The 2016 Cask Fest, which I first told you about back in January (with an update in early February), is coming up in about two weeks. This annual celebration of Cask Ale, presented by the Washington Brewer’s Guild, is a mecca for Cask Ale fans, with one-of-a-kind handcrafted cask-conditioned beers from over 40 different Washington State breweries.
Now, with the festival almost here, the Washington Brewer’s Guild has announced the lineup for this year’s event. With 40+ different breweries in attendance, most serving at least two cask ales (and even more from most), you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. There will even be a special version of Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, which was brewed at newly re-branded Mollusk Brewery (exclusive for WABL members).
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.
The Washington Beer Commission puts on several different festivals each year. They include the Washington Brewer’s Festival, Bremerton Summer Brewfest, Everett Craft Beer Festival, Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival, South Soud Craft Beer Festival and Belgianfest (which took place just last month down at Pier 66). They used to also host the Washington Cask Beer Festival but this year, the reins have been handed over to the Washington Brewer’s Guild.
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. I think this 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.
Set to take place this year on Saturday, March 28th, the Washington Cask Beer Festival will feature cask-conditioned, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer from over 40 different Washington breweries. Also set to be on tap for this year’s festival is ‘Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale’, a special cask beer brewed collectively by the Washington brewers in memory of Bert Grant. Further details are below.