Creative brews at LI Nano Cask Festival

The scene at 2013 Long Island Nano Cask Festival

Renee Irizarry checks out the brews at 2013 Long Island Nano Cask Festival

Creativity was on display at the 4th Annual Long Island Nano Cask Festival.

Held at the Rocky Point Beach Club on Jan. 26, this relatively intimate beer event run by Rocky Point Artisan Brewers featured nine brewers and twice as many brews. About 150 people attended the five-hour event.

Participating brewers asked by the sponsors to bring unique, creative contributions –all served from casks, that it without forced carbonation – certainly complied.

To be sure, some brews succeeded more than others. Among the best:

Tangerine Belgian Tripel produced by the festival hosts. This was a version of the brewery’s Ardennes Tripel with an addition of fresh, hand-peeled clementine zest. Oddly summery with its light, refreshing “ade” character, the beer was mightily deceptive with 10.5 percent alcohol by volume.

Another fruited beer, Port Jeff Brewing’s Schooner Ale with cherries also was among my favorites at the fest.

Barrage Brewing, which is awaiting the installation of gas lines at its new Farmingdale brew house, showed off a oak-aged, rum-raisin porter called Raven Shadow, a smooth, easy sipping brew with chocolate and roasted grain notes with a touch of acidity in the finish.

There was more than fruit being used in the brews served that afternoon.

Photo1 (82)Prominent among them was Blind Bat Brewery’s Sweet Potato Saison, a round and sweet brew. It will be worth watching to see how brewer Paul Dlugokencky hones the recipe for his second batch of this unique brew.

Hoppocratic Oath by Great South Bay Brewing, though not a nano brewery, also was a winner. This brilliant, copper hued imperial IPA presented a huge citrus nose, deliciously estery fruit notes and a tasty bitter finish.

Stouts also made appearances, albeit with some unusual flavorings. Port Jeff Birch Stout was slightly reminiscent of a root beer with its wintergreen character, but lacked the vanilla creaminess root beer devotees enjoy. And Mint Chocolate Stout from Spider Bite Brewing was a light rendition with hints of both additives.

Were you there?  Tell us in the comments section what beers you enjoyed.

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