Cask Ale anywhere?

Automatic Tilting Stillage
Automatic Tilting Stillage

As they say “where there is a will, there is a way.” With cask beer seemingly the only sector of the beer market that is growing, it makes sense that more retailers will want to sell this product and grab a share of the market.

What I suspect is stopping more cask ale being sold in more small outlets is the false perception that to sell cask beer you must have a proper pub with a traditional cellar. This coupled with the mind boggling mythology of managing “Traditional cask beer,” prospective retailers may feel it is far to complicated and time consuming for them to put cask on the bar.

There is no reason why cask beer cannot be sold in any type of licensed premises. The range of cutting edge cask beer dispensing equipment is enormous. Have a look on the internet and you will see products such as cask cooling jackets, vertical stillaging, auto tilts and cask breathers. Put all this equipment together and you have the means to sell cask beer anywhere. Cask beer under-counter installations can be installed the same as keg beers. You do not need a great deal of space. Temperature control of casks can be controlled using cooling jackets controlled via existing cooling systems. Using these methods there is no reason why consistent good quality cask beer cannot be achieved in your small restaurant, hotel or bar. Provided you have the space, you don’t need a dedicated beer cellar.

The methodology of keeping cask ale still applies, it is not rocket science. Selling cask beer is do-able for anyone and relatively easy. If you would like to sell cask beer but feel you may need some technical advice join the forum and we will do our best to point you in the right direction. Our staff technicians have many years of experience at your disposal and are here to help you.

Selling Cask Ale in this way is this an option for you?

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  1. When I put a new cask ale on it was ok for half the barrel then it went cloudy. It was on the second day so was not old and had not been moved in any way. Nothing else is stored in my cellar such as food and the cellar is clean and at the correct temperature. What explanation could there be ?
    Look forward to hearing from you soon

  2. Hi Sue, It’s not nice when that happens. Anyway, there could be one or two answers to this problem.It sounds as though the beer may have become infected. Firstly the cask may have had an infection when it was delivered. Do you filter back? Ring your wholesaler or brewer and ask if there has been any other problems with this batch.It is not unknown for brewers to produce faulty batches now and again. Is there a taste on the beer as well as being cloudy? Is the beer cloudy when served direct from the cask? Was the cask tap cleaned properly before use. A dirty cask tap can cause infection. In rare cases the beer may be layering. Have you tried pulling a couple of pints from the cask and seeing if it gets any clearer? Not sure if any of this helps. Get back to us and let us know what happens.

  3. Yes it could be anything, but contact your supplier sooner rather later to make sure you get credit. Otherwise they will probably say it has gone overtime. The more time before the BBD the better.

  4. We’re thinking of converting a shop into a pub (or ‘micropub’). There’s no cellar, so the casks will probably sit on the bar with the beer served straight from the tap. We’ve seen similar operations use cask probes linked to chiller units, but is there a way of controlling the temperature so the beer doesn’t become too cold? We are also considering cooling jackets, but again we’re not sure how long it would take to cool down a cask. Does a cask need to be chilled the entire time it’s settling, or just the day or two before serving? Our main worry with not having a cellar and the casks on the bar is that we’ve heard of casks bursting, presumably if they are too warm.

    • Using the coils or Jackets you can easily regulate the temperature by adjusting the speed of the chilled water through the pipe with a shut off valve.

      I would prefer to use Jackets it can take up to 12 hours to cool down a cask depends how warm it is to start with. It really needs to be about 13 degrees so the secondary fermentation can occur without being rushed.Casks shouldn’t blow out the shive or the keystone if they are vented to release the pressure. Once you done it a few times it you’ll soon work out how to do it with the least hassle, wont take you long to become an expert. Just follow the rules on here and good luck.

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