Blog by Nigel Walsh


Happy Anniversary to Me

Mission accomplished.

Yep, I really did manage to accomplish one of the primary goals that I set myself when I started this project a year ago.

One of the challenges that I committed myself to, when initially undertaking this effort, was to post every single week for at least a year, and with this, my 52nd weekly post, I have reached that milestone.

So now what?

Well, nothing …

… I am just going to continue on as if this milestone was nothing special.

I wasn’t sure when I started this, that I would actually enjoy the process, but have been surprised and delighted that it has turned out the way it has; did I mention that I really did not, and do not, consider myself a writer, a storyteller maybe, but not a writer.

I sincerely hope that folks who have managed to stumble over this cask ale fueled stream of consciousness, will have come away informed or entertained, I do strive to deliver both.

I did originally have some thoughts about slowing down the posts, but expanding my online presence, once I had gotten the first year under my belt, but never at the expense of the information that I hope to provide; this was never a vanity project, I don’t roll that way.

But, if it helps to get information out earlier and to a different audience, then?

Anti-social Media

So Cask Whisperer, when are we going to see you on TikTok?


Yeah, that is not going to happen.

But, if you really cannot wait until Monday or Tuesday rolls around each week, to see what the Cask Whisperer found to drink in NYC and beyond, I have taken the baby step of reawakening my long-dormant Untappd account (warmflatcloudy) to deliver the news hot from the presses.

If you want the news to be even more current, just check out the rest of the rejuvenated JWF cask ale web page, there are a lot of good looking casks on the horizon and a couple of real winners right now; make sure to check out the food menu too, especially the peasant food (the Whisperer-approved pie of the day or bangers and mash during the week, full English or “Sunday” roast on the weekend).

Or better yet, swing on by and park yourself at the bar, the news will not get much fresher than when it comes in a 20oz imperial pint mug.

Although you may be unfortunate enough to experience a Cask Whisperer sighting, it is a bit like Bigfoot only with more hair; run before it chews your ears off!

At some point I may also make my Instagram account bidirectional, but holding off on that for now because I figure that would increase my workload, and this is not my fulltime job yet, and I do have a fulltime job; so for now, I will just continue lurking … hush, I am a whisperer not a yeller.

How about twatter/X?

No, really, no.

But if you are dead set on having more social interactions with the Cask Whisperer, there is always Pokemon GO (3932 9954 3112); since my grandkids all moved on to more exciting games, I am stuck wandering the augmented reality worlds all alone again, walking off the beers.

Or perhaps, walking to find the beers.

And with my lovely wife out of town for the week, I was able to go “catch ‘em all” on three separate occasions.

Funny how that always seems to happen.

The Local (Part x)

And where best to start but Jones Wood Foundry itself?

Nowhere, there is nowhere better than your local.

Especially after checking their upcoming cask ale lineup, and discovering that the Seneca Lake Beerocracy Bitter had been promoted to the ready-to-tap list, and was sitting alongside the Old Glenham Loom Cornish Ale.

So, after finishing work for the day, and after ensuring that my wife had arrived safely at her destination last Tuesday, I shuffled out to see if I was going to get lucky … erm … with the beer that is.

I grabbed a Loom to tide me over until the Beerocracy was tapped, then double-fisted for a few minutes, before settling in for a session with the bitter.

I also got to trade war stories with Jason, who I had last seen in the late hours of the NYSBRAF event, staggering off into the night to get his car out of the mud and down to his campsite.

I just stayed for a couple of hours, and it was fairly quiet in the late afternoon, but with good beer and good company, I was all chilled out and ready to head back home to face the wrath of the cats.

A Little Night Music

And I was out and about again on the following day.

This was something that I had not exactly planned, but had considered for way too long.

Fifth Hammer have held a “Jazz” in the street gig, outside the brewery in the warmer months for a few years now, with Chris Cuzme getting some talented friends together each week to jam with him, and a couple of years ago I managed to get over to Long Island City on several Wednesday evenings, for some beer, tunes, and NYC atmosphere.

It was great, and I had always planned on dragging my wife or daughter over the river to experience it.

That never happened because other stuff just seemed to get in the way; even after they expanded it to a year-round event by moving the stage into the brewers lounge, I wasn’t able to find the time or energy to drag even myself over the river, let alone family.  

But last Wednesday after work, I found myself on the street after dropping the car keys off at my daughters apartment, and on a whim, decided to head over to the ferry instead of home.

It was hot but dry, and they were promising thunderstorms after 8:30pm, but I figured that I would be on my way back home by then, so no worries.

It was brilliant!

The band were brilliant!

Jonah Smith keyboard and vocals, Adam Chilenski on bass, Al Street guitar, Rob Heath drums, and Cuzme on sax.

Not jazz, but everything from Stevie Winwood to Stevie Wonder, with a gritty bluesy funky rootsy edge to the whole proceedings.

As usual at Fifth Hammer, there were a lot of dogs; in the bar, listening to the music in the brewers lounge, and just wandering by on the sidewalk.

And it was all washed down with several pints of Fifth Hammer’s latest beer on cask, Dotty Neverditty a 5% “English” pale ale with major cascade overtones.

I didn’t escape the thunderstorms and barely made the last ferry home at 10pm.

I will be seriously attempting a repeat visit this Wednesday.

I need to make Fifth Hammer a local again.

The Local (Part x + 1)

So the weekend was practically shot.

Once again, my wife was out of town, leaving me all alone, with a dog to look after from early Saturday morning to late Sunday afternoon.

Funny how that always seems to happen.

This was a third visit for the Parti-Yorkie puppy Reo, and his first overnight.

He is adorable and did very well again, but he is just a puppy, so I pretty much stayed in all weekend, except for walkies, making sure that he had company and that his needs were met.

However, as soon as I dropped him off, I was ready for some human company and immediately set off to JWF for some beer and munchies and socialization.

It was quiet again, but there was a handful of folks at the bar and a gathering crowd downstairs in the restaurant.

The bar staff were all as gracious and welcoming as usual.

I arrived in the in-between time when brunch was done but dinner service not yet started, but managed to scrounge up a pate plate to go with my three Beerocracy Bitters and a Loom.

And with that I was done for the week.

I couldn’t have done it without the locals.

My wife gets back on Wednesday, I can’t wait.

Scorecard w/e 06/04/24

In the past week, The Cask Whisperer has enjoyed the following casks:

  • Seneca Lake Brewing Beerocracy Bitter @ Jones Wood Foundry
  • Old Glenham Loom Cornish Ale @ Jones Wood Foundry
  • Fifth Hammer Dotty Neverditty Pale Ale @ Fifth Hammer

Upcoming Cask Festivals

9/7/2024: Noah Webster House Real Ale Harvest Festival, West Hartford CT

11/8/2024: Two Roads Cask Fest at Area 2, Stratford CT

11/9/2024: 20th Annual Blue Point Cask Ale Festival, Patchogue NY

Upcoming Random NYC Casks

  • Sadly, no erratics have been identified this week.

NYC Cask Venues

Known Operational/Active Beer Engines

  • Jones Wood Foundry (x2)
  • Fifth Hammer
  • Wild East
  • The Shakespeare (x3)
  • Cask Bar & Kitchen
  • Drop-off Service

Occasional Pins (worth a follow on Instagram)

  • Strong Rope
  • KCBC
  • Tørst
  • Blind Tiger Ale House
  • Threes Brewing
  • Brouwerij Lane

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