NYMag asked me to write a package of short articles on the then-upcoming NY Craft Beer Week. Reporting on beer struck me as a journalistic plum, especially since the assignment came as an unsolicited commission rather than after the intensive and, often fruitless, ritual of pitching. Most of my labors—a plug for NY Craft Beer Week's closing party and expert recommendations on 15 festival beers (worth checking out even with the festival over, since many of the best beers are widely available)—made it onto NYMag.com. Sadly, my favorite piece, a Q&A with cask-conditioned beer guru Alex Hall has been held back "for future publication." The Q&A with Hall proved especially worthwhile, at least to report. After deciding that interviewing a cask beer expert over the phone would be sterile service journalism at best, I demanded that we meet at a beer hall with a flowing cask. Hall, of course, was more than down, easily tossing off four, 20 oz. pints of warm, soft, and extremely rich Brooklyn Blunderbuss Old Ale as I slowly and woozily waded through three.