If you showed up on Saturday, you may have noticed that we got ourselves a little birthday present: a beer engine! This 21st tap is kicking off Bailey’s second year in a very special way. Cask ale will now be available each and every week from Thursday through Saturday (unless it blows before then). And starting today, we’ve got the Leavenworth Hodgson’s IPA on cask; next week, we’ll be tapping the Fish Mudshark Porter.
For those who don’t know their beer engines from their beer motors, here’s a quick primer: this contraption allows us to serve pints of beers that haven’t been pumped with any ancillary gasses, like CO2 or nitrogen. Instead, the beer is naturally carbonated by the still-active yeast in the casks and left to mature longer, resulting in a pint whose bubbles are gentler and whose flavors are richer and far more nuanced. If you’ve never had a cask ale before, prepare yourself for something a little different; it won’t be as carbonated or as cold as you may be used to, but that doesn’t change the fact that it tastes really fantastic with certain beers, just as certain beers taste better on Nitro than they do on CO2. Anyone who tried the Old Woody on cask during the AnniBREWsary should understand what I’m talking about.
The long and the short of it is that cask beer is yet another great way to serve beer. And in fact, it’s the original way, back before pasteurization, forced carbonation, and mass refrigeration became the industry norms. You owe it to yourself and your taste buds to give it a shot. It may just cause you to blurt out ecstatically, “I didn’t know beer could taste like that!”