Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cask Ale Week 2016, but “only in pubs, only in Britain.”

Cask-conditioned 'real ale' appears to be an endangered afterthought in a lot of the United States. And even when it does appear, it's often not as truly 'cask-conditioned,' but merely as uncarbonated beer in a cask with cocoa-puffs and dingleberries tossed in, or other ephemera, willy-nilly.

Of course, that's a generalization, but only because it often is the reality.

In the United Kingdom, however, that is not so. There, Cask Ale Week begins today, an eleven-day week, "celebrating Britain's national drink," continuing through 2 October, but "only in Britain, only in pubs."

Cask Ale Week 2016

To learn more:

  • Ephemera have infected even the Great British Beer Festival. This year's Champion Beer of Britain was a vanilla-infused stout, but which, by all accounts, had been properly cask-conditioned.
  • Real Ale “is either great or it ain't. Not every publican, bar manager, or owner knows what 'Real Ale' is, let alone what’s involved. Saying no is often the best course.”
    — Via Tim Suprise, of Acadia Brewing (in Michigan), presenting to the 2012 Craft Brewing Conference.
  • I cannot claim ownership of the phrase, "cocoa-puffs and dingleberries." That honor belongs to Joseph Marunowski, past brewer at Samuel Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) and past Director of Brewing Operations at Heavy Seas (Baltimore, Maryland).

  • For more from YFGF:

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