Cask conditioned ale is beer that is brewed from traditional ingredients (malt, hops, water & yeast) and is matured in the cask from which it is served. This means that it is fresh and unfiltered, imparting a unique flavor. Cask ale is naturally ‘conditioned’ by the secondary fermentation that takes place in the cask. It is then served directly from the cask, without use of carbon dioxide or chemical treatments of any sort.
If you’re a cask ale veteran, then you know what to expect. If you’re new to the concept of cask ales and this sounds like something you’d enjoy, then read on for details about the 2015 Cask Ale Festival hosted by the Washington Brewer’s Guild.
Here is the full press release from the Washington Brewer’s Guild:
(Seattle, WA) March 6, 2015- Washington Brewers Guild will present its annual Washington Cask Beer Festival at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Saturday, March 28. The event is known for its extensive beer lineup that focuses exclusively on cask-conditioned beer and this year is no exception.
While cask-conditioned beer is becoming more popular and available in recent years it is still quite a rare occasion to be able to sample more than 100 cask-conditioned beers in one place. From classic styles for purists that let the unadulterated flavors shine to more experimental beers that showcase unique ingredients and different conditioning techniques, all featured beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and expertly crafted by Washington Brewers Guild member breweries.
Here are some of the beers that will be pouring at this year’s Cask Festival. See the full beer list at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org/Events.html.
As always there is no shortage of IPA’s at the Cask Festival, including dry-hopped IPA’s (Rainy Daze Back Seat Driver IPA and Fish Double Dry-hopped IPA), Imperial IPA’s (Port Townsend Beast Mode Imperial IPA and Fremont Spring Imperial IPA) and an IPA with orange blossoms (Naked City Orange Blossom Special IPA) and a randallized lager version (Issaquah Brewhouse Contraband IPL #38).
Stout may be the second popular style at the Cask Festival and there will be quite many versions of Oatmeal Stout in particular this year, including Machine House Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout, Elliott Bay Vietnamese Coffee Stout, Elysian Dragonstooth and Boundary Bay’s classic Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
Thanks to the growing number of distilleries in the area there are a wide variety of barrels available for aging beer these days. Try Schooner Exact Imperial Porter and Georgetown Tombourbon in bourbon barrels, Bainbridge Island Five-Masted Baltic Porter aged in a rum barrel, and McMenamin’s Paeter’s Porter and Bellevue Scotch Ale aged in whiskey barrels.
Brettanomyces or Brett, is a type of “wild” yeast that imparts complex flavors, tartness and funkiness to beer and often used in making Belgian style beers. This year a few breweries incorporated in their cask creations including Black Raven’s Trickster Gone Wild, Big Al Time Capsule July ’14 Mango Wild Ale and 7 Seas Rainbow in the Dark.
Washington brewers are known to embrace opportunities to collaborate with one another to share inspirations, techniques and good times. Brewers from Anacortes Brewery, Big Time Breweryand Diamond Knot Brewing got together to brew a collaboration beer, Broken Mirror, an Imperial Milk Stout with lactose and cocoa nibs. Each brewery will bring a different version to the Cask Festival; Anacortes version with peppers, Big Time with coffee and vanilla, and Diamond Knot with dried cherries macerated in Jamaican rum. Another collaboration beer not to be missed is United Red Ale Women’s Collaborative Brew by Hale’s Ales Brewery organized by the Pink Boot Society celebrating women in the beer industry.
This year’s Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a Cask Festival favorite and an ultimate collaboration beer was brewed at Postdoc Brewing, one of the newest members of the Washington beer industry. Herbert’s is a collaborative beer that’s brewed at a different host brewery each year in honor of a Northwest beer icon, Bert Grant. More than 20 Guild member brewers participated in the brewing session at Postdoc on February 24 to honor this long-running Cask Festival tradition. The beer will make its debut prior to the Cask Festival at the release party hosted by The Latona Pub (6423 Latona Ave NE, Seattle, www.3pubs.com) on Monday, March 23.
