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Old 04-30-2009, 07:58 AM   #11
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Maybe it's the Englishman in me, but I love a low carbed cask ale. I was just there in march and I drank as much as I could manage to get my fill

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Old 04-30-2009, 09:42 AM   #12
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I adore a gently carbonated real ale served at cellar temperatures. Too much carbonation and even the most finely crafted English ale will seem insipid.

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Old 04-30-2009, 11:05 AM   #13
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I adore a gently carbonated real ale served at cellar temperatures. Too much carbonation and even the most finely crafted English ale will seem insipid.
It's only 7:00AM and you guy's are making me thirsty! Got to get back up to the Ship Inn. Their cask conditioned Best Bitter served with a hand pump is wonderful.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:10 AM   #14
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It's only 7:00AM and you guy's are making me thirsty! Got to get back up to the Ship Inn. Their cask conditioned Best Bitter served with a hand pump is wonderful.
I did enjoy that one when we were last there!
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:42 PM   #15
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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.
I agree with this. The cask ales I've had have NOT been flat, not by any means. Are they less carbonated than the normal draft? You bet. And they should be served at a somewhat higher temperature, too, as I understand it. My personal view of all this is that we like what we're used to. If we're used to drinking a more highly carbonated beer at a lower temperature, then other "interpretations" are going to taste weird.
It took me a while after "getting religion" and moving away from BMC beers to good craft / micro, and then getting into homebrew, to realize that I liked the way a lot of beers tasted a whole lot more if the temperature were in the low '50Fs, rather than in the high '30Fs.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #16
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You guys are making me think twice. Maybe I just haven't had good cask ale. I've had several (in various pubs in Minneapolis and Boston), and not one struck me as anything special. The Old Speckled Hen at Brits Pub in Minneapolis was the best English ale I've ever had, by far, but it was not on cask. I'll give cask ale another chance the next time I run across it.

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:03 PM   #17
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I've had one in Ann Arbor I think and I don't remember it being all that bad. But I do tend to prefer all but the heavier beers well carbonated, myself.

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:10 PM   #18
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I'll continue to try 'em too... perhaps the one last night was a poor example.

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:39 PM   #19
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Find a good porter cask, porter is best warmer and less carbed. Any darker beer is typically better warmer.

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #20
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I think it's revealing that several posters have commented on drinking local American beers on cask and finding them very good, while the experience of trying British ales has been mixed at best. This stuff just doesn't travel well, and was never intended to.

A couple of months ago I tried Fuller's London Pride on cask at a craft beer pub and it was a very weird experience. I was served about 12 oz in a special glass, presented as if it were some sort of exotic elixir, with a price to match. Unsurprisingly, it tasted pretty poor. I'll stick to drinking it where it belongs and tastes good - in London - and choose an American ale next time.

I don't mind paying extra for cask on the basis that I like to encourage bars to offer cask beer, but they need to select the right beers to benefit.

And just to re-state what's been said above - British beer should not be flat (or warm), but should be carbonated at a lower level than most styles and served slightly chilled compared to room temp, in the mid-50s.

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