Georgina Young from St Austell on the need for expert cask ales

Barrel to barrel

Here are some key aspects when it comes to defining the difference between draft and cask ales from Georgina Young of St Austell:

• The keg is the most natural form of beer. Carbonation comes from yeast and is produced naturally whereas a draft beer or bottled beer contains carbon dioxide to make it bubbly.

• Keg is a fresh product with a short shelf life – the flavors you get from keg beer are quite natural

• The difficulty with the cask is that you rely on the cellar to look after the beer properly, which is why St Austell invests a lot of money in commercial quality to look after their cask, and will only serve it there where it can be sold properly

• Draft beer, on the other hand, allows brewers to mask flavors through hops and fermentations – throw in a lot of hops and if something went wrong in the process, you can’t. detect. Product easier to produce, more forgiving, co2 is here

• Draft beer is served colder, which is better for the summer.

• Natural flavors are much better in beer on tap than on tap

• Draft beer appears to be more environmentally friendly due to less travel and different production methods. It’s served locally, so people tend to have it at their local breweries.

• St Austell has an in-house beer quality team, but not all keg brewers have one.

She also cited the fact that keg beer has far more credibility in terms of sustainability than keg options as another reason why keg needs to return to the spotlight in our pubs.

Young says The morning announcer​: “Cast beer is our national drink due to our temperate climate here in the UK. We are ideally equipped to grow hops, grow malting barley and obviously look after the keg at the right temperature and that’s why the UK is the only place you can get draft beer – you don’t get it in California or Alaska.

“It’s also natural, it’s pure mixing. [With kegged beers] you can hide behind carbon dioxide, you can hide behind hop bonds if you make mistakes in brewing and it’s that skill that I really recognize in keg beer making, the fact that the beer is so natural and the skill of the wine merchant to make sure the beer is served correctly is really important.

“The big lager boys developed things in the cellars like SmartDispense. You know, they all have their own systems. They just demolished the cellar art. If there is a red light on, you just need to press a button to turn it green and it will light up.

“We should really celebrate these skills and really reward those who are so brilliantly dealing with beer on tap.”

Less cooling needed for the keg

She continued, “Lager tends to have traveled more. It has more refrigeration in its making because it needs to be at lower temperatures. Keg doesn’t need all that refrigeration and cooling in its processing, so it’s more environmentally sustainable and it tends to be local. For example, you get more Broadside in Suffolk than in Cornwall, and you tend to get more Tribute in Cornwall than Ghost Ship.

Young, who studied brewing at Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University for his master’s degree, says licensees’ fears about the limited lifespan of the keg are part of the artistry involved in the category. She said: “It’s that short shelf that’s part of what makes the keg so special. The pandemic certainly didn’t help the barrel. We don’t see the numbers that were there going back to the pub that was there before the pandemic.

“You can serve it in smaller containers and pins, and things like that, so you still get the variety. I get very nervous about any pub I walk into that has more than three or four hand draws because I think they can’t reach that volume even in central London . It’s really about narrowing down the range while giving people variety.

“They have to get the ratio right for the keg. They must not be ignited even with vacuums (breather valve which extends the life of the beer in the keg). Three days is the optimum – you can extend that with gadgets but, deep in our hearts, we all know that three days is the life of an open keg beer.

Cask has so much going for it

Fuller’s former head brewer, who joined the now Asahi-owned business in 1999 – becoming head brewer in 2017 – before moving to Bath Ales as part of St Austell in 2019, then spoke about women in the world of draft beer. She said: “I don’t think it matters whether I’m a woman or not, however, in this modern world I guess I’m seen as a bit of a role model. I don’t go to work and I’m like, ‘God, I’m the only woman here.

“I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, so I think it’s more about seeing more women drink. Fizzy beers can get you pumped up, but you don’t have to drink pints, you can drink halves Draft beer, by volume, has fewer calories than white wine Barley has lots of vitamins It has a lower ABV, even the strongest at around 5% is much lower than wine. Cask has so much going for it. We just need to promote it and talk about it.

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Meanwhile, Young wants people to try St Austell Anthem cask beer, which was launched in June as a permanent beer in its range. She said: “We still think there’s plenty of room for the keg. The anthem is entirely British. The hops come from the new hop breeding program, so it gives you tropical fruity flavors, which are perhaps slightly different from the traditional, earthy taste you might get in a premium bitter. It’s a 3.8% ABV golden beer and it’s very drinkable and very refreshing. »

Of Cask Ale Week, which runs from September 22 to October 2, she said: “The more we can do, like get together, shout about the cask and enjoy cask ale together, the better it gets. important for the whole nation because, as I said, it is our national drink.

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