Blue Point Logger Lager Festival 2016

Oh, I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK! I sleep all night and I work all day!

Column by BJ Gamboa |

Photos (more below) by Benny Migliorino of Benny Migs Photo

Sporting flannel and toting faux axes, craft beer aficionados from near and far descended upon Blue Point Brewery’s River Avenue facility for their first (and what hopes to be annual) Logger Lager Festival on Saturday.

As In-Your- Face IPAs and acidic Sour beers are the current darlings of the craft beer world, the Logger Lager sought to showcase and celebrate the maltier side of things.

Using a different type of yeast strain, lagers are fermented for longer periods at cooler temperatures resulting in a somewhat sweeter, smoother and more subtle flavor profile.

Mild sweetness and breadiness are in the forefront rather than the bright, sharp, citrus elements of highly hopped ales.

Budweiser is, surprisingly, a lager (as are beers like Coors and Corona) but they typically use rice or some other adjunct rather than actual malt resulting in a pallid example of the style. If you’ve had a great Oktoberfest beer or Märzen or bock (usually associated withLenten period before Easter) then you’ll get a better idea of what the beers at this Fest’ are all about.

Ten breweries fielded various brews representative of the style with host Blue Point understandably contributing the lion’s share.

Highlights for me included: Blue Point’s barrel-aged doppelbock (aged in bourbon barrels), KelSo’s Hop Lager (an American spin on the traditional) and Spider Bite and Barrage’s collaborative Kidd Bock (dark, rich, sweet with Belgian candi sugar throughout).

Though much smaller in scope than their Cask Fest, there’s still plenty of free-flowing beer to do damage. Luckily, several food trucks were on hand to help keep things in balance.

Eat Me, Drink Me offered healthier spins on wheeled-fare (Ban Mi, tacos) while the Backstreet Burgers trailer dished out plates to satisfy the carnivore in you (as well as some veggie spring rolls if you must). Patchogue’s Sub Zero ice cream shared tent space with tables selling Blue Point Brewery swag.

Blue Island Oyster Company was also on hand doling out briny, libidinous goodness in case a preponderance of alcohol was not enough to to get folks into an amorous mood.

Live music from The Toasted Lagers and The Winstons kept the mood energetic. At the end of the festival, the best Lumber Jack /Lumber Jill was chosen.

The reward? A year of free beer!

Sadly, my liver’s instinct for self-preservation had kicked in and I left before the crowning. More regretfully, I didn’t don my own flannel and beard for the event because hey! Who couldn’t use a year of free beer? See you next year!