A blast from the past: in November 2008, a bartender is pulling a pint of cask-conditioned ale from a firkin, via a beer engine, at the Metropolitan Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, in Baltimore (Federal Hill), Maryland.
A beer engine, also known as a handpump, is a uniquely British dispensing device that is specifically appropriate for traditional cask-conditioned ales. The beer engine is a piston pump that allows the casks to be kept in a cooler cellar beneath the bar [in U.S. pubs, often in a refrigerator under the bartop] and the beer to be pulled or drawn up to the bar. [...] A version of the beer engine was patented by the prolific British inventor, locksmith, and hydraulic engineer, Joseph Bramah, in 1797.—The Oxford Companion to Beer
There are several sizes of British-style ale casks. The most common is the firkin, the British term for a cask that holds 9 Imperial gallons, which, in U.S. measurement, is 10.8 U.S. gallons.
There's an amusing anecdote connected with this photo. Read it here: Tradition and 'traditionalists', and beer engines.
- Today, Saturday, 17 October, it's the 12th annual Chesapeake Real Ale Festival held at the Pratt Street Alehouse, in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the the Chesapeake branch of the SPBW (Society for the Preservation for Beer from the Wood). 1-7pm (VIP admittance at 12 noon). Details and tickets: here.
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject.
- Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.
- For more from YFGF: