It's all about the beer and finding your way to it

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pubs and Cask Ale

A recent visit to London meant the chance to sample some British cask ales. There are a number of great British ale styles and for most of them they are always best when served from a cask. Examples range from best bitters to milds to pale ales. Most of these beers are lower in alcohol compared to Belgian and American beer styles. They are very refreshing and whether they have a nice sharp bitterness or a full bodied maltiness they showcase their stylistic characteristics best when served from a cask.

True cask ale is unfiltered and unpasteurized and is served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. The conditioning of the beer in the cask adds natural carbonation and a secondary fermentation occurs that changes the complexity of the beer.

The focus on serving this type of beer has grown in the last few years. Many newer breweries make a broad range of beers that are sold on cask only now. My experience in London was that most pubs seemed to at least have 2-3 of cask ales and some had over a dozen. This is in spite of many UK pubgoers still choosing to drink bland lager over the more traditional ale.

Here are some the great ales I was able to sample:

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