Friday, October 19, 2012

The 9th annual Chesapeake Real Ale Festival

It's the 9th Annual Chesapeake Real Ale Festival, Saturday 20 October 2012, at the Pratt Street Ale House, in downtown Baltimore, Maryland ... and I'll be there.

Co-sponsored by the Chesapeake branch of the SPBW and host Pratt Street Ale House, the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival will feature more than 40 local, regional, and international cask beers from over 20 breweries.

Pratt Street Ale House

So, what exactly is meant by the term Real Ale? Otherwise referred to as 'cask ale' or 'cask-conditioned ale,' real ale is defined by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale in the U.K.) as:
a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.

Pouring from the firkin (02)

Here's the posted register of Saturday's real ales (subject to change):
  • Brewers Art- Dry Hopped Resurrection
  • Brewers Art- Le Canard
  • Blue Mountain Brewing- 2 casks tbd
  • Burley Oak Brewing- 2 casks tbd
  • Flying Fish Brewing- 2 Casks tbd
  • Dog Brewing- Chocolate Sour Cherry Porter (plus 1 tbd)
  • Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
  • DuClaw- Coconut EuForia vDuClaw- Hellrazer w/ Apricots & Guajillo Pepper
  • Evolution- Lucky Dog brown ale & Menagerie #8 pin for VIP
  • Firestone Walker- 2 Casks tbd
  • Flying Dog- The Fear Imperial Pumpkin
  • Flying Dog- Single Hop Chinook IPA
  • JW Lees- Harvest Ale /Calvados cask
  • Lagunitas- Maximus
  • Lagunitas- Imperial Stout
  • Heavy Seas- 2 casks tbd
  • New Belgium- Trippel dry hopped with Zeus
  • New Belgium- Ranger IPA double dry hopped with Cascade & Raven
  • Old Dominion- Baltic Porter dry hopped with Saaz
  • Oskar Blues - The Legend Bobby Brown
  • Oskar Blues- Dales pale ale dry hopped with Simcoe
  • Stillwater- Why Cant IBU
  • Stillwater- 2nd cask tbd
  • Stone- Russian Imperial Stout oaked
  • Stoudts- Dry Hopped Scarlett Lady ESB
  • Union Brewing- 2 casks tbd
  • Weyebacher- 2 Casks tbd
  • Yards- ESA (**Gold Medal Winner at the 2012 GABF)
  • Yards- IPA Simcoe Hops
Host brewer Steve Jones of Oliver Ales will be pouring:
  • Freddie's Revenge
  • Bishop's Indulgence
  • My Monkey's Got Wood (Hot Monkey Barleywine, aged and served in oak with grains of paradise)
  • A Tonic For The Troops (collaboration with DuClaw Brewing)

The festival begins at 1pm and continues until 6, but, for the hour beforehand, from 12 to 1, there is a VIP session, that entitles attendees to pours from casks exclusive to the session, passed appetizers, meet and greet with the brewers, and ...

This will be the second year that the VIP session features an hour-long Panel Discussion on Cask Ale. This year's speakers: I'm the moderator. We'll be discussing the brewing of cask ales, how to serve cask ales (at non-brewing pubs and at festivals), and whether there is an evolving 'American-style' of cask ale.

Cask taps & trestle

The beer will be cool and the weather spot-on: the weatherman says mid 60s and sunny. As the festival website proclaims:
This is the region's premier Real Ale event and it rocks every year. If you only go to one event this year...this is the one to hit!


  • UPDATE: Photos from the fest: here.
  • October 20, 2012
    12pm - VIP Admittance: $60
    1pm - General Public Admittance: $40
    Admittance entitles a festival go-er to sample as much as she cares to, within reason!
    Food is available at the pub's restaurant. Musical acts Black Falls and Rob Fahey will perform.
  • Read more at Facebook. Follow on Twitter @prattstalefest.
  • The Real Ale Festival is part of Baltimore Beer Week 2012, which runs Friday 19 October through Sunday 28 October.
  • Read more about cask-conditioned 'Real Ale' at: Cask Ale USA.

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