Thousands attended what could be Blue Point Brewery‘s final Cask Ales Fest at its River Avenue location on Saturday afternoon.
As previously reported, Blue Point Brewery is moving into the property that last housed Briarcliffe College on West Main Street in Patchogue.
If it’s the last Cask Ale Fest on River Avenue, it went out with a bang.
From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., attendees were able to enjoy over 200 cask ales from over 65 different craft breweries — all in sunny weather. Some of the brews were crafted locally, like BrickHouse Brewery, but others came from as far as the Scotland.
Michael Opalenski and George Flickinger, who are from an international alcohol and beer distributing company called B. United International brought in cask ales from Clackmannanshire, Scotland, and Derbyshire in the U.K.
“Blue Point came to us looking for cask beers from the U.K.,” said Opalenski. “And the people here (at the fest), really like them.”
One of the cask ales made available Saturday was called Old Engine Oil; it’s an English porter-styled beer from the Harviestoun Brewery in Clackmannanshire, Scotland.
“It’s a thick, viscous beer, but is very drinkable with an alcohol content of six percent,” said Flickinger.
Blue Point Brewery’s co-founder, Mark Burford, takes pride in seeing all the different breweries come together for the event, which Blue Point bills as the biggest cask ales fest in the U.S.
“We like to party just as much as the customers do,” he said. “That’s why this is a great event.”
The Cask Ales Fest, which began in 2004, has come a long way since.
Alan Brady, Blue Point’s quality control manager, coordinated the first fest and remembers it like it was yesterday.
“We wanted to do it in the middle of the winter because nothing’s going on then,” he said.
So he, the head brewer at the time, invited five other breweries to bring cask ales to River Avenue in the middle of January.
To his surprise, over 100 people bought tickets, but he still thought no one would show up in the snowstorm. But he was wrong.
“A husband and wife came in cross country skis,” he said laughing.
Over 125 people attended, and it has grown yearly ever since.
“I had no idea people would love semi-warm, semi-flat beer out in the parking lot,” Brady said with a laugh.
Below are 25 photos from this year’s event.