As we prepare to celebrate NERAX this week, let's take a moment to thank our cellar team. It is their skills and savvy that brings out the best qualities of the over 100 cask-conditoned beers and ciders we are about to serve. As they are putting in long hours this week, we are also grateful to the various businesses and breweries they also work for.
Our Head Cellarman is the redoubtable Randy Baril of the Homebrew Emporium, Cambridge, MA.
He will be training this year's recipient of our Charnick Cellarmanship Scholarship, Alex Franco of Blue Hills Brewery in Canton, MA.
Richard Harrison, Head Cellarman of the Scottish Real Ale Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland will also bring his expertise.
Other members of the crew are:
Donovan Bailey of Down the Road Brewery, Newton, MA
Kelly McKnight of Watch City, Waltham, MA
Vince Tursi of Night Shift Brewing, Everett, MA
Lia Olsborg, cask ale enthusiast
Hip, hip, hooray!
We have a new Tutored Tasting session on Thursday evening! These entertaining and educational Tutored Tasting sessions have been a great success at NERAX North, and we are pleased to add them to the spring festival. Get an early start to the Thursday session at NERAX, starting at 5:00 p.m. Our guest, Steve Crossland from Loch Ness Brewery, will select four half pints of Good Ness from the stillage. Enjoy and learn about these beers, Loch Ness, and cask-conditioning with your friends!
Tickets are available at the door.
Northeast meets Northwest at Redbones!
The New England Real Ale eXhibition begain in 1997 with a few casks in Underbones. Since then we have grown to be the longest continously running real ale festival in the U.S. This year we will serve over 100 British and American cask-conditioned beers and ciders at Aeronaut Urban Farmhouse and Brewery in Somerville.
The Redbones Northwest Fest is their tribute to the great beers of the Pacific Northwest.
So join us in Underbones, starting at 5:00 p.m. when we will tap a special cask from England in addition to the incredible array Redbones has put together. Redbones will be offering free appetizers until 7:00 p.m. Cash Bar.
Volunteering at NERAX is a great way to support the festival and enjoy it too!
Volunteers make the festival happen. Volunteers help us throughout the week of NERAX, from setup to breakdown. For every shift you work, you may attend a session of the festival as our guest. No matter which shift you work, all volunteers are invited to the Staff Party on Saturday night.
Only a week before NERAX, you can warm up your cask muscles at the Extreme Beer Fest. Over the course of EBF, CASC will present unique cask-conditioned beers from Element Brewing Co., Harpoon Brewery, Ithaca Beer Co., Jack's Abby Brewing, Night Shift Brewing Co., and White Birch Brewing.
Every year, the Cask-conditioned Ale Support Campaign (CASC), presenters of NERAX, sponsors two scholarships for cellarmanship training. Cellarmanship is the art of caring for and presenting cask-conditioned beers. The training consists of an overview of cask-conditioned beers including the history, benefits, and artisan nature of Real Ale. It will also teach the trainee how Real Ale is made and placed into the cask. The trainee will learn how to properly cellar it, set it up, vent it, tap it and finally serve it. Along the way the trainee will be taught the skills needed to know when the cask ale is ready to serve as well as if it is fit to serve.
We are accepting applications for 2014. For details, see below.
CASC (the Cask-conditioned Ale Support Campaign) was formed in the spring of 1997 to promote real ale festivals in the Boston area. It was established to promote and educate brewers, publicans, and the public about the brewing, distribution, and pleasures of real ale. We are dedicated to the sensible enjoyment of top-fermented, traditionally brewed ales that undergo a secondary fermentation in the vessel from which they are served. CASC is a group of like-minded individuals who seek to expand the awareness of producers, distributors, and consumers about the use of traditional ingredients in, and dispensing of, real ales.