Monday, September 27, 2010

Girls Don't Drink Cask Beer? Get Real! - Get Real NY Cask and Food Fest 2010

Now I warn you in advance, some of these pictures are blurry. REAL BLURRY. Over the course of this awesome 3hr event, I proceeded to imbibe over 12 different beautiful cask and regular beers. TWELVE. And I'm not counting the other ones I drank quickly because I wasn't crazy about them.

I weigh 127 lbs.

The pictures are gonna be blurry. I'm sorry.

Seeing as that it's NY Craft Beer Week, and that I love beer, I knew that I'd have to go to at least ONE awesome event. I decided to make Get Real NY my event because of its focus on cask beers. Cask beers are unfiltered and unpasteurized and served without additional carbonation. The soft bubbles that you feel are from the yeasts that are still fermenting. Apparently, this is how it was done in the olden days before modern kegging and refrigeration.
Flat warm beer, you say? I think not! Time for me to do some drinking.

I got to the Altman Building in Chelsea about 15 mins in, and I was greeted by a fantastic sight.

LOOK AT ALL THAT BEER! 40 damn casks, and I had no idea where to start. I was given a super pretty GRNY glass, and I was relieved that I was getting a a nice full glass of beer, instead of a dinky sample cup. I gave the beer list I was given a look over, and really, the best way to handle this was to walk around and get a feel for everything...then dive in.

First beer up? Smuttynose's Pumpkin Ale. It was....not nearly as pumpkin-y as I'd hoped. Or spicy either. I've been forever searching for the perfect pumpkin didn't need to be sweet, just be delicious! This beer was okay, but I have to admit, I was disappointed.

For my next one, I decided to stay in the same brewery, but try a different flavor. Smuttynose's Chai was definitely different...but totally spicy and delicious. Traditional Chai spices shone in this dark, spirited porter. It was super herbal, deep, and smooth. Mmmhm.

I'm not too sure how I landed a glass of Elland's Beyond the Pale. It was a VIP ticketholder beer, and I wasn't one. Oh well. I'm just glad I had it, because it was fantastic. Light, fruity but not cloying, and it smelled like Christmas. I drank this one quickly, and asked for another glass even quicker. So delicious.FOOD! I decided to give my stomach something to hold onto, and ventured over to the food vendors.

I used to work in the Lower East Side, so I'm more than familiar with Roni-Sue's amazing handmade chocolate. But she was offering...Beer Corn???

Beer reduced to a delicious syrup, tossed with popcorn, pretzels, and mustard seeds. RIDICULOUS. Sweet, crunchy, salty, and tangy pop from the mustard seeds. Utter, beautiful insanity.

I decided to go for a bitter beer recommended to me interesting gentleman. Sly Fox's Chester County Bitter was definitely that. I didn't like it at all, the bitterness was so overwhelming. Blech. Thankfully, a helpful and friendly volunteer pointed me to St. Louis's Schafly Imperial Stout. I'm a huge stout fan, but one cannot live on Guinness alone. This stuff was STRONG and assertive, and I was more than willing to obey.

To supplement all this cask goodness, Brewery Ommegang (one of my favorites) had some of their beers on hand, the cold kind. I was loving how the room temperature really let the cask beer flavors sing, but after a while the flavors were muddling my taste buds. Time for a cold one.

I tried the Maredsous Blonde and the Ommegang Zurr, which was a limited edition. ZURRRRRRRRRR!! Sour! Cherries! Snap crackle pop! I was in love. I was also refreshed by the chilly brew, and was ready to jump back to the casks.

This is when things start to get a little...foggy. I tried another VIP beer, The Bruery's Autumn Maple....YAMS! Rich, with a touch of sweetness. And after another glass of that, things got even foggier. All I remember is that they were delicious.

I had maybe, 4 or 5 beers after that, all different, all served with friendly and informative hands. I was struck by how proud the volunteers and brewers were. You could tell that this was their livelihood. I could taste it.
Thank you again, Get Real NY, for an amazing Sunday night!


  1. is it wrong that I am now dying for a beer at 10:45AM?

  2. hey, if loving beer is wrong...i don't wanna be right.