Brazenhead Cask festival in brooklyn
stopped in the brazenhead in bklyn for the cask ale festival last night. decent enough. i had a milk stout and a saison. neither really impressed me to tell the truth. i think a lot of times the experimental nature of these little festivals - meaning that the local breweries can try out their experiments on us - hurts. the beers just dont taste 'finished.' i mean, i was drinking the saison just thinking, ok this is decent enough, but wouldnt a chouffe be nice...know what i mean. that being said, cheers to the brazenhead for keeping real casks available and viable.
You might have touched on something with the local breweries sending "experimental" casks. Some of the local (NY) beers featured there I've never heard of and seemed like prototypes, such as the Sixpoint Black Market Porter, Butternuts Moo Stout and Greenpoint (Heartland) Breweries "Kelso Hop Lager" pilsner. The fact that they encouraged people to fill out "score sheets" gave it that focus group feeling. Not that I have a problem with that...I'll gladly be the guinea pig. The better casks there were basically the darker styles..stout, porter, imperial stout. Didn't think the lighter styles I've tried there were that great (e.g. Southampton Steam, Kelso Hop Lager, Pittsfield Brewworks Saison). Always fun to go though and try as many as possible.....Looking forward to the next one.
I stopped by for a few on Saturday night. The place was more crowded than the last time I attended one of these (maybe a year ago), so I guess that is a good sign for cask beer in NYC. On the night my favorite was the Mercury Ipswich IPA, which was lovely in a citric, spicy way. Also very good was the Six Points Otis Stout, with lots of toasty coffee notes - never had a bad beer from Six Point. Less impresive was the Brooklyn Winter Ale, a malty muddle, and the Pittsfield Saison, which may have been well done in its style, but I found sharp and acidic.
After leaving I was walking down Court St. and discovered that the Downtown Ale House had Six Point Bengal IPA on cask, so I stopped in for a pint. Didn't seem quite right compared to the non-cask versions I've tasted, but still good. Nice to see a good tap and bottle selection here.