RPAB 7th annual Nano Cask Beer Festival
The **Rocky Point Artisan Brewers** 7th annual *Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival* marks the unofficial beginning of the 2016 Long Island beer-festival season. Held at the *Rocky Point Clubhouse*, in Rocky Point, New York, the event highlights nano- and small-craft breweries and brewing clubs from Long Island. With very limited ticket availability, it’s an exclusive treat for those who enjoy tasting one-of-a-kind brews in a relaxed atmosphere. This year, while inspecting the casks on each brewer’s table, we were serenaded with live jazz by **The Nick Gianni Trio**, while noshing on homemade, gourmet jerky by [**Two Big Jerks Jerky**][tbj]—the peach mango habanero jerky sold out in less than an hour—and cheese platters made from sheep and cow milk, specially curated by [**The Big Cheese**][tbc].
The [**Rocky Point Artisan Brewers**][rpab] host this event “[as a celebration of small, Long Island brewers][ncaf]. They ask all participating brewers to brew a special cask ale on a nano scale. We want the brewers to bring something they made just for this festival. The brewers often bring additional beers of their choice. In past years we have had a great selection of really unique and tasty beers.”
This year’s brewery line up included: [**1940’s Brewing Company**], [**Barrage Brewing**][barb], [**Bellport Brewing**][bellb], [**Lithology Brewing**][lith], [**Po’Boy Brewery**][poboy], [**Moustache Brewing**][mous], [**Port Jefferson Brewing**][pjb], [**Rocky Point Artisan Brewers**][rpab], [**Saint James Brewery**][sjb], and [**Sand City Brewing**][scb]. Brewing clubs included [**Beer Loves Long Island**][blli], [**Brewers East End Revival**][beer], and [**Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts**][libme].
I got to taste some unique beers:
* [**Barrage Brewing Company**][barb] *Assault n Fudgery*, a salted caramel and fudge porter, which had attending homebrewers scratching their heads wondering how it was made, keeping brewer Steve Pominski busy answering their questions.
* [**Rocky Point Artisan Brewers**][rpab] *Chocolate Doppel Dunkel Bock* won over some ardent IPA lovers in my company. It was rich and creamy, without being cloyingly sweet.
* [**Bellport Brewing Company**][bellb] whiskey-barrel-aged *Fireplace Bay*, a Russian Imperial stout made with [**Tend Coffee’s** *Special Prep*][tc]. For lovers of coffee, this beer was like a strong drip, big and bold.
* [**Sand City Brewing**][scb] *Southdown Stout*, a breakfast stout cask conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans. This recently opened brewery in Northport is getting a lot of buzz from not only beer drinkers but other brewers. Keep your eye on them.
* [**Port Jefferson Brewing Company**][pjb] *Life Preserver*, a cask-conditioned Vienna lager, was a welcome change from all the porters and stouts available; although, that didn’t stop me from tasting their *Peanut Butter Porter* right after I finished the lager.
Both [**Moustache Brewing Co.**][mous] and [**Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusists**][libme] served up coconut beers. **LIBME** had *Coconut Brown Ale* that gave no apologies, with in-your-face coconut, while **Moustache** *Coconut Milk Stout*, cask-conditioned with vanilla beans and cinnamon, was more sublime and well balanced.
The size and exclusivity of the *Nano Cask Ale Festival* may make it easy to miss some of these casks, but many of these brewers will pour at the largest cask festival on Long Island, the [*Blue Point Cask Festival*][bpcf], April 16th, at the [**Blue Point Brewery**][blue] in Patchogue.