Major cask ale fests in Northeast

The 4th annual Manhattan Cask Ale Festival is scheduled for Friday-Sunday at the Chelsea Brewing Co., on Pier 59 of the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

The event will run from noon to midnight each day. There is no admission fee. But visitors, who must show proof of legal age, can get paid samples selected from a range of about 48 cask ales available in 8- and 16-ounce servings.

The host company, which will have six of its ales available, gives this definition of cask ale:

"Unfiltered, unpasteurized beer brewed only from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide. Cask Ale is also known as 'Cask-Conditioned Beer', and 'Real Ale.' "

The organizers note that "Beers will be available while stocks last, first come first served. Note that all casks will be tapped and available from the start, except for any that are deemed to need additional settling and conditioning time."

Meanwhile, the 13th annual New England Real Ale Exhibition (NERAX) is scheduled to open in Somerville, MA, tomorrow, May 25, and run through Saturday.

Ales from the United Kingdom and New England will be on tap at the George Dilboy VFW Post in Davis Square. Half the beers are UK-brewed,, most of the remainder brewed in New England, with a few from elsewhere.

Full details on the event are available online.

The event will be open from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and noon to 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 on Wednesday, $15 on Thursday and Friday, and $5 on Saturday.

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