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.