Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Three times, the caskman smileth

If you're not certain on all the fuss about cask-conditioned ale, come visit me at three cask events this month in northern Virginia.


Winter Storm @ Tap & Vine

Saturday, 7 November
Tap & Vine
Arlington, VA
6pm, until the Winter Storm cask is drained. ( A firkin is a cask that holds 84 US pints. More on cask measurements here.)

We'll be tapping the first Winter Storm firkin of the season in Virgina. From Clipper City Brewing of Baltimore, Maryland, it's an Imperial Extra Special Bitter.

Let's deconstruct that. Extra Special Bitter is the name of an actual beer brewed in England. American beer-style writers have adopted the phrase as a style designation. Think medium bitterness matched with barley malt flavor and a caramel-like sweetness. The word 'extra' doesn't mean extra bitter, but rather greater alcohol than a 'standard' example. 'Imperial' is an American affectation implying even more strength than that: stronger than strong. Winter Storm is 7.5% alcohol by volume (abv).

UPDATE: Photos here.


Eventide bar

Wednesday, 11 November
Arlington, VA
6pm, until the Gonzo cask is drained.

We tap a cask of Gonzo Imperial Porter. Here's the description from Flying Dog Brewing of Frederick, Maryland:

Like Hunter S. Thompson [creator of so-called 'gonzo journalism']... Gonzo Imperial Porter is deep and complex. This turbo charged version of the Road Dog Porter is mysteriously dark with a rich and malty body, intense roasted flavors, and a surprisingly unique hop kick. With Gonzo weighing in at 7.8% ABV, it will bite you in the ass if you don't show it the proper respect.

Eventide is a wine-centric restaurant, so this cask tapping, its first, is a special event for Bar Manager Stephen Warner.

UPDATE: Photos here.


The pre-turkey crowd @Majestic

Wednesday, 25 November
Evening Star Cafe
Alexandria, VA
6pm, until the Loose Cannon cask is drained.

This has become a three year tradition for the Majestic Lounge, the backroom bar of this restaurant in the quaint Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. A firkin is tapped on the evening before Thanksgiving. It's the only cask of the year for the pub. And it's always Loose Cannon Hop3, an India Pale Ale from Clipper City Brewing Company of Baltimore, Maryland.

An IPA -the acronym for the style- is deep golden in color, with a citrusy aroma and bracing bitterness, and is fairly high in alcohol. Loose Cannon, for example, has an abv of 7.3%.

UPDATE: Photos here.


Cask 'gravity' pour

At each of these three, there will be no formal presentations, but I'll be on hand for the first hour or so, and, if you ask, I'll gladly pontificate on cask ale. The caskman smileth!

Caveat lector: I sell these three beers as an employee for northern Virginia wine/beer wholesaler Select Wines, Inc.

1 comment:

Comment here ...