Saturday was the 15th annual The Blue Point Cask Ales Festival, which held its 15th fest last Saturday, has come a long way. We have been told it started with a few brewers in the parking lot wondering if anyone would show up. Now, tickets sell out in mere hours, and it is one of the most anticipated Long Island beer festivals of the year.
This year was no different. Attendees and brewers were eager to enjoy the much needed nice weather and sample some local and national cask beer. Some standouts were bourbon barrel aged Ol’ Howling Bastard from Blue Point and Southampton’s red wine barrel aged porter.
A sense of camaraderie between the brewers is what always makes the event so special. “I just look forward to seeing the family,” says Blue Point head brewer Jim Richards. So for the first time, Blue Point turned the cask fest into a weekend affair for brewers. Friday there was a kickoff party at 89 North in Patchogue, with plenty of Blue Point Beer and food from chef Paula DaSilva of 3030 Ocean Restaurant and Chef Hugue DuFour of M. Wells Steakhouse. Sunday featured a tour of the Blue Island Oyster Farm followed by a brunch at The Snapper Inn, complete with fresh local oysters.
Of course, we could talk about the events all day or we could just let the photos speak for themselves.