Hello fellow snobs!
For those of us who look to the east with envy to our sister city, Asheville, you’re well aware that they frequently celebrate beer in the form of cask nights. On a recent trip to Beer City USA I was able to attend a cask night at The Thirsty Monk and sample several great brews right out of the cask.
So, you may be wondering, what’s so special about casks? Well, a cask is the traditional method for serving and storing beer. Think of a cask like a bourbon barrel. In these modern days (last ~70 years) it isn’t uncommon to see casks made out of stainless steel. The material doesn’t matter, it’s what’s inside that counts. Basically the beer that is put in a cask is unfiltered and still has yeast in the mix which allows the beer to be naturally carbonated and served without an external CO2 source giving you what some refer to as “real ale.” The other cool thing about cask beer is that it allows the brewers to play a bit with their base recipe. So think of casks as a nice homage to our beer history as this is the way beer used to be stored and served.
The brewers at Woodruff have taken their IPA and racked 15 gallons into a cask. They’ve upped the ante by adding an additional 8oz of Cascade leaf hops – this is known as dry hopping the beer. Now, for those of us hop heads, we’re well aware that these guys already make a top notch IPA and this extra step should give us an awesome brew to taste. Cask conditioned beer, while similar to it’s filtered, carbonated brother, always seems to bring out different flavor profiles in the beer. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty thirsty!
When is this glorious day going to occur? Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 17th @6pm at Downtown Grill & Brewery. As they only have 15 gallons this will go fast!!! The guys at Woodruff are already thinking about the next beer to cask and intend to keep this ball rolling so make sure you come out and support these guys on the 17th. Be sure to give the brewers a big KnoxBeerSnobs high five for bringing us Knoxville’s first cask night!