The Cask Festival will host two sessions; from noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm on Saturday, March 28 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Admission is $40 in advance or $45 at the door, if tickets are still available. This event may sell out so advance purchase is recommended. Separate tickets are required for each session. Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass and up to 25 sample tastes. Tickets are available online atwww.washingtonbrewersguild.org and at select ticket outlets. This is a 21-and-over-only event.
Also, from the Washington Brewer’s Guild, here is this year’s list of participating breweries and what you can expect each of them to be pouring:
7 Seas Brewing– Gig Harbor
Life Jacket Session IPA (IPA)
Rainbow in the Dark (Imperial Stout)
American Brewing– Edmonds
Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)
Cabernet Stout (Stout)
Anacortes Brewery– Anacortes
Anacortes IPA (IPA)
Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Broken Mirror (Imperial Milk Stout)
Bainbridge Island Brewing– Bainbridge Island
Grapefruit Kolsch (Kolsch)
Bainbridge Pale Ale Single Hop Series – ADHA 529 (Pale Ale)
Rum Barrel Five-Masted Baltic Porter (Porter)
Beardslee Public House– Bothell
Beardslee IPA (IPA)
Belluvue Brewing– Bellevue
Cask Conditioned Classic Scotch (Scotch Ale)
Big Al Brewing– Seattle
Time Capsule July ’14 Mango Wild Ale (American Wild Ale)
Hop Villain Whiskey CDA (CDA)
Big Time Brewery– Seattle
Whiny the Complainer (Imperial IPA)
Breakfast Cereal Killer (Imperial Stout)
Broken Mirror (Imperial Milk Stout)
Black Raven Brewing– Redmond
Trickster’s Gone Wild (100% Brett IPA)
Coco Jones (Porter)
“Alaskan Session” IPA (A blend of 2011 Barley wine and Wisdom Seeker)
Boundary Bay Brewery– Bellingham
Old Bounder (Barleywine)
Cedar Dust IPA (IPA)
Imperial Oatmeal Stout (Oatmeal Stout)
Der Blokken Brewery– Bremerton
Smoked Chocolate Rye (Rye)
TBD (Belgian Strong Ale)
Diamond Knot Brewing– Mukilteo
Apple Cinnamon ESB (ESB)
Slane’s Irish Red (Red Ale)
Broken Mirror (Imperial Milk Stout)
Elliott Bay Brewing– Seattle & Burien
Vitamin Belma (Pale Ale)
Caber Tosser (Scotch Ale)
Vietnamese Coffee Stout (Oatmeal Stout)
Elysian Brewing– Seattle
Space Dust (IPA)
Dragonstooth (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Little Bitty Pretty One (Pale Ale)
Fish Brewing– Olympia
Sichuan Porter (Porter)
Vanilla Bean Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)
Double Dry-hoppe Classic IPA (IPA)
Fremont Brewing– Seattle
First Nail w/ Maraschino Cherries (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Thin Mint Stout (Stout)
Spring Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)
Georgetown Brewing– Seattle
5 Point 5 (IPA)
Lisa’s Chocolate Stout (Stout)
Tombourbon (Belgian Brown Ale)
Hale’s Ales Brewery– Seattle
United Red Ale Women’s Collaborative Brew (Red Ale)
Theo Cocoa Nibs Nut Brown (Irish Style Nut Brown)
Supergoose IPA (IPA)
Harmon Brewing– Tacoma
EmotionALE Dark Ale (Dark Ale)
Dry Hopped Pt. Defiance IPA (IPA)
Berry Vanilla Cocoa Stryker Stout (Stout)
Hi-Fi Brewing– Redmond
Peanut Butter Wolf (Porter)
Issaquah Brewhouse– Issaquah
Contraband IPL #38 (IPL)
Mac& Jack’s Brewing– Redmond
Mole Brown Recluse (Brown)
Ibis IPA (IPA)
Machine House Brewery– Seattle
Stinging Nettle (Herbal English Ale)
Dark Mild (English Mild)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout (Oatmeal Stout)
Maritime Pacific Brewing– Seattle
Bosun’s Black (Porter)
Hop Surge Triple (IPA)
McMenamin’s Breweries– Seattle
Cairngorm’s Courage (Scotch Ale)
