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Old 04-30-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default Cask Ales: I just don't get it

I love most things UK. Man, if I could live there, it'd be a dream come true.

Now, having said that, I love North American style bitter I reckon. ESB's especially.

So, what I'm getting at is this: whenever I go to a good craft beer pub, they'll generally have some UK cask beer available. And I will always try one. And the reaction is always the same: Put this in front of me as well as a well-carbonated ESB beer (or the equivalent) and the carbonated one will win EVERY time.

Someone help me understand the fascination with this whole flat-as-Kate-Moss-UK-cask ale thing??????

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Old 04-30-2009, 03:10 AM   #2
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It's about the natural process of "live" beer and the changes that short term oxidation make in it. The flavor continues to change in the cask. Also if you can try tasting the exact same two beers one carbed and the other on cask it may help you appreciate the differences. It just may not be something you like.

The local brewery here (Marshall Brewing) has a couple of their regular beers on cask at a local pub and I think they are actually a bit better than the full carbed versions. Then again it's not for everyone.

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Old 04-30-2009, 03:11 AM   #3
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I'm with you; I just don't get it either. As with most things British, I love the concept, but prefer the American interpretation.

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Old 04-30-2009, 03:15 AM   #4
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I've had a very hoppy IPA on cask, and it was pretty great. I think it depends on the beer, and your taste. A lot of people don't like the warmer temp either...

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Old 04-30-2009, 03:22 AM   #5
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See, the pub I was at tonight had Green Flash's IPA on cask, but it was out... so I don't know how great (or not) I would have thought it was!

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastricky View Post
See, the pub I was at tonight had Green Flash's IPA on cask, but it was out... so I don't know how great (or not) I would have thought it was!
That sucks, I love that beer!
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:13 AM   #7
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It really depends on the beer and how well the cask is prepared. Not all of them are flat. Some of them are pretty amazing, but they can be hit and miss.

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:47 AM   #8
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I hear ya for the most part.

I just think that certain beer styles - like bitters and even IPAs - would be better if they were simply carbed to style. Pubs generally just carb everything the same way whether it's BMC or a great local microbrewed English bitter.

I always carb my English style beers to style and, man, they taste great. The cask ales that I have had certainly have been complimented by the lower carbonation level that cask conditioning causes.

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Old 04-30-2009, 06:24 AM   #9
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It shouldn't be flat. There should be less head and more subdued carbonation, but not flat at all. I don't like those "Big bubbles" for want of a better term that force carbing produces. It gets in the way of the beer. Each to their own though, I suppose. We all have differing tastes. Many of those tastes are still coloured by earlier preferences even though they may have altered.

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Old 04-30-2009, 06:27 AM   #10
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Well,.... since most bars use beergas, it's the brewery that carbs all the beers the same. Many european breweries carb there beer for NA export higher than they do for local distribution.

Sad really, but I guess the NA standard is high carbed fracking freezing no taste beer.

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