Friday, October 19, 2007

Have cask, will travel (to Decatur, GA)

I'm off this morning to the Atlanta area for the Decatur Beer Fest. If you're there on Saturday, please stop by and say hello. We'll be pouring our Heavy Seas line ... and Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale from a cask.

It'll be fresh.

Steve Marsh, Clipper City's cellarman, racked the beer into the firkin 9 days ago, priming it with a measure of high krausen Loose Cannon. That slurry contained enough yeast - and unfermented malt sugars to feed the yeast - to properly carbonate the firkin.

[UPDATE: photo from fest, Saturday 20 October.
Clipper City volunteer pulling 1/4 pint of cask
Loose Cannon
for Athens beer entrepreneur Sachin Patel.
Festival recap here.]

During the warmer weather, I do not use our usual freight truckers to send cask ale to our wholesalers. It's not because of the truckers themselves, who do a great job with our packaged beer. It's simply because of the fragile nature of cask ale. At best (?), the flavor would suffer. And at worst, the firkins might pop their bungs, spewing their lovely beer.

So, today, the firkin will be sitting safely behind me in my car's passenger seat.

A festival closer to my home base is the Maryland Brewers Association Oktoberfest in Timonium. The proceeds, after expenses, go to the breweries of Maryland themselves. No third party organizers get your money. Most (but not I!) of Clipper City's brewing staff will be there.

And there's the NoVa Brew Fest - new this year - in Bull Run Regional Park.

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