Posts Tagged ‘Cask’

One thing I have noticed at many beer bars is a Cask Ale. I’ve noticed that often there will be a beer on cask which will rotate pretty frequently. A few weeks ago, while at The Bronx Alehouse, I decided to try their Cask selection of the day. Always looking for something new to drink in the beer world, I figured this would be a good opportunity to expand my beer tastes.

The beer on hand that day happened to be Sixpoint Otis Stout. The first thing I noticed wasn’t the smell or the appearance, but rather the temperature. Usually beers are served pretty cold, but this beer was served at room temperature. This wasn’t a big deal to me as I know a good beer doesn’t need to be, and at many times shouldn’t be, served ice cold. The appearance was what I would expect from a Stout, dark and with a decent head. The smell was minimal but the taste was where I began to realize what makes a casked beer unique. The beer had a subtle sweetness to it in the back. I wasn’t sure if this was normal for a cask or if it was just the flavor of the Stout (I will have more on this later). Overall I enjoyed the beer. It was different than what I was used to, but tasted good and paired nicely with the Hog Wings (which are so good I could write a whole post on them alone) served at the Bronx Alehouse.

I hadn’t encountered another cask until last night when I was up in Stamford, CT at the Southport Brewing Company. I’ve been wanting to try this place out for awhile after hearing they brew their own beers in the city where some of the best people I know live. Went there last night after getting some Colony pizza (another food so good I could write a whole post on) and I noticed they had their Blonde beer on cask. I decided to give it a try and once again the beer was served at room temperature. The casked blonde was yellow and not very transparent (similar to the look of a wheat beer). Very different from the  Blonde served from the tap, which was clear and golden. The beer didn’t have much of an aroma, the mouthfeel was very similar to the Sixpoint on cask, and the taste, while different, still had that subtle sweetness in the back as the Otis Stout had.

Upon some research, it appears that cask ales are unfiltered and unpasteurized. The beer contains live yeast due to the lack of pasteurization, which develops the malts and hops differently than a keg. That is what gives a cask ale the sweeter taste I’ve encountered. Also known as “Real Ale”, this style is still very popular in England. I’d like to find more places that have beer on cask. I might have tapped (pun intended?) into another step toward pure beer snobbery.