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Rail Paul

Cask beers - are they worth the effort?

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The Wall Street Journal notes the surge in interest for cask conditioned beers. Delivered in casks, they rely on natural pressure and a hand pulled lever to maintain flow. No nitrogen or CO2. The method is often used by brewers for experimenting, as the cask can be sampled, new ingredients added, and closed again. That's not the case with sealed, pressurized casks.

 

Bronx Brewery was singled for its Cask Parties at the brewery.

 

 

Church Key / Birch & Barley in the DC area

 

Lord Hobo in Cambridge MA

 

Max's Taphouse in Baltimore MD (looks like a few minutes off I-95)

 

Ashley's in Ann Arbor MI

 

Daily Pint in Santa Monica CA

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/are-cask-beers-worth-the-fuss-1441825666

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I began drinking cask beers and ales in the UK years ago. Not all of them are great but a well made cask ale is great. Different from standard US beers.

 

I'm glad to see some are being made in the U.S.

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Yes.

 

I've had them occasionally at the Gaslight Brewery in South Orange NJ. Good selection, and their website usually lists the what and when.

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When Minetta reopened in its current guise, one of their things was that they always had one cask-conditioned beer. I assume they still do.

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Wasn't dba (1st Avenue) one of the first places here in NYC to offer cask-conditioned stuff? I seem to remember them always having at least 2 taps that were from this kind of beer?

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Correct, although I thought it was one pump. Might be wrong. As I recall, they usually offered British cask ales.

 

I'm very surprised that interest in cask ales hasn't taken off before. In the UK, the campaign for what's called "artisanal beers," which took off in the 70s, was strongly focused on eradicating pressure taps for ales--in fact for everything except lagers and stouts. And it was very largely successful. Craft or artisanal beers in the UK are synonymous with hand-pumped cask beers. Non-specialist bars in the UK have all or almost all beers on hand pumps, except a few lagers and Guinness.

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Wasn't dba (1st Avenue) one of the first places here in NYC to offer cask-conditioned stuff? I seem to remember them always having at least 2 taps that were from this kind of beer?

DBA is a wonderful place, however it's a poster child for serving dumb beer styles in cask.

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The problem is that you really need to finish the cask in a reasonable time - hard at Us style beer bars with 20 taps.

God knows I do my part.

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