If you’re from Long Island and have ever set foot in a bevy (“home d” if you must) or bar, odds are you have heard of Blue Point Brewery. Most likely, you’ve even paid a visit to their tasting room once or twice (or any chance you get). So you may or may not know that Saturday, April 13 is their 9th annual Cask Festival. The event is held outside of the brewery, rain or shine, and features cask only beers from Blue Point Brewery alongside other local craft breweries and home brew clubs. There will be over 100 different beers brewed by 30+ brewers. Food is available for purchase and Blue Point will be holding a food drive for Long Island Cares, so bring cans of nonperishable foods to donate if you can. Tickets sold out online in record time, so hopefully you were able to purchase one or can get your hands on one from someone who can’t make it.
For those wondering, cask ale (also known as “real ale”) is unpasteurized, unfiltered and is actually conditioned right in the cask. There is no carbon dioxide or nitrogen added to the cask, so the beer that is served is not artificially carbonated. Any carbonation occurs naturally from the priming sugar and yeast used in the brewing process. There is an organization called C.A.M.R.A (The Campaign for Real Ale) who actually coined the term “real ale” and aim to promote awareness of cask brews. Typically bars and breweries don’t have cask ales available and if you happen to run into one or two you’re in luck, so it is a real treat to have 100+ casks under one tent.
As members of B.E.E.R (Brewers East End Revival), we will be working the festival and also pouring a beer that we brewed along with fellow club member Bobby Rodriguez. Like Frank, who we brewed our gruit with, Bobby is an experienced home brewer and all around craft beer lover. We will be detailing the brewing process right here, so look for everything from recipe brainstorming to casking the beer in the weeks leading up to the festival. Though this will not be our first time attending the Blue Point Cask Festival, it is our first time brewing for it and also our first cask beer, so we are excited to complete the brewing process and serve our creation to patrons of the festival.
This is a not to be missed Long Island event, as Blue Point will possibly be brewing a mint oatmeal stout and cooking something up with myer lemon, schezuan peppercorns and ghost chiles (all in separate beers). There was also talk of a “black and blue”, which is a mix of their blueberry ale and oatmeal stout, but the cask version will feature aseptic blueberry puree. This beer cocktail has been a favorite at the brewery for years, so a cask spin off is something to look forward to. Of course, they have a few surprises up their sleeve as well. So make sure to have your tickets ready, bring a can or two of food to donate and we will see you all there.