Posted in 2010, Casks, SweetWater Brewing

Sweetwater’s Brew Your Cask Off!

By now you have had a beer on cask, or at least heard the term “cask.”  A cask beer is beer that is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and went through a secondary fermentation in the cask (keg) from which it is poured.  Why is this unique?  Cask beer is also be called “real beer.”  The glass of cask beer that’s in your glass is beer in the raw.  Beer in the natural state, straight out of fermentation.  Most of the time nothing was added to it to clarify it.  It’s not filtered, or changed.  There is even yeast still in it from fermentation.

This is a short description of cask beer in hopes that you will get a better understanding of  this weekend’s “Brew Your Cask Off” by Sweetwater Brewing.  Sweetwater invited various Atlanta bars, magazines, distributors and guest brewers to design a cask from a list of adjuncts (or additives.)  In the design process, one could chose hops, malts, yeasts, and adjuncts ranging from vanilla beans, to spicy peppers,  oak chips, tea leaves, various fruits, or cooking spices.  There are a few bourbon entries.  A certain Atlanta based beer mag used carrots.   Even nuts have been used in at least 2 casks.   However wild and crazy you wanted to be, it’s your choice.   A few weeks ago, each brewer(s) or group were invited to Sweetwater to brew their cask homebrew style on site.

Earlier I mentioned that secondary fermentation occurs IN the cask.  That’s still the case here.  Once brewed, each groups beer is added to the cask.  (The pic above shows the casks sitting and fermenting.)  Groups could chose a light or dark pre-brewed base by Sweetwater to fill the rest of the cask.  Yeast was then added, and then closed up.  The plastic pieces seen in the picture above are the airlocks.  Airlocks are added to the casks to let the carbon dioxide that is being created as the yeast turns sugar to alcohol bubble out, without exposing the beer to the outside air, and infection.

So, long story short — that’s how you get the cask beers being featured this Saturday.  Each one is unique, and handcrafted.  This time, by friends/ brewers you know.  Brew Your Cask Off is a really unique and fun idea. This event really puts people closer to craft beer, how its made, and what makes each beer unique and different.  I honestly can’t wait. Oh! and you get to vote for your favorite cask.

Brew Your Cask Off is