Thursday, 26 January 2012

The key to cask

I read with interest the results of CAMRA's experiments with KeyCask at last summer's Great British Beer Festival. KeyCask, as the article on the CAMRA website explains, "is similar to a wine box, where beer is held in a flexible “bladder” inside a rigid plastic sphere. The beer is dispensed by air being drawn in between the outer sphere and the bladder as the beer is drawn out by a handpump."

Apparently the views of beer drinkers were mixed (when are they not!) with the majority of the people who tasted the same beer dispensed by KeyCask and from a traditional cask preferring the latter. Opinion has been similarly divided over Marston's FastCask system which allows cask beer to drop bright quicker.

Coming up with other ways to dispense cask beer in places where it is normally not available - cricket grounds, trains, ships - can only be a good thing. Even if it tastes a bit different to cask beer conditioned in the pub cellar, it's surely better than the keg alternative.

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