Whiskey Barrel Aged Paeter’s Porter (Porter)
Naked City Brewery– Seattle
Orange Blossom Special IPA (IPA)
Old No. 48 Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)
New Belgium Brewing– Seattle
North Sound Brewing– Mt. Vernon
Cheeky Monkey Vanilla Imperial Brown (Imperial Brown)
Hopsolute Mango (IPA)
Odin Brewing– Tukwila
Northern Darkness (Vanilla Baltic Porter)
Idun’s Garden (Raspberry Saison)
Midgard Serpent (IIPA)
Pike Brewing– Seattle
Pike Space Needle (IPA)
Pike IPA (IPA)
Port Townsend Brewing– Port Townsend
Beast Mode Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)
Bourbon Oaked Strait Stout (Stout)
Postdoc Brewing– Redmond
Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale (Herbert’s)
Prereq Pale (Pale Ale)
Rainy Daze Brewing– Silverdale
Back Seat Driver IPA (IPA)
Barrel Aged Stu’s Stout on Cherries (Stout)
Sunrise Coffee Porter (Porter)
Ram Restaurant & Brewery– Seattle
Grapefruit IPA (IPA)
Palm Coconut Porter (Porter)
Azacca IPA (IPA)
Schooner Exact Brewing– Seattle
3 Grid (IPA)
Barrel Aged Imperial Porter (Imperial Porter)
Scuttlebutt Brewing– Everett
Ming The Merciless (Imperial IPA)
Jarret’s Folly (Barrel Aged CDA)
Silver City Brewery– Silverdale & Bremerton
Fat Woody (Oaked Sctoch Ale)
Whoop Pass (Double IPA)
Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)
Triplehorn Brewing– Woodinville
Chocolate Thunder (Imperial Milk Stout)
Hoppy Town (IPA)
Two Beers Brewing– Seattle
Forester (Double IPA)
Basil Mint (Hard Cider)
West Seattle Brewing– Seattle
Beast Mode Dark Ale (Cascadian Dark Ale)
Road Rage Imperial Red (Red/IPA)
Triangle Tripel (Belgian Tripel)
WABL Beer* by Diamond Knot Brewing
Industrial Red dry-hopped w/ Chinook
*Available to WABL members only
Finally, here are all the nitty-gritty details from the Washington Brewer’s Guild:
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Session 1: Noon-4 pm
Session 2: 6-10 pm
Doors open 15 minutes before each session begins. Taps close 30 minutes before closing each session. Separate tickets required for each session
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.
Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID to be admitted.
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
Tickets are on sale online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org. This event may sell out so advance ticket purchase is 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 from 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.
HERBERT’S LEGENDARY CASK FEST ALE
Also serving is Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a special cask beer brewed collectively by the Washington brewers in memory of Bert Grant, a legendary Washington beer icon. This year’s Herbert’s will be brewed at Postdoc Brewing, a brand new brewery in Redmond in collaboration with other Guild member breweries. Herbert’s will be available at the Cask Festival as well as select pubs prior to the event. Herbert’s release party is scheduled for Monday, March 23 at The Latona Pub before the beer makes its appearance at the Cask Festival on March 28.
There will be a few snack options available for purchase that are perfect accompaniments to a wide array of cask-conditioned beers; Dante’s Inferno Dogs (assortment of hot dogs), Brave Horse Tavern (house-made pretzels and accompanying sauces), and Mt. Townsend Creamery (assortment of artisan cheeses).
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.
Mark your calendar now and purchase your tickets today. The 2015 Washington Cask Beer Festival is just under 3 weeks away.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.