Mike Voigt of Rocky Point of Artisan Brewers, left, and Mike Mare of Secret Engine.
“Sometimes the beer just tells you when it is ready,” says Mike Voigt of Rocky Point Artisan Brewers about their recent collaborative brew with Secret Engine Brewing of Brooklyn. Mike Mare, brewer and co-owner of Secret Engine, is currently trying to find a permanent home for the brewery while still getting his beer out there. Though the original plan was to wait until later this month, Sticke Handwerker, the Long Island debut from Secret Engine, will be released this Friday at Tap and Barrel, The Black Sheep Ale House and a to-be-determined location in Brooklyn.
Mare has been brewing for more than 10 years and decided to make the leap to commercial brewing about three years ago. However, as the guys at RPAB know all too well, finding a suitable home for your brewery and an agreeable landlord is not the easiest task. While the search for a headquarters for Secret Engine in Brooklyn continued, Mare decided to reach out to established breweries for some advice and a possible collaboration. As a former touring musician, what Mare missed most about being on the road was the ability to connect with people from all areas and backgrounds, so he sent out e-mails to about 600 breweries. One of the few responses he received was from Mike Voigt of RPAB.
The two met at Voigt’s house to enjoy a few beers, play guitar and get to know each other. That same night they started throwing around ideas for a collaboration and over the next month Sticke Handwerker was born. “We have majorly different brewing styles,” says Voigt. Though they both feel Sticke Handwerker truly reflects the two breweries. RPAB tends to brew to style with small tweaks, while Secret Engine is more outside the box. Together they created something unique. So unique, in fact, when we asked what type of beer it is we were told, “You have to delve around to find out what the secret meaning of the secret beer is.” Thus leaving everything to the palate of the taster.
We were able to try this mysterious beer right out of the fermenter at RPAB and can attest it is one of a kind. Sticke Handwerker hasa velvety mouthfeel and gobstopper-like array of flavors and aromas. The first release this weekend will be in firkins, with kegs to follow. This cask-conditioned version of the brew will be lightly carbonated and served close to cellar temperature allowing the flavor to shine through. Voigt and Mare are already brainstorming their next brew, which is rumored to include mint, so this won’t be the last Long Island sees of the Secret Engine Brewing/Rocky Point Artisan Brewery partnership.
First Appeared On Edible Long Island
This Saturday, Blue Point Brewing Company will hold their 10th annual Cask Ales Festival. This is one of the oldest and most widely anticipated beer events on Long Island, often selling out extremely quickly. This year was no exception, as tickets are now sold out so hopefully you got yours early. The event will run from 2-6 pm and is held rain or shine (or snow, though our fingers are crossed that spring is finally here). Over 30 breweries will be on hand pouring cask ales and food will be available for purchase. A couple years ago, a giant cask of Blue Point Sour Cherry Imperial Stout paired with a smoked turkey leg was quite memorable.
We will of course be in attendance, pouring our cider at the Brewers East End Revival table. This is the first time we have ever casked a cider, so we are a bit anxious to finally tap it and taste the result. We also brewed a black saison with Melissa (the First Lady of Beer) and Joe (the Barack Obama of brewing?) for the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts table. This one was a bit of an experiment, as we modified the recipe due to an ingredient mix up, but it was promising when we put it in the cask last weekend. At that time, we also added quite a bit of red wine concentrate, so that will also be a bit of a flavor surprise when we tap it. We haven’t yet gotten word that the cask has exploded, so all is well thus far.
Blast From the Past-B.E.E.R Table 2013
This is the first cask festival since Blue Point has been acquired by Anheuiser Busch and we are sure more than a few people will be keeping a close eye on things, if anything, is different this year. All we know is this is a great event that we have both been attending for many years, and we are excited to be serving our beer for the second year in a row. Stop by the B.E.E.R table to try Woody Appleson, which happens to be our oak aged cider, and then pay a visit to L.I.B.M.E to try the wild wine saison along with the rest of the beers both clubs are pouring.
It’s that time of the year again. Get ready to drink some lightly carbonated, near room temperature beer! The fourth annual Rocky Point Artisan Brewers Nano Cask Festival and Farmer’s Market is being held Saturday January, 25th 2014. This event has both professional and home brewers pouring their wares from, you guessed it, casks.
For those who may not know a cask is literally a container for beer. To that you might reply, “Obviously”, to which we say well smarty pants did you know that cask conditioned ale has been christened (along with bottle conditioned beer) as “Real Ale” by CAMARA (the Campaign for Real Ale)? Cask conditioned beer served from casks is a traditional method of serving beer. Patrons used to belly up to the bar and order a flagon of ale which was poured directly from the cask/container.
But what makes a beer cask conditioned? Well that is easy: cask beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized and undergoes it’s secondary fermentation and conditioning in the cask. It is also served from said cask without the use of any additional gas (nitrogen or carbon dioxide). This means that the carbonation contributed to the beer as a byproduct of fermentation tends to be light which is why some think cask conditioned beer tastes “flat”. The fermentation in the cask and serving temperature which is warmer then beer served from kegs also leads to loads of flavor coming through a cask poured ale. If you have never tried a cask beer before this event is a good way to try several in a comfortable setting.
Great South Bay
We attended the third annual festival and it was one of the best events of the year. The brewers go all out with their casks bringing interesting takes on flagship favorites or even one off beers that will never be seen again. Last year there was acoustic music (which was heavy on the Led Zepplin) serving as a background of sorts to the goings on. This year The Beer Amigos, of The Beer Amigos podcast fame, will be performing a few of their tunes for the gathered masses.
A nice feature of this event is the ability patrons have to purchase beer to go from their favorite brewery or one they may just have discovered. Many of the vendors will have bottles for sale and will also be filling growlers of non-cask selections which attendees can take home and enjoy. Bringing home a fresh filled growler or bottle after a day of trying rare and unusual locally brewed craft beer is one way to keep the party going. The fourth annual Nano Cask Festival and Farmer’s Market has a lot going on! Here are the details as provided by the RPAB guys themselves.
Ghost Cat Loves You
4th Annual Long Island Nano Cask Festival
Hosted by Rocky Point Artisan Brewers
Saturday January 25th 1-5pm
55 Clubhouse Dr Rocky Point
Tickets can be purchased at www.rpabbeer.com
-2014 tasting glass
-unlimited tastings from all brewers/clubs
-cheese platters for sale by The Big Cheese
-Performance by The Beer Amigos
-Merchandise and growler fills for sale from select brewers
Brewer’s East End Revival and Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiast members are invited to a special VIP hour prior to the event opening to the public!
Please bring your PayPal email confirmation as your ticket in.
Cask Festival Crowd
We will be attending the Cask Festival and Farmer’s Market as representatives of Brewer’s East End Revival homebrewing club. Our stout/saison A+K and our super limited cider/saison/sour Fizzy Lifting Drink will be available for tastings. In addition we’ll also be pouring a special collaboration “saison” brewed using apple cider instead of water that was balanced with a pinot noir and black currant pyment. This was brewed with Andrew Luberto of LIBME who will also be in attendance. Oh and Beer Loves Company shirts and buttons will be available for purchase too. This is an event not to be missed and we hope to see you there. Come out to the RPAB Cask Fest and try a few cask ales!
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.