Drink of Choice

Yesterday we posted about the upcoming Big Brew NY Beer Festival taking place in White Plains, NY. We reached out to Allison Kohler, President/Owner of JMK Shows, and the company putting together this great event. Read on to find out what she does on her RARE day off.

Big Brew NY
Big Brew NY

FP: We love the concept of the Big Brew NY Beer Festival! How did the concept come about? 

FP: First of all, my company, which manages and promotes events, has been in business for 42 years. I happen to love beer, it was always my first drink of choice (after water of course!). I’ve attended beer festivals in other locations and realized that there was nothing centrally located to the area in which I lived. The light bulb then went off – and so it began! We now run festivals in 3 states and are continuing to expand.

FP: Local beer aficionados are sure glad you came up with the idea!

We visit White Plains quite often. What motivated you to host the festival there?

AK: We have run antiques shows for a number of years in White Plains, so we have some familiarity with the area and have grown quite fond of it. It is also a growing hub for craft beer and centrally located so it seemed like a win-win situation. The excitement for the launch of Big Brew NY is like nothing we have seen to date. The area has welcomed us with open arms.

FP: We, along with the rest of Westchester County, are excited about all the different craft beer brands that will be at the festival. In your opinion, which foods pair best with craft beer?

AK: We are having a seminar at the festival on just that topic. Personally, I love food and I love craft beer, so I have not experienced a bad combination to date!

FP: When you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places to eat? 

AK: Locally for me, which is northwest New Jersey, I eat several times a week at a local gastro pub called Morris Tap & Grill. Their food is amazing with an outstanding Chef leading the charge and their beer selection is unmatched in the area. I am a big red meat eater so my first choice is almost always a steak house when traveling.

Recently I discover Quality Meats in NYC, incredible from start to finish. Great Italian food is also big on my list. When in California or Hawaii I dine at Dukes, and I always seem to order a Macadamia crusted (fill in the blank fish!).

The best discoveries are always the little out of the way places that serve big flavor and surprises. I prefer the low-key places where you can just kick back and relax, but still have an excellent meal and service.

FP: We loved the food in Hawaii when we visited! With the snowy weather here in NY, we wish we were there right now!

What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 🙂

AK: I am dessert lover, my biggest indulgence – CUPCAKES!!

FP: We’re with you on cupcakes! 🙂

When you’re not organizing trade shows, what’s a day off like for you? What are some of your non-work related hobbies and interests? 

AK: A day off? What’s that??!! I love nature, water and the outdoors. I enjoy hiking, bicycling, kayaking, watching movies and reading. I garden a great deal in my own yard and I’m a dog lover. I have 3 rescues and they have my heart. Through all of that, I love to eat and drink, so I am glad to have entered into the craft beer festival market.

FP: Thank you so much for your time. We look forward to meeting you on Saturday. We have no doubt that Big Brew NY will be a huge success!

If you haven’t purchased tickets to Big Brew NY, it’s not too late. Click here to purchase either VIP or General Admission tickets. Whichever tickets you decide on, you’ll be in for a treat! 


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