Thursday, June 27, 2013

Uno holding first summer cask event

Brewer Chris Percello pours a half pint of cask ale.
Over the years, Uno Chicago Grill & Brewery has staked out territory as a champion of real ale, annually staging spring and fall cask events.

The most recent one at the Middlesex County brewpub last March saw a healthy crowd polish off 60 gallons of Jersey-brewed cask beer in about four hours. 

Now Uno's brewer Chris Percello is presenting a first-ever summer cask event on Saturday, with another Garden State lineup that this time stirs newcomer Bolero Snort Brewing into the mix. (Bolero launched as a contract beer company back in January, with its beers made at High Point Brewing in Morris County.)

Also featured will be beers by Carton and Kane Brewing, from neighboring Monmouth County, Climax Brewing, and Flying Fish. 

Kane cask
The pay-as-you-go event of half and full pints begins at noon at the Metuchen brewpub and will last as long as the beer does. Chris' advice is to arrive early if you want to get a taste of the entire lineup.

This incarnation will be Chris' fifth turn at the cask event, something he inherited when he took over as brewer from Mike Sella, who jumped to Basil T's brewpub in Red Bank in 2011. Mike started the Uno cask events in 2009.

"We're probably going to have at least three firkins this time around and about seven pins," Chris says. "The most important thing is making people aware of the great beer we have in our state."

Among Chris' own contribution of house beers will be a saison dressed up with lemon verbena and Szechuan peppercorn, thanks to a people's choice survey.  

"It's a basic saison recipe. I use French saison yeast. In the actual brew I use coriander and lemon peel," Chris says. "Then we put it out there and asked people how they would like me to treat the pin. The combination they selected is lemon verbena and szechuan peppercorn added to the pin. We're hoping to get a little more of that lemon character out. 

"The szechuan peppercorns, although not like a typical peppercorn – they're actually not even considered a peppercorn – have a nice woody, earthy, slight citrus taste, and actually leave a kind of a numbing, tingling feeling on your tongue. They're actually supposed to enhance other flavors."

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