Cask-conditioned ale is a process that starts at the brewery and continues at the pub. Bad practices at either end yield poor cask ales. For example:
How NOT to cellar and tap cask aleWere the casks improperly conditioned (or grossly over-conditioned at the brewery)? Sure looks like it. You have to feel sorry for the guy, but, still, hilarious.
How TO tap cask ale
Paul Pendyck —star of the second video— is the owner of UK Brewing Supplies. Based in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., he sell casks, cask equipment, and traditional British pub supplies. He dispenses (pun intended) excellent advice on cask ale, and has a few more cask how-to videos online.
A series of occasional posts on good cask cellarmanship.
- CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale, based in the U.K.) defines cask-conditioned ale 'real ale'as:
Draught (or bottled) beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide. Usually served cool, but not ice-cold, to allow greater expression of subtle flavors: 50-54 °F.
- What does poorly served cask ale look/taste like? Here.
- View another, longer, instructional cask-ale video from New York cellarman (by way of the U.K.) Alex Hall: here.
- More on cask-conditioned beer at Cask Ale USA.