Though largely a footnote in the states, cask ale was the precursor of craft beer in the UK. And now BrewDog is reintroducing a modernized version of the original that takes out all the negatives that can plague traditional cask ales…
Here’s the deal
Cask Ale, which is also called Real Ale in the UK, is a traditional English style of beer that undergoes secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed.
The yeast in cask ale remains alive and active, and it is dispensed without the use of extraneous gases (the carbonation that most Americans associate as a key aspect of their beers).
The result is a lightly carbonated, rich and complex brew that understandably tastes like beer would have before modern preservation methods and draft dispensing systems.
Served warmer that craft beer, cask ale also comes with instability and quality issues that can be hard to control.
But now BrewDog has refined the cask ale process to “take all of the negatives, such as heavy oxidation, inconsistent serve & poor quality, off the table.”
In 2016, Scotland’s punk brewers introduced LIVE beer, which was their attempt to modernize the technologymbut they weren’t yet done.
After 3 years of further experimentation, BrewDog claims to have refined and re-imagined the process. And pleased with the results, the company relaunched cask beer at its UK bars on June 15th (that’s National Beer Day in the United Kingdom).
In an effort to improve consistency and quality while maintaining cask’s magic, BrewDog explains that its real ale is now radically different from any other cask beer on the market…
“Our cask ale is conditioned in a key keg, gently sparkling and 100% awesome. It is fermented without top pressure, then lightly centrifuged to remove hop debris. The beer is packaged and allowed to gently re-ferment and condition inside the keg at our Ellon brewhouse, to ensure that perfect pint every time.”
“Our new method removes the temperamental nature of cask, its short shelf-life and the flavor-dulling oxygen from the equation.”
BrewDog claims that its new method incorporates everything that makes real ale great while “embracing the consistency of modern kegged craft beer.”