Going so long between posting beer fests wasn't an oversight, I just didn't go to any in between February and November. Hopefully I will do better next year. Anyways, here's what I thought about this event.
The Event: Hosted by DrinkCraftBeer, this fest has been around for a few years. It's only the 2nd time I've gone, but it's been around longer. It's at the Cyclorama in Boston, and there are 25 local breweries and cideries, as well as 7 BBQ joints. You can find something for everyone, though it's definitely a beer-drinker's event. The vast majority of beers are NEIPA's, which makes sense given that it's local stuff from New England. You also get samples from all 7 BBQ joints. They're relatively small, so don't plan on this being dinner, but also don't come full. If you do plan on having dinner here, definitely plan to buy something (fortunately all the BBQ places have stuff for sale). There was also a pickle shop giving out samples, which were awesome. One of the BBQ shops ran out of food very early for some reason. I'm not sure how that was possible, but whatever.
My Experience: I went to the 3rd session, Saturday evening. It was my 2nd year at this fest, and I learned some things from the previous year. The beer list is available in advance, so I looked that up and picked 15-20 that I REALLY wanted, and another 30 or so that I also wanted. I went full nerd, printed out the map and color-coded it so I knew where to go. I managed to try 38 different samples, which is definitely high for me for one of these. I didn't get to all that I REALLY wanted because some of the lines were long, and I prioritized trying more things to waiting in line.
The Beers: The best one I had was a version of Channel Marker Siren, which was the 2nd beer I had (my judgment unaffected by alcohol consumption). It's a sour with a decent balance of fruitiness. Other beers that were notably good: Vitamin Sea AU Jus (NEIPA), SingleCut Diamond Star Halo (NEIPA), and Trillium Plum Fated Farmer (wild ale) and Dialed-Up (NEIPA). There were plenty of other good ones, including some dark beers, but those were the best of the best.
Recommendations: This festival is pretty manageable due to the small number of breweries. They will publish a beer list in the week or so leading up to it, but don't expect it to be entirely correct. Still, look at it and decide if there's anything you really need to get. A few of the beers (and food) will run out towards the end. Don't expect any of the lines to be too long at this fest. Some of the food lines can look long, but I even waited in a line (for food) that went across the entire venue and it only took 10 minutes.
Everything you really want to get (both food and beer), get in the first 2 hours, then explore. If you are focused on beer, just skip the cideries, there will be plenty of different beers to get you through the fest. If you like everything, just wander around trying stuff. Ask the brewers which ones are the most popular and start with those - they're popular for a reason.