Originally published on 4 January 2019.
This was another Beer 101 type article commissioned for readers in the USA explaining this weird British beer known as cask ale.
Many people, even in Britain, think of cask ale as warm, brown, and flat. None of these descriptions is entirely fair, but all cliché comes from a place of truth.
It’s not an easy subject to cover in just 800 words so I had to stick to the basics, while also conveying some of the subtlety and craft that makes good cask ale such a prized commodity.
Cask ale is capricious and demanding. There’s a lot that can go wrong with it, but done right it’s sublime. Beers served this way are subtle yet vibrant, enigmatic and fleeting. Every pint will be different from the same beer served in bottles or on draught.