Beer and conversation flow at 2013 Brewfest

The Central New York Brewfest welcomed hundreds to the New York State Fairground Horticulture Building on Saturday night, as about 50 vendors offered tastes of their craft beer.

Many attending appreciated the variety of beers they were able to taste, and the fact they could speak to the brewery that made it, adding a personal touch.

"I've never had a bunch of the beers here," Matt Nayda, who drove from Ithaca for the Brewfest, says. "It was nice to get a chance to try all of the different kinds from all over New York."

Many called it an experience, not only tasting the beer itself, but also in talking about the beer with other beer lovers. 'Beer Mike', who appears on local radio as a craft beer advocate, says the conversations are his favorite parts of not only Brewfest, but drinking craft beer in general.

"It ties in everybody, and what is very unique is you can start up a conversation with anybody in the craft beer community," 'Beer Mike' says.

In its 17th year, Brewfest has always come the night before Super Bowl Sunday. With extra police patrols out via the State Police STOP DWI weekend, beer lovers had another thing to think about before they left on Saturday night, and many planned ahead.

"Everybody I talked to either got dropped off or they took a cab, there are cabs lined up outside, it's very very safe," Melanie Young, a vendor from Onondaga Beverage, says.

But, some of the beer lovers believed the nature of enjoying a craft beer minimized the risk of drinking and driving, as they say, it is more about enjoying the beer, than simply getting drunk.

"It's more about the experience," 'Beer Mike' says. Dave Frisina, a local radio host on 105.9 The Rebel, added, "It's quality over quantity, you don't go jam a beer, you want to taste it."