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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Cask ale pourer

Cask ale pourer

On 20 January 2018, the East Coast cold snap snapped; it was a glorious winter's day for real ales.

Fifty-three cask beers would be poured for a full house of festival go-ers during the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, held at 5 Seasons Brewpub in the westside Midtown district of Atlanta, Georgia. Above, a volunteer pours one of those beers from a firkin (a 10.8 U.S.-gallon cask).

Of the scheduled fifty-six beers:
  • Thirty-four were adulterated with some manner of gallimaufry, including, but not limited to Tang, bacon, and eggnog, all of which demean the very raison d'etre of cask-conditioning.
  • Six were sour or saison-ish beers, which misses the point.
  • One cask had gone completely off, which was unfortunate.
  • Another was a lager, which, of course, is not cask-conditioned ALE at all. Ditto a mead and a cider, neither beer.
  • Three British cask ales, unadulterated, failed to appear because of inclement weather over the importer's warehouse, which was aggravating.
  • But ten were, indeed, *just* cask-conditioned real ales, showcasing themselves in fresh form, which is the point.
Of those, some were delights; and one delightfully so.

In my estimation, Fourteen Twenty Dark Mild was the star of the show, a balanced beauty of a beer at 4.5% alcohol-by-volume (abv) and 20 International Bittering Units (IBU), brewed and conditioned by Mitch Steele, brewmaster and co-owner of New Realm Brewing, his recently-opened Atlanta production brewery and restaurant. There could be a touch of irony in that. After all, it was Steele —who wrote the book, literally, on IPA when he was brewmaster for Stone Brewing —who brought that gently hopped 'session' beer to the festival. The judges —whoever they were— agreed, awarding his Dark Mild first place.

Dark Mild wins! (02)

In addition to the hospitality of 5 Seasons, kudos and thanks should be given to Owen Ogletree, the festival's organizer, who arranged things ably, as he has done for fourteen years.

-----more-----
  • More photos from the festival: here.
  • What is a Mild Ale? Read this.
  • Tang Orange Drink Mix = Sucrose, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Natural Flavor (?), Ascorbic Acid, Maltodextrin, Calcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Artificial Color, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Very 'craft,' indeed?

  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of photos taken (or noted) by me, posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as the subject.
  • See the photo on Flickr: here.
  • Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL1.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

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