Let us know if you've heard this one before: A Scottish ale from Mattituck, a rye saison from Jersey City and a watermelon milkshake IPA from Philly all walk into a bar...
Actually, they will all roll into a parking lot this weekend for Blue Point Brewing Co.'s annual Cask Ales Festival, a sort of pre-housewarming party at its new brewery on West Main Street — as the new tasting room, oyster bar and restaurant inside the brewery will debut April 18.
About 80 breweries (and a few home brewing groups) will take part in the 16th installment of the festival, hailing from Long Island, New York City, and beyond. Most bring along at least two cask ales — unfiltered ales that are hand pumped into a cask after fermentation, where secondary fermentation and added flavors (fruit, spices and herbs) result in gentle carbonation and unusual flavors.
Blue Point will tap a Lavender Pea Flower Blackberry Gose, among 30 others, and other breweries are definitely getting their eclectic on. "It's an opportunity to take beers we love and put a unique spin on them, as well as try out ideas for the future," said Brian Kulbacki, brewer and owner of Departed Soles Brewing Company in Jersey City. His two ales are a gluten-free Belgian tripel and a rye saison conditioned with dragon fruit and lavender. "It's purple. Very purple."
Doug Pearsall from Eastern Front Brewing Co. in Mattituck will tap a Scottish ale called Friggin' Huge, as well as a wheat ale dubbed Miami Twice. "It's a high-octane version of Miami Weiss," said Pearsall, referring to the wheat beer Miami Weiss. (And that watermelon milkshake IPA will come from Evil Genius Beer Co. in Philadelphia, which will also tap a casked juicy IPA called Now That's What I Call Hoppy).
Blue Point launched its cask ales festival at the former boatyard brewery on River Avenue in 2004. A blizzard forced some people to ski or snowshoe over to taste ales from six breweries. Last year's festival, the 15th, was the big party before Blue Point exited River Avenue for its new digs on West Main Street, the former Briarcliffe College. "We are excited to host our 16th annual Cask Fest at our new brewery. This year will be our biggest yet," said Jenna Lalley, president of Blue Point Brewing Co.
Tickets for this weekend's event are $65, or $20 for designated drivers who are not drinking; they are almost sold out, and will be limited at the door. Food vendors will include Bobbique, Brockenzo Neapolitan Pizza, the Big Black Food Truck and Noah’s on the Road. Picnic tables will be scattered around the festival grounds and public parking is at the elementary school at River Avenue.
The Blue Point Cask Ales Festival will kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at 225 W. Main St. in Patchogue. It runs until 6 p.m.; for more information or tickets, visit eventbrite.com.