Julia Burke, Beer Editor

Nyontapclass_146x136 Harvest is on the minds of New York winemakers and wine lovers these days, but let's not forget the other best part of fall: it's the best season of the year for beer!

If you're looking for a sweet setting to try some new brews, the New York Wine and Culinary Center has announced a beer and food festival on September 30, from 7 to 10 p.m., called "NY On Tap." The event will feature beer from twenty New York breweries, paired with dishes by the NYWCC's executive chef and local food vendors, as well as live music. The small nature of the event allows brewers to consider bringing smaller-production products, says NYWCC Event Specialist Ryan Baldick "We are encouraging rare beers as well as cask-conditioned beers."

This event promises to be a great chance to get to know some of the state's great microbreweries and enjoy tasty pairings in the NYWCC's picturesque Canandaigua facility. "The demographic for the event is newbies as well as connoisseurs–we will have something for everyone!"Baldick said.

The breweries list includes such favorites as Shmaltz, Ithaca, and Ommegang as well as new up-and-comers Three Heads and Naked Dove.

I've consistently enjoyed the beer pairing suggestions on the NYWCC's always-interesting menu (I'm hoping someday they add a "B" to their acronym). This smaller, more intimate antidote to the massive beer fests of summer sounds like a great way to kick off the fall beer season.

Get the details on the NYWCC website.