New Englanders don’t have beer and ice cream weather. ALL weather is beer and ice cream weather! Despite the damp and chilly weather last Saturday, there was a great turn out for the Ipswich Ale Cask and Clam Fest. Vendors were hard at work that morning setting up for the day and it was good they were. Promptly at noon, event attendees arrived in solid numbers. Who could blame them? Twelve local restaurants were set up at the Tasting Pavilion along the Ipswich Riverwalk, offering up tempting samples of their seafood fare. As for the beer, it was readily on hand: Ipswich Ale Brewery brought a selection sure to please any beer drinker’s palette, including the Riverbend Pilsner made specifically by Ipswich Ale Brewery to benefit the work of the Ipswich River Watershed Association!
Everyone was invited to purchase tickets to sample the food and vote on the People’s Choice. The winner of the Judge’s Choice trophy was up to our own Wayne Castonguay, Ipswich River’s Executive Director, and his fellow judges: Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Brad Hill, Scott Lapreste, the Ipswich Shellfish Warden, Roger Warner, Founder of the Green Crab Research and Development Project, Judy Fields of the Ipswich Board of Selectmen and Rodney Murillo, Vice President and Culinary Director for Davios Restaurants.
Congratulations to the People’s Choice winner, Woodman’s of Essex, and the Judge’s Choice winner, Evvavi Cucina of Beverly, who each presented delicious options for utilizing invasive Green Crabs in cooking. The proceeds from all of the events during the Ipswich Cask and Clam Week will go to help fund Ipswich River and the Green Crab R&D in their
work protecting the Ipswich clam beds and fighting invasive species like the green crabs. Considering the sold-out tickets during the week and the crowd on Saturday, this region has strong support for the Ipswich clams to survive and thrive.