Thursday, January 10, 2008

NABC cask-conditioned firkins aplenty in coming weeks.

It’s January 10th, and this year’s Leap Year/Tenth Anniversary Gravity Head starts on February 29 (that’s only 50 days, folks).

In terms of the regular draft selection, we’ll be using this time to deplete the remaining Saturnalia kegs and a handful of partials left over from the end of 2007.

But the real fun will be coming from the cask ale cabinet. In cooler weather, we can sometimes pour two cask conditioned ales simultaneously, one firkin with the hand pump, and another by gravity feed off the top of the cabinet.

With Jared’s help, here’s a rough plan for the coming weeks. Remember that a firkin is a 10-gallon keg especially designed for conditioning and dispensing cask ales, and a pin is the exactly same, but half the size.

Now pouring: Thornbridge Hall St. Petersburg Imperial Stout … U.K.; 7.7% abv.

After the St. Petersburg is gone, the following cask-conditioned NABC firkins will be poured with the hand pump in the order listed. The date at left indicates when the beer was brewed.

03-08-07 Jasmine the Mastiff
04-05-07 Malcolm's Old Setters Ale
11-10-07 Phoenix Kentucky Komon
12-19-07 Old Lightning Rod (Poor Richard’s Ale) (oaked)
11-20-07 Bonfire of the Valkyries (oaked)
11-10-07 Phoenix Kentucky Komon
12-19-07 Old Lightning Rod (Poor Richard’s Ale) (oaked)

Note also that a cask-conditioned firkin of WinterCoat Vildmose (Denmark) is being shipped to us to replace the standard keg that proved to be unavailable for Saturnalia. It may be inserted into the preceding rotation as circumstances dictate.

These NABC pins will be tapped on Fridays (dates TBA), and poured by gravity feed:

03-12-07 Jasmine the Mastiff … Scotch barrel aged
07-18-07 Community Dark… Scotch barrel aged
08-20-07 Flat Tyre … Port barrel aged
12-10-07 Bob's Old 15-B … Port barrel aged

As with the Vildmose, we’re expecting a belated Saturnalia shipment to include Uerige Sticke, also a gravity pour pin, which will be inserted into the preceding rotation when it finally arrives.

The following cask-conditioned ales have been ordered for pouring during Gravity Head 2008:

Hand pull: Burton Bridge Tom Sykes Old Ale (UK)
Hand pull: Wintercoat Cockney Imperial Stout (Denmark)

Gravity pour: JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (Calvados barrel aged; 2007)

For more information on cask-conditioned ale: Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)Warm, Flat and Boring -- the Truth About Cask Ale, from Rate Beer.

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