The topic of this month's The Session: Beer Blogging Friday is Cask-Conditioned Ale. In addition to inviting beer bloggers to contribute, I reached out to non-blogging beer folk (and, yes, they are many).
This personal reminiscence is from Casey Hard.
Cask ale is a wonderful way to taste beer in its true form.Casey Hard is the General Manager and cellarman for Maxs Tap House —in Baltimore, Maryland. Currently sporting 70 draft lines, Max's is increasing that number to 100 and the cask lines to five. Casey is the founder and organizer of the 72 Hours of Belgium, a three day Belgian beer festival in Baltimore.
I had my first taste of cask ale in Syracuse NY at the Blue Tusk over 10 years ago, first wondering why it was so flat and thin. As my knowledge grew and my palate, I have come to enjoy and even seek out this wonderful form of beer.
Tom Cizauskas was the one who came to me with the idea of doing cask ale at Max’s. We had done a firkin on the bar from time to time but not on an everyday basis. He even let us use his personal hand pump. Since that day [in 2001] we have been serving cask ale and are about to expand our range from three to five handpumps.
About a month ago we started doing a cask night on Thursdays. Not sure how that would go, I could not be happier. We have even gone as far as buying our own casks and sending them across the country to bring in a wider range of breweries producing cask ale.
Winter time is the best time for cask ale, in my opinion. This is when we get in most of our English and Scottish casks - at the forefront of this campaign to keep this form of beer alive. This year we have even seen casks coming in from places like Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark.
Cask Ale is an art form that seems to be spreading world wide and I hope that it will continue to.
The Session: Beer Blogging Friday is a monthly event for the beer blogging community begun by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer, and co-moderated with Jay Brooks at the Brookston Beer Bulletin.
On the first Friday of each month, a predetermined blogger hosts The Session, chooses a specific, beer-related, topic, invites all bloggers to write on it, and posts a roundup of all the responses received.