The organizers of the UK's National Cask Ale Week (6-13 April) are attempting to break the world record for a simultaneous toast, which, according to their website, stands now at 485,000 people. Over 6,000 venues across the UK will participate at 7pm on Saturday 11 April 2009.
The simultaneous toast will celebrate Britain’s national drink – cask ale – and wrap up a week-long festival that is National Cask Ale Week. (NB: participants don’t have to raise a glass of cask beer but can use any drink, although cask is preferable)
At present, I know of two 'real ale' pubs located in the US that will be participating, both in New York City. From the Facebook announcement (sent to me by cask ale maven Alex Hall):
The 1st Cask Ale Festival at The Gate will happen Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th April 2009.
Location: The Gate, 321 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Be part of the world's biggest toast (to cask ale) - Saturday 11 April, 2pm, at The Gate. The toast is also happening at Rattle 'n' Hum, 33rd Street, Manhattan (between 5th and Madison Avenues).
If you know of other US 'real ale' venues that will be participating, please comment below or drop me a line. I'll update the list here. And contact the organizers so that your toasts will be counted toward the total. To coordinate with our friends in the United Kingdom, the toast in the US should be held at 2pm on the East Coast, 11am on the West Coast, and other time zones accordingly.
[UPDATE: A world's record was not achieved. From organizer Lucy Kemp via email:
Unfortunately we didn’t break the world record this year. We made a good start and will hopefully revisit this again next year.]
1) I was at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Arlington, Va. as 10 real ale fans joined brewer Chris Rafferty as he tapped a cask for the Toast. Photos here.
2) The Society for the Preservation of Beer From the Wood (SPBW) was to participate at Johansson's in Westminster, Md. (See the comments below.)
3) The Fredericksburg Area Brewing and Tasting Society (FABTS) participated in the toast —not with a cask ale, but with a premium bitter— at at Kybecca Wine and Beer Store in Fredericksburg, Va. Story here.