Hey check out this article I wrote for my Feature Writing class at Hood College. I submitted it to the Frederick News Post and it recently got published! I’m super pumped I got to interview an awesome dude and get it published. I hope I can write more articles about beer because it’s always better when you get to write about something you love. Cheers!
Cask conditioned may or may not be a term you are familiar with in the beer world.
The process is very similar to the regular brewing process. Cask conditioned is really another way to package and serve beer. Here are a few of the main differences:
- Instead of aging in a fermentor, the young beer is matured in a cask.
- Beer matured in a cask produces unfiltered beer.
- The matured beer is kept in the cask and ready to serve.
The process of dispensing the cask conditioned beer is the main difference. The cask beer is kept at cellar temperature (between 50 °F to 55 °F). The beer is served at cellar temperature making the beer less cold than regular dispensed beer (typically being in the mid-30’s °F). The beer is served directly from the cask. There is no use of carbon dioxide or other chemicals; the beer is hand-pumped out of the cask.
So what does this mean for the flavor of the beer? The beer is more delicately carbonated due to the pulling method. Cask beer is also unique because of the aging process. The cask tends to create a unique, bitter flavor. Any regular beers like stouts, IPA’s, and lagers can be aged in casks. The aging, temperature and pulling technique will change the flavor of a beer.
For example, if Flying Dog Brewery cask conditioned their In Wheat Heat Hefeweizen, it would taste very different from the normally brewed batch.
Brewer’s Alley is a local restaurant/brewery that serves cask conditioned beer. They tend to take their own beers and cask condition them so costumers can taste the difference. The cask changes weekly. The brewery is constantly cask conditioning different beers. Stop by and see what’s on cask this week!
The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, the boots are coming out, this can only mean one thing- IT’S FINALLY FALL! The best season with the best drinks. Bring on the pumpkin beer!
Maryland has a wide selection of breweries releasing their pumpkin beer around this time. Here is a list of some smashing pumpkin ales.
Pub Dog’s Monster Mash: Pub Dog started in 2005 as a pizza and draft house in Baltimore. They have since expanded, opening a brewery in Westmister, MD. This brew is a pumpkin/yam style. The label reads 6.66% ABV, those clever dogs! Sounds like a graveyard smash to me.
Flying Dog’s The Fear: Flying Dog originated in Colorado and relocated to Frederick, MD in 1994. Donned with crazy original Ralph Steadman art, this label is eye catching. This is an imperial pumpkin ale. This beer’s ingredients make it sound more like pumpkin pie; It is brewed with local pumpkin puree and a secret blend of spices. Racking up 9.0% ABV, this beer is not for the fearful.
Heavy Sea’s Great’er Pumpkin Ale: A brewery out of Baltimore, MD dating back to 1995. Heavy sea’s is a very popular baltimore brewery with a popular pumpkin beer. The Great’er is a bourbon barrel-aged pumpkin ale. Barrel-aging the beer add oaky, vanilla notes making this beer full of flavor. A strong flavored and very alcoholic beer (10.0% ABV!).
There you have it, some of the finest pumpkin beers around town.