Brewfest: I Hear Upstate New York is Lovely This Time of Year

Who needs Oktoberfest in Munich when you can party during the ass cold of winter in Syracuse, New York? Cuse: The only place in the US with less sunshine than Binghamton. A town usually known for having a University with great sports programs which developed some of the greatest running backs in college history such as Floyd Little, Heisman winner Ernie Davis, and the NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown, but this town has another little gem known as Brewfest.

Central New York Brewfest, Feb 2012 – Syracuse Fairgrounds

I was out at the bars when I unexpectedly ran into a childhood friend from the neighborhood who I haven’t seen in a few years. He demanded I attend Brewfest the following weekend. I had never before heard of it, and beer is pretty good, so visiting my grandma at the nursing home got postponed. The plan was to first pick up his brother who I can’t remember the last time I saw, and then stop in front of my place to give him a NICE surprise as I walk out of my house with a sleeping bag.


…and fall likes to party. Not sure what the hell this sign means. It’s one of the many artistic pieces littering the fine city of Cuse.



I am currently writing an adult childrens book entitled ‘The Couch Dragon,’ so for some reason a ground dragon seemed picture worthy. This statue was down the street from Kitty Hoynes, an irish pub/restaurant we fueled up at before a long evening of drinking. I ordered an Irish classic, the Bangers Beans and Mash, which although tasty I would not recommend due to its high price and small portion. The Reuben sandwich looked like the way to go. An added bonus was the international Fiddle competition taking place one room over. I was waiting for Bilbo Baggins to come out of the bathroom step dancing his way to the bar. Price Point = 3.2 out of 5 Shekels.

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We arrive at the infamous Brewfest. As you can see there was a super short line leading to the ticket booth. Price Point = 35 Shekkels.


Your chalice Sir! The picture is incredibly deceiving for this vessel only clocks in at 8floz, and is awarded to you after purchasing a ticket. You are now ready to indulge your senses. Brewfest runs from 6pm-9pm, and you may not think that’s enough time until 7:30pm rolls around and some guy is trying to give away his daughters (as seen below) even though they were both already spoken for.


I thanked Super Mario for the proposal and continued to make my rounds. I just realized I have no pictures of the people that came with me to Brewfest. Will work on this kind of thing for future trips. Anyway, as I was dabbling for the 4th time at the Crispin Cider stand, I felt a sudden bump with the intent to party, and when I turned around I saw this magenta painted vixen.


I couldn’t help but take out my dancing shoes, and just when I thought one Ellsworth sister was more than enough I felt a second bump…


and next thing I know I’m part of an Ellsworth sister sandwich.


This went on for the better portion of five minutes until I realized this was the local Cuse cougar call. In order to avoid waking up in between these two and without dignity I quickly darted toward the bathroom.

I haven’t focused much on the breweries present because to me it was the people that made Brewfest special. Oh, and the homemade mustard at the Ommegang Brewery stand.

Next stop was for Chow @ SYRACUSE SUDS, a Spacious microbrewery in downtown Cuse. Refueling is a necessary step during a Brewfest in order to push on through the night. We all ordered Wings, which I would give a rating of 2.8 out of 5. Not great but did the job. What did knock my socks off was the cheese fries. Wow, I sound like a true grease-ball. I guess sometimes you gotta just own it. Price Point = 3 out of 5 Shekels. 

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It was finally that time of the night to Get Weird @ Daisy Dukes Cuse Bar.

I quickly found that the women at the bar weren’t as accurately portrayed as the flyer suggests. However, that wasn’t going to stop a good time. While watching one of my friends embarrass himself as he attempted to ride the mechanical bull in the middle of the bar, a confident young woman approached me with these kind words “Let’s do shots!” I replied “Sure.” Surprised that for once a woman offered to buy me a shot. She then requested in a flirtatious fashion “We’ll have four fruity shots, thanks.” I was caught off guard at the audacity and laughed out the word “What?” She then snapped back “Maybe you didn’t hear me, but I said we’ll take four fruity shots.” I said, “Oh you want me to buy you and your friends shots, haha, well I am sorry I don’t buy girls shots, and def not ones that look like you gals. High five!” She stared at me blankly; bewildered and certainly not interested in a high five. So to clear up any confusion I said “Maybe you didn’t hear me I said high five,” still holding my hand up as I walked away.

After a few hours at Dukes we headed back to the hotel more than sufficiently intoxicated.

We decided to stop in at the hotel bar for a night cap, and good thing we did or we wouldnt have run into the Stache of the Trip. This guy was a beauty; Hawaiian button down, dragon t, and what looked like half of the waiters uniforms at Fogo De Chao. The last stop before bed was a slightly regrettable one for some late night Chow @ FRANCO’S PIZZERIA & DELI. Calling themselves a pizzeria is like a stripper calling herself a professional athlete. Benefits include open late and creative slice toppings, and when I say benefit for the latter I mean strictly for ninja turtles. I had a BLT, buffalo chicken, and mystery slice that I think had bubble gum on it. Cowabunga Dude! Give me a break, it was late and I’d been drinking for over 7 hrs. Price Point = 2.5 out of 5 Shekels. If you have a sick sense of humor and a steel stomach the website is below.

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All in all Brewfest was awesome, and next year if I am within an hour of Cuse during that time of year I will definitely try my best to make it. Shalom out.


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