Are you a fan of cask beers? Do you know what makes a beer a cask beer? Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is beer that is usually unfiltered and unpasteurized and is conditioned in (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask with no additional CO2 or nitrogen pressure added. This means that cask beers have a different character than beers you’ll find on tap; including the fact that they may be both served at warmer temperatures as well as being generally less carbonated.
Not everyone I know is a fan of cask beers. The low (in some cases nearly flat) level of carbonation can be a turn off for some, but I think it allows you to explore other flavors and aromas you wouldn’t necessarily find in the very same beer if it was being served from a traditional keg rather than on cask. If you’re curious about cask beers and want to try more, the 2015 Cask Fest, hosted by the Washington Brewer’s Guild, is a great way to explore the world of cask beers.
Here is the full press release from the Washington Brewer’s Guild:
(Seattle, WA) January 8, 2015– The Washington Brewers Guild will present its annual Washington Cask Beer Festival on Saturday, March 28 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. More than 40 Guild member breweries are expect to participate and delight cask enthusiasts and hop heads with their superb creations. As most Cask Fest fans have come to expect over the years anything goes when it comes to the beer lineup. There will be over 100 cask-conditioned beers to choose from ranging from classic ESB, English Mild and Bitter to highly experimental and brilliantly unique brews. To pay homage to the traditional English method all beers are required to be naturally conditioned without artificially introducing CO2, and poured via a hand pump or by gravity.
Cask Festival is an important fundraiser for the Washington Brewers Guild, a lobbying arm of the Washington brewing industry that represents a growing number of breweries that call Washington State home. The event is particularly important as the Guild prepares for the upcoming legislative session. In addition to being a fundraiser the event also supports the organization’s mission to strengthen the community of Washington brewers and facilitate brewer education by providing an avenue to collaborate and polish their craft in the form of cask-conditioned beer.
2015 Washington Cask Beer Festival
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Session 1: 12-4 pm
Session 2: 6-10 pm
Doors open 15 minutes before each session begins. Taps close 30 minutes before each session ends.
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109
$40 advance tickets or $45 at the door, if still available
Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass and up to 25 sample tastes.
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
Separate ticket required for each session.
21 and over only.
Tickets are on sale online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org. This event may sell out so advance ticket purchase it strongly recommended.
Washington Cask Beer Festival is a major highlight of the Pacific Northwest beer festival scene. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to sample over 100 mostly exclusive or limited release cask-conditioned beers from 40+ Washington breweries. To stay true to the tradition of cask-conditioned beer the Festival requires brewers to naturally condition the beer in a firkin or other vessels without artificially introducing CO2. All beers will be poured by gravity or via a beer engine and the result is smooth ale with a thick creamy head that brings out subtle, nuanced flavors.
Also featured at the event is the Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a special cask beer brewed collectively by the Washington brewers in honor of Bert Grant, a legendary Washington beer icon.
Washington Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a community of Washington State brewers, advance their common interests through the legislative process and promote the quality and value of their beers.
The full tap list has not yet been announced, but at least 40 different Washington state breweries are set to participate in this year’s festival. Check back here, as I will update you with the full list of breweries/beers you’ll find at the festival as soon as the information becomes available.
Don’t delay in purchasing your tickets either, as this festival often sells out. Plus, you’ll save $5 over purchasing your ticket at the gate (assuming the event isn’t sold out by then).
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.