A cask shaped glass from the 2016 Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival with a small amount of dark beer lingering in the glass

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 Nick Gianni Trio at the 2016 Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival

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**][1940], [**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.

[tbj]: http://www.twobigjerksjerky.com/
[rpab]: https://www.facebook.com/artisanbrewers/
[tbc]: https://www.facebook.com/The-Big-Cheese-NY-130805840308437/
[1940]: http://1940sbrewingcompany.com/
[barb]: https://www.facebook.com/BarrageBrewing/
[bellb]: https://www.facebook.com/BellportBrewing/
[lith]: http://www.lithologybrewing.com/
[poboy]: http://www.poboybrewery.com
[mous]: http://www.moustachebrewing.com/
[pjb]: https://www.facebook.com/Port-Jefferson-Brewing-Company-373966831471/
[sjb]: http://www.saintjamesbrewery.com/
[scb]: http://www.sandcitybeer.com/
[blli]: http://beerloveslongisland.com
[beer]: http://www.beerhbc.org/NewSite/
[libme]: http://beermalt.org
[tc]: http://tendcoffee.com/products/special-prep
[bpcf]: http://www.craftbeerfestivals.com/blue-point/
[blue]: http://www.bluepointbrewing.com/
[ncaf]: https://www.facebook.com/LInanocaskalefestival/posts/962090043829660