth, who did a so-so job of explaining why 2XIPA smelled like marijuana, but were friendly and personable enough that we walked away having already forgotten that they didn’t answer our original question. Thumbs up on the raspberry wheat beer, too.

-While we’re on the subject of fruity beer, can we discuss the blueberry ale at the Bluepoint booth? The beer smelled like blueberries, and tasted almost as good. I held off for as long as I could before drinking it, just taking in its scent.

-The mean Russian couple behind us in the Brooklyn Brewery line. If only they knew that Elina is Russian and understood every last terrible word they said. Oh, wait, they did, because Elina turned around and told them to “shut up and drink your beer.”

-Free food. Nothing entices me more than the idea of free food (even if I did pay $60 for my TAP-NY ticket). But food is usually free for a reason. The ‘Kick-Ass Chili’ was good, but certainly not kick-ass, the hot dogs had an unusually thick casing and the server carrying the tray of chicken nuggets ran away before I could get any sauce on my nug. That being said, the mac and cheese was great. I’d rate it a seven, but it would have been higher had there not been awkward pieces of ground beef mixed in.

Hello, love.

After a drive down Rt. 23A to show Elina and Liz the Kaaterskill Falls, we made it back to Woodstock. In the hours that followed: BBQ, hot tub and of course, cupcakes:

TAP-NY made me realize that I like beer more than I thought I did. It was nice to sample so many different kinds and to learn what tastes and smells appealed to me and what did not. It’s just a shame that I’ll have to wait a whole year for TAP-NY 2011. Hmm, does anyone want to hit up Oktoberfest with me again?

There's still snow on the mountain!