One of my favorite events in our local area happens about twice a year and include a boat load of ‘real ale’. Meet the Cask Ale Festival – a pile of cask conditioned beers in one place at one time. This weekend, expect to find 15 cask ales literally chillin in the ball room which is cask temperature (~55* so dress appropriately) just waiting for you to taste them.
This year’s featured beers include Troeg’s Java Head w/ cocoa nibs, St Boniface Cream Ale w/ honey and blackberries, and Weyerbacher Merry Monks w/ chamomile. Half and full sized pours will both be available so you can sample your way through them all.
Not familiar with cask conditioned ales? This is a great way to try them out! Cask conditioned basically means that the beer is taken directly from the fermenter and put into its keg usually without any additional carbonation, filtering, or pasteurization. Cask conditions beers are stored and served at cellar temperature (~50-55*) allowing for more aroma and flavor. Originally, real ale or cask ale comes from British pubs where these beers are often served with a hand-pump system. In America, you’ll see these beers served on hand pumps or even directly from the cask like this festival. Once tapped, cask beer has a limited shelf life due to this process and should be consumed quickly.
Because the beers needs to be well gotten rid of, on Sunday you’ll be able to purchase growlers of the remaining brews. Here’s the full run-down:
- Where: Bulls Head Public House/General Sutter Inn
- When: Friday May 2nd 4-10pm, Saturday May 3rd brunch 11-12 fest 12-10pm, Sunday May 4th 2-5pm
- Cost: $12/person