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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Simplicity of cask ale

UK blogger Stonch is practicing what he preaches, managing a pub. On cask ale, he offered this observation:

ale extractor in cellar at Max's TaphouseA lot of fuss is made about the handling of cask ale. People talk about beer being "well kept" in reverential tones, as if the publican were entrusted with a task of baffling complexity. In reality, if the beer arrives in good nick, only three things matter: the temperature of your cellar, how quickly you sell ale and your willingness to follow basic instructions.

I would add "keep the pipes clean." Dirty lines and dirty storage yield dirty beer.

And, of the "willingness to follow basictwo casks at Magnolias for Clipper City Beer Dinner instructions": that can often seem the most difficult task for which a brewery asks.

Yesterday, I spiled two casks for tonight's organic beer dinner at Magnolias Mill in Purcellville, Virginia. I did attempt to follow my own instructions! How to serve cask ale: a photo primer.

Come taste.

(Caveat: I sell the beer being poured at the dinner.)

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