December 17th, Toronto, ON – Some of you may be aware of the Project X Cask Nights hosted by Great Lakes Brewery on every second Thursday of every month. During the brewery’s cask events, patrons are treated to exclusive cask ales brewed specially for the event. Formerly, the ales were only to be enjoyed during the cask night; however, Great Lakes Brewery has just announced that going forward, they will be bottling limited quantities of the Project X ales. The ales will be available to members in the 670mL bottles via the brewery’s retail store. This month’s Project X ales are Skidmark Brown Ale and West Coat Pale Ale. Project X ales will be available for a limited time, so hurry!
Today we’re going to have a little history lesson about a specialty ale, which is not well-known in Canada…unless you frequent pubs that throw Cask Parties.
So, what the hell is a cask? Literally, it’s just a container in which the beer is commonly stored and conditioned. Typically, it’s a large wooden barrel. In Britain, casks were the primary method for storing beer until 1970s when they were replaced by the well-known, and well-loved metal kegs. By definition, cask conditioned beer, or cask ale, is a
“natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation.” *
The process of preparing Cask Ales is simple:
1. Brew the unfinished product (unfermented and unfiltered beer) at the brewery.
2. Rack it into casks. Unfinished beer casks were then left to condition at the brewery or sent off to the pubs to mature.
3. After some time, the casks are assessed by the brewmaster who examines the beer and determines if it’s ready to be served.