By Donavan Hall, Beer Columnist

The next Firkin Friday at DEKS is coming up soon; it’s this Friday, the 18th. A firkin of Green Flash Hop Head Red is on its way from Vista, California for our cask conditioned drinking pleasure. Hop Head Red is "a deliciously full-bodied and appropriately hoppy ale," according to Celebrator Beer News. It earned the silver medal in the American-Style Amber/Red Ale category in the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, the USA’s oldest and most prestigious craft beer competition.

As far as I can tell, this may be Hop Head Red’s Long Island premier (in a firkin, at least). The Hop Head Red was spotted on tap at Big Z Beverage on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington (if you want a preview). Green Flash is a popular brewer in southern California and they’ve had a presence on the East Coast for at least a couple of years. Their IPA has been readily available in multiple venues on the Island (notably at Bobbique in Patchogue).  Currently, a Green Flash Imperial IPA is pouring at Once & For All in Patchogue.

The next day (Saturday the 19th), you should head on down to Dave’s Bellport Beer & Soda where a representative from Sixpoint Craft Ales (Brooklyn) will be present with 7 or 8 different kegs for our sampling and purchasing pleasure.  Bring a glass and a growler.  The event starts at 1 pm and the good folks of the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts will be grilling hot dogs and burgers for the hungry masses.  If you come out, you’ll find ample parking at the Bellport train station at the corner of Station Rd. and Montauk Hwy.  If you come out, be sure to meet the new manager at Bellport Beer, Rich Thatcher.  He’s a friendly and beer-knowledgeable guy.

These are Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiast-sanctioned events. Come on out and meet a bunch of fellow beer lovers. If you are new to the scene, make sure you introduce yourself. I’ll be wearing my button, but you can always ask for me at the bar or at the grill. Everyone at DEKS and Bellport Beer knows Donavan. One more thing, all these beer events (and more!) are listed on the Long Island Beer Calendar.