Get Real NY was one of the high points of last fall’s New York Craft Beer Week. Forgoing the usual beer festival model of simply serving a brand’s flagship beers, Get Real NY appeals to a more refined palate. With over fifty cask conditioned ales, homebrews from some of the city’s best amateur brewers, and small plates from over a dozen restaurants, the entire two day event draws hundreds of New Yorkers and never disappoints.
This spring’s edition improved on last fall’s festival with more casks, more food, and more to love. Last time around there seemed to be few misplaced beers and many of the food vendors ran out on the first day. Thankfully, all of that was rectified the second time around. The large lagered and British beer showing of the first Get Real was replaced with an American-focused line-up with a stronger, hop-forward selection of pale ales and IPAs that were often further dry hopped in the cask. Frequent readers of I Drunk That know that I am not much of a hop head but in cask beers I think that hops add a nice brightness to the cask’s flavor while their bitterness helps replace some of the palate cleansing qualities lost in the light carbonation. Standouts included the Ballast Point Sculpin dry hopped with Fuggels, Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere, and homebrewer Bolero Snort’s Manotelle’s Black Magic.
There were also strong showings beyond the hop-forward choices. Long Island’s Barrier Brewing brought a cask conditioned versions of their Cycle Saison busting with bright, lemony notes and peppery saison yeast. On the other end of the spectrum, Kelso of Brooklyn brought a rare cask of their Jack Daniel’s barrel aged Quad Bock… one of the few barrel aged offerings this time around. There was even a impressive homebrewed eisbock from the team at Brooklyn’s Bierkraft proving, once again, that New York’s homebrews can go toe to toe with some of country’s finest pro-brewers.
Overall, this is New York’s finest event for cask ale lovers and an eye-opening education for those anxiously expanding their craft beer palate. Keep an eye out for another Get Real NY during New York Craft Beer Week 2011 this coming September. Click here to view the full gallery.
View this gallery or click any image to view full size