Generally speaking, I keep my entertainment geographic radius “bridge-free.” Not for any kind of phobia, but rather there’s plenty of landlocked fun to be had.

However, whenever I’m motivated for some fun that involves a bit of travel, I am always pleased and make a vow to do so more often.

That exact scenario happened a few weeks ago when several fun-loving family members from Patchogue, Long Island, implored me to attend the annual Blue Point Brewery Cask Ale Festival, where more than 100 breweries (including home brewers) would be represented.

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First, let us define the term “cask.” A cask of beer from a brewer is typically an extra special and unique version of one of their “regular” beers.  What makes it unique is that it is typically unfiltered and naturally conditioned without the addition of CO2 or nitrogen making it a bit cloudy and a bit less carbonated.

Additionally, many casks are actually called firkins (another fun word to say) and often are designed with a porthole of sorts to allow adjuncts like additional hops or flavoring to be added and steep in the beer prior to tapping the keg.

All of this adds up to a one-of-a-kind beer tasting for your enjoyment. Did I mention there were 100 versions of cask beer at this Cask Ale Festival and a great no-charge bed and breakfast to stay at only an Uber ride away? (The in-laws’ house.) How could I say no?

Well, I did not say no. I emphatically said. “Yes, Please!”

The day exceeded expectations with a temperate sunny day, a genial well-organized festival environment, live music, excellent food trucks, and facilities. The folks at the booths were often the brewers themselves and were happy to fill up our keepsake glasses and answer questions about their liquid offerings. We employed the patented BFSS (Beer Festival Survival Strategy), used the dump buckets for unfinished sips along the way, and a good time was had by all.

Cheers to Blue Point Brewery for hosting!  Moreover, remember to check out a beer festival.

(Note: Brew & Co in Bedford Hills hosts a monthly Cask Night.)

I have been a fan of Blue Point Brewery since its early days, decades ago, as a small, independent Long Island brewery. It is a great success story in many ways, including building up enough dedicated fans during those years to be purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev a while back.

There have been craft-to-riches stories where a small craft brewery with great products is purchased by a Big Beer Company and the quality of their product goes south likely due to ingredient cost pressures. This is absolutely NOT the case with Blue Point Brewery. In fact, from my vantage point, it has only increased their capacity for providing many new flavors and a huge geographic reach from AB InBev’s distribution network.

Blue Point has a brand-new location in the heart of Patchogue that includes a recently opened Brew Pub on premises complete with raw bar.  Their flagship Blue Point Toasted Lager (5.5% abv) is a FANTASTIC amber lager, a standard bearing flavorfully crisp quench with perfectly balanced hop and toasted malt flavors. I would say if you like Fat Tire Amber, give Toasted Lager a try and I will bet you like to fullness of the flavor as much or more.

If you’re hoppy and you know it, give Blue Point Hoptical Illusion (7% abv) a try for a very well-balanced tropical hop experience. If you like Industrial Arts Wrench, give Hoptical a taste test drive. Many flavors await you, so keep a look out at your favorite local beer shop or, better yet, visit in person when you’re out hitting the Long Island beaches this summer.  Check out bluepointbrewing.com for more information.

 

Events

June 1—Beer, Books & Benevolence: Katonah Library Spring into Summer Party (katonahlibrary.org/springintosummer2019)

Have you ever mentioned to someone at work that you regularly attend great parties at your local library? It’s quite unique and very Katonah.

The transition from spring to summer means the Katonah Library will be holding its annual Spring into Summer Library Benefit Cocktail Party, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 1. A fantastic casual hangout event hosted in the library’s downstairs garden room includes live music, craft beer, wine, and savory bites. A guaranteed good time. See you there!

June 21—Craft Beer and Food Pairing: Bistro Z, Tarrytown

Though near a bridge, no need to cross it to attend the Bistro Z at DoubleTree’s Craft Beer and Food Pairing from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 21, and welcome the end of the first day of summer. Enjoy a three-course craft beer and food tasting. The menu includes these choices: little neck clams, fried chicken taco, pork belly, striped bass, and chocolate bread pudding. Excellent opportunity to see if your taste buds agree on the beer-food pairings and get ideas for pairing on your own. Contact Open Table for a June 21 reservation: OpenTable.com/Bistro-Z or call 914-524-6410 for more information.

Cheers!

The Katonah Beer Man

I’ve had the inbox size increased to keep up with the mail so keep the feedback and ideas coming! TheKatonahBeerMan@gmail.com.