BAY SHORE, NY. - Attendees at the 5th Annual North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival held at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, NY on August 13, 2011 were asked to vote for their favorite beer of the festival as part of the Applebee's favorite beer contest. The two beers that received the highest number of votes will be offered on draught at Applebee's locations on Long Island, one in Nassau County, one in Suffolk County.
"It it was wonderful to see how excited the festival attendees were to cast their vote for their favorite craft beer," said Marc Prince, Director of Operations for Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar/Doherty Enterprise. "We run the voting to give our guests who enjoy craft beers a say in what we serve in our restaurants. We want to offer them choices. For our guests, this is a way for them to let us know what they want," added Prince.
With a sold out crowd in attendance yielding nearly 1100 votes, the attendees selected two seasonal beers as the most popular at the festival: the Pumpkin Ale from the Blue Point Brewing Company (Patchogue, NY) and the Leaf Pile Ale from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company (Greenport, NY). "Talk about a hometown advantage," said Andy Calimano, event producer and owner of Starfish Junction. "These Long Island breweries make amazing beers, and the locals really recognize that." Blue Point Brewing Company's Pumpkin Ale will take over a tap line at all the Nassau County Applebee's restaurants, and Greenport Harbor's Leaf Pile Ale will be available at more than 14 Applebee's locations in Suffolk County, starting at the end of September.
Blue Point's Pumpkin Ale is golden orange, crisp and delicious, with an innocent hint of cinnamon and nutmeg that articulates the fall season. The limited availability of this seasonal beer makes it highly desirable. Just like the leaves, it's gone after Thanksgiving. Leaf Pile Ale is "like a slice of pumpkin pie in a glass," says DJ Swanson, brewer at the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. "Fresh whole ginger, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg gives this ale its distinct character," he explained.
Executives from Applebee's work with event producer Starfish Junction to conduct three fan favorite voting platforms per year, one in the spring at the Spring Craft Beer Festival (www.SpringCraftBeerFestival.com) held in March at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY; at the award-winning North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival (www.NorthForkCraftBeerFest.com) held every August at Martha Clara Vineyards in Jamesport, NY.; and every fall at the fun-filled International Great Beer Expo (www.GreatBeerExpo.com/Nassau) held each November at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Previous winners have included Fire Island Beer Co. (NY), Brooklyn Brewery (NY), Magic Hat Brewery (VT), and Blue Point Brewing Company (NY). To find an Applebee's location near you, visit www.Applebees.com.
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