Five things you may not know about cask beer
Friday night is a special night for Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest since it is Cask Night. For this night only, festival goers can taste special cask-aged beers and ciders from participating breweries, in addition to the other local beers being poured. Aeronaut Brewing, sponsor of the Cask Night, will be pouring a cask-conditioned Hop Hop and Away with added Rakau Hops. Other cask-aged beers will include Lamplighter’s Werewolves of Cambridge porter, Lookout Farm’s farmhouse ale conditioned with black currant, sour cherry, and pomegranate, Turtle Swamp’s Nik’s Bitter (but Never Angry), Medusa Brewing’s Centennial American pale ale, Battle Road Brewing’s Lord Stirling’s Scottish Ale, and Barrel House Z’s 1988, a real ale aged in Bully Boy Whiskey Barrels. There are also two additional surprise cask products that will be available at the event.
To prepare for the Cask Tasting Night, here are five facts you may not know about cask beer:
- You may have seen the term “barrel-aged beer” around, but the proper term should be cask-aged or cask-conditioned beer. Barrel is actually a measurement or size of a cask – a barrel is a cask that measures 36 Imperial gallons of liquid (that’s 48 American gallons). A cask that measures 9 gallons is called a “firkin” while a “hogshead” measures 54 gallons.
- The defining characteristic of a cask beer is the secondary fermentation that takes place inside the cask, which means that there is still live yeast in the cask. Despite the live yeast, cask beer should not be cloudy.
- Since cask beers are served directly from the cask with live yeast, cask beers are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Unlike keg beers, cask beers are also served with added nitrogen or carbon dioxide.
- The best temperature to serve cask beer is around 55 degrees. Traditional cask ale in Britain, also known as “real ale”, has a misguided reputation of being warm and flat. This is only a sign of an improperly handled cask. A pint of beer from a properly handled cask beer should be cool and more flavorful than its keg beer counterparts.
- Cask beer is hard to find since it requires more delicate handling, and most bars aren’t equipped to serve it properly. That makes the Cask Tasting Night at the Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest even more special, since guests can taste seven different cask beers poured directly by the brewery staff.
To learn more or get your tickets, click here.
This post was brought to you by Fiona Chandra of Gourmet Pigs, go check her out!