Cask Beer festvialKeeping the tradition alive at 2015 WASHINGTON CASK BEER FESTIVAL
Saturday March 28, 2015 Ÿ  12-4pm & 6-10pm Ÿ  Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

(Seattle, WA) February 17, 2015- The Washington Brewers Guild will present its annual Washington Cask Beer Festival on Saturday, March 28 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Every year it is a highly anticipated event among cask beer aficionados because of its extensive lineup that consists exclusively of cask-conditioned beers, mostly one-off and limited releases, and also the fact that the event is revered by many beer drinkers and brewers alike.

The event was originally started by Hale’s Ales Brewery in partnership with the Guild 15 years ago. Mike Hale, who learned brewing in England wanted to introduce cask-conditioned beer to Seattle area consumers and give Washington brewers an opportunity to try their hand at this old English beer tradition, also known as “real ale”. Cask-conditioning has been around in England for centuries and there are international efforts to keep the tradition alive lead most notably by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

Cask-conditioned beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized and still contains live yeast. It finishes secondary fermentation once the beer is transferred to a “cask” where it is naturally conditioned and carbonated without artificially introducing CO2. Beer is then served straight from the cask by gravity or a hand pump at cellar temperature (50-55F). Cask fans are partial to its smooth mouth feel and fuller flavors thanks to lower carbonation and warmer temperatures.  “It’s a pinnacle of fresh, local beer and a great way to drink and taste beer. I wanted people here to experience it,” says Mike Hale who’s been serving cask-conditioned beer at his brewpub since 1983.

The event also has been a valuable learning vehicle for many Washington brewers. In the early days it gave those who might not have made cask-conditioned beer an opportunity to try it out with the guidance of some veteran brewers. This learning experience and collaborative efforts were further reinforced with the addition of the Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a collaborative beer brewed at a different Guild member brewery each year in honor of Bert Grant, a Northwest craft beer icon. This year Postdoc Brewing will carry on that tradition and brew the Herbert’s at their newly opened brewery with several fellow Guild members.

The Cask Festival will host two sessions; from noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm on Saturday, March 28. Admission is $40 in advance or $45 at the door if tickets are still available. Separate tickets are required for each session. Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass and up to 25 sample tastes. Tickets are available online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org and at select ticket outlets. This is a 21-and-over-only event.