This week  we are learning about Cask Ales as for today I will be at the Washington Cask Ale Festival in Seattle.

Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Cask ale may also be referred to as real ale, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale, often now extended to cover bottle-conditioned beer as well.

A little cask history – 
By the early 1970s most beer in Britain was keg beer, filtered, pasteurised and artificially carbonated, and most British brewers used carbon dioxide for dispensing keg beers. This led to beers containing more dissolved gas in the glass than the traditional ale and to a consumer demand for a return to these ales. By contrast, in Ireland, where stout was dominant, the use of a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen for dispensing prevented the beer from becoming over-carbonated. Some of the last remaining natural beers in the world were about to disappear forever. Though rare examples of natural beers could still be found in the farmhouse beers of Northern Europe and the maize beers of South America for example, in essence the last great stronghold of natural beer was about to be wiped out. In 1971 the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was founded in Britain to save what they came to term “real ale”.