By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
At beer events, including the 2012 Long Island Nano Cask Festival last weekend, I’m often introduced as “A wine guy who likes beer too.” I’m not even sure that’s accurate anymore. I drink nearly as much beer as I do wine. There’s little I like better after a long day tasting wine than a couple pints — preferably of a hoppy, bitter-but-barely-balanced IPA.
With beer, I know what I like and don’t like, but I don’t know anywhere near as much as the talented NYCR beer team — including our Long Island Correspondent, Donavan Hall, who is one-third of the team behind Rocky Point Artisan Brewers, organizers of the festival Sunday afternoon.
In it’s third year, the festival — at least from an attendee’s perspective — went off without a hitch. Though well attended, the festival never felt crowded and one never had it wait longer than a few minutes to get a fresh taste of cask ale from one of seven nano-breweries and two homebrew groups in attendance.
Honestly, some of the beers were a bit underwhelming — either not true to style or simply didn’t benefit from the cask format. I can think of at least two beers that would have benefited greatly from more aggressive carbonation. But, the high points were pretty high with beers like Ghost Cast Brewing’s Blood Red Rye, Port Jeff Brewing’s Citra Dry-Hopped Schooner Ale, Barrier Brewing’s Oil City Black IPA, and Rocky Point Artisan Brewers ESB.
Though I took a notebook with me, it never came out of my pocket. I did take a lot of pictures and figured I’d share a few here. The organizers plan to continue putting this event on annually and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re a lover of beer — especially locally brewed beer from small producers.