Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pic(k) of the Week: Soft Spile Fobbing

Soft spile fobbing (02)

No, a cask of beer is NOT a keg, and, no, a keg is NOT a cask.

Consider a cask as a brewery's small, portable, tank of fermenting beer, often 10.8 gallons, a size known as a 'firkin.' The ale within —known as cask-conditioned ale or real ale— is fermenting, 'living' beer. When tapped, it's 'zero-hour' fresh.

The photo is a close-up of a spile —a porous bamboo peg— sitting in the top shive bung of a firkin of IronMan Pale Ale, 6.4% alcohol-by-volume (abv), brewed by Oliver Breweries, of Baltimore, Maryland. Active yeast (or the cask's contents being shaken or warmed) causes excess carbonation to bubble (fob) beer through the spile.

  • Read more about cask-conditioned ale at Cask Ale USA.
  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject.


  1. Great photo... Glad to hear someone actually clarifying the cask and the keg... I have hear more misuse of these terms lately, as the world begins to embrace micro-brews.

  2. Thanks, Jim. And, don't even get me started on the topic. I've been hearing folks in the 'craft beer' business, who really should know better, refer to beer in a keg, or even lesser carbonated beer, as cask-conditioned.


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