Beer Information (2)
What is Cask Conditioned Beer?
Serving beer "on cask" is a traditional method of dispensing beer that recalls the days before modern draft beer systems and carbonated bottled beer existed. Cask beer’s trademarks are a slightly warmer temperature and a gentler carbonation than its modern counterparts.
The term “cask” refers to the container that holds the beer for serving. These containers were usually wooden barrels until about the 1950's when stainless steel casks became the norm. This type of beer is also referred to as "real ale" because it is unfiltered, unpasteurized and still contains live yeast.
Cask beer is not held in a pressurized keg, but pulled up from the beer cellar using a special device called a hand pump or beer engine. On the way through the hand pump the beer passes through a special diffuser (called a sparkler) that blends ambient air with the beer.
The process brings out the fine aromas of the beer, creates a soft, billowy head, and causes the glorious cascade of fine bubbles that slowly diminish in the glass. Our cellar temperature for our cask beer (48-50 degrees) also brings out the delicious aromatics of these real ales.
Since our inception in 1988, Wynkoop Brewing Company has been committed to serving cask conditioned beer and preserving its heritage. The stronghold for this type of beer has traditionally been Britain, so we keep at least three styles of English ale on cask at all times. Try one for yourself and enjoy this connection to the rich history of beer and brewing that American craft breweries like the Wynkoop help maintain.
Our year-round cask beers are:
- St. Charles ESB
Our British-style session beer is cask conditioned and dry hopped. Tea colored with a toasted malt flavor, it’s a robust amber ale with a light mouthfeel and understated hop nose. Its British ESB acronym stands for extra special bitter, a misleading term since this style of beer features a gentle hop bite on its finish.
5.6% ABV, 35 IBU
- London Calling IPA
The India pale ale style hails from Britain and the 1800s, when British soldiers stationed in India were sent extra hoppy beer that held up to a long sea journey. London is a classic English pale ale that’s cask conditioned and dry hopped with UK hops, it features biscuity malt notes and an elegant hop profile.
ABV 6.4% ABV, 52 IBU
Our seasonal cask beers include:
- Churchyard Ale
A stronger version of a Scottish ale, Churchyard is malty, full bodied and cola colored. It features a hearty amount of caramel and roasted malt characteristics, and its higher alcohol flavor balances the beer’s malt sweetness.
ABV 7.4%, 25 IBU
Now hand packaged one can at a time in 12-ounce aluminum cans, Rail Yard Ale is returning to local shelves after an 8-year hiatus from its earlier bottled days.
Why cans? Aluminum cans are the best package for beer. They keep beer fresher longer by providing complete protection from light and oxygen, a fresh beer’s worst enemy.
Cans are also immensely portable, free from weight and glass-breakage issues, and welcome in places where bottles are not.
Cans are also the “greenest” beer package. They are less fuel-consuming to ship, infinitely recyclable, and the most frequently recycled beverage package in the world.
A recycled can requires about 95% less energy and creates 95% less pollution than a can made from scratch.
Today cans are being embraced by a growing number of craft beer makers and consumers for all of these reasons.