Friday, 4 April 2008

More Irish Stout

Yesterday's lunch break saw another new beer for me. Plain Stout from Messrs Maguire in Dublin was dry, slightly sour, with some good roast malt body, but it lacked a good shot of bittering hops to make it a classic stout. Still, decent enough though.

Oldham Beer Festival is now more or less ready. Yesterday I vented and tapped around 75 casks. There are some great beers there and the hall was 12 degrees when I left last night. Not bad. Given the limits I operate within, the beer will be as good as it can be. This isn't ideal cask conditioning and my cellar practices have to be modified, but the beer will be cool and in good condition, at least to start with. That's that's the truth of beer festivals. Beer on gravity inevitably declines quicker than cellar kept beer as its temperature cannot be controlled. High temperatures are the enemy of cask beer. Beer festivals with their conflicting demands of coolness required for beer and warmth for the customer are particularly affected by this simple fact. Frankly those that think beer is best served by gravity are deluded. Nonetheless get there and try some, though I won't be today. I'm off to Liverpool to an old mate's retiral "do".

The photo shows my fellow cellarman Bob behind the stillage with our technical kit on the right


The Beer Nut said...

Was the Plain on cask? It's only served on nitrokeg where it's made.

I rather liked it.

Andy Holmes said...

Last night I found out that my parents are visiting my brother in Royton today so I'm sending them all to the fest'.

As for gavity, in Germany it never seems to be an issue (ie Duesseldorf/Bamberg/etc.) as the beer is drunk so quickly it never gets a chance to go off.

I know that's a sweeping generalisation but hey I'm in a funny mood today!

Stonch said...

What about beer served by gravity that HAS been kept at the right temperature? There are a few pubs that will serve beer direct from barrels in the cellar, and that's always great.

Tandleman said...


Cask of course!


I thought about adding a remark about this, but really it is so rare to encounter it. If you do it will possibly be OK but even so, not a patch on it being served through a beer engine unless you are lucky enough to get the first dozen or so pints. In case this isn't clear, gravity dispense is not a good thing.


I will discuss German gravity dispense another time. It is a different thing as I suspect you know!

Ron Pattinson said...

As long as the cask is kept properly cool, gravity-served beer can be wonderful.

I can remember serving M & B Springfield Bitter at Alley Palley in the late 1970's. Beautifully conditioned and with no need of a handpump to give it a head.

Many fairly mainstream Midland and Northern beers had enough conditioing to work really well on gravity, even though most were virtually never served that way i pubs.