508 Gastrobrewery, tucked a few blocks away from the usual business of Hudson Street, was one of the first three gastrobreweries in New York City and is now one of only five; and in honor of NYC Beer Week, they hosted Caskalot, which offered unlimited samplings of cask conditioned ales by NYC Brewers Guild Brewers. This made for a mighty tasty afternoon.
With kegs positioned on the bar, you were given a glass and three hours to sample as much cask ale as you could handle. There were thirteen options that ranged from mild ales to dark stouts and everything in between. There were old favorites from Brooklyn Brewery and there were newcomers that I had yet to encounter, but each packed a unique flavor that made it easy to distinguish between the selection but hard to pick a favorite.
A crowd pleaser that seemed to have a consistent queue in front of its keg was a collaboration between 508 Gastrobrewery and Big Alice Brewing Company. These two work together to create a festive holiday themed ale that smells like apple pie but tastes like beer with a hint of apple and cinnamon. Known as “Big Alice Alcoholody,” this part cider/part beer is brewed with brown sugar, champagne, and apple juice. I usually steer clear from ciders as the sweetness tends to be too much for me, but this was delicious without tasting too sugary and would be a great beer for any time of year–not just holiday season.
Another awesome beer discovery made at Caskalot was also a 508 Gastrobrewery collaboration but this time the partner in brewing was City Island Beer Company. Titled “1393,” this beer uses honey from City Island rooftops to create a light and refreshing honey ale. This refreshing ale is brewed within the walls of 508 Gastrobrewery and dryhopped in the cask with nugget hops. What results is a fresh and tasty ale with a hint of honey that kept event-goers circled around the keg.
Towards the end of the event, Chris Cuzme (who is head brewer at 508) offered interested patrons a tour of their small brewing operation downstairs. Cuzme, who is a self-proclaimed sax player first and brewer second, explained the brewing process in layman’s terms as we gazed upon large metal drums responsible for creating some of the tastiest beer that had been consumed that day.
It was surprising to see how little space you needed to brew beer and as Cuzme put it himself, “if you can make oatmeal, you can make beer.” Considering I’m a master at oatmeal, perhaps I’ve found my next endeavor? Until then, I’ll probably just had back to 508 Brewery in hopes that they will have some of their delicious home-brews on tap.
508 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013