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Cask Ales Festival at Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue

Portrait of the Blue Point Brewing Co.'s co-owners,

Portrait of the Blue Point Brewing Co.'s co-owners, Mark Burford and Peter Cotter and head brewer Alan Brady. Credit: Newsday, 2008 / Thomas A. Ferrara

For some, beer is merely the drink you order at a bar or gulp to wash down wings while watching the big game. For others, the beverage obtained from the brewing and fermentation of various grains is more than just a throwaway chug -- it's a lifestyle.

If you take your suds seriously, there are about two dozen reasons you should consider attending the 7th Annual Blue Point Cask Ales Festival at the Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue. On Saturday, April 9, from 2 to 6 p.m., attendees will get a chance to sample the wares of more than 20 different breweries -- some as local as the nearby  Brick House Brewery,  and others like the Firestone Walker Brewing Co. and Green Flash Brewing Co. will be visiting from California.

This is not just a beer party. Cask ale is a specially processed. It is unfiltered and unpasteurized, subjected to a second round of fermentation and stored in a cask -- creating a fragile yet very fresh end product.

It is prized and highly recommended by enthusiasts, and being that this four-hour fest is all about this sort of brew, it's only natural that they do something really, really big for the main event,

According to the brewery, they will be tapping the largest cask in the known world for the event, and it will contain a limited India Pale Ale from the Blue Point Brewing Co. Known as Toxic Sludge,  the beer is well-reviewed, despite its name. All proceeds  generated by the creation go to benefit the nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and rescue organization Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.

There'll also be live music and food from Patchogue's Bobbique barbecue restaurant. Tickets are  $45 ($15 for designated drivers),  and can be purchased in advance or the day of the event. This party sells out every single year, so word is to buy your RSVP ASAP.

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