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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









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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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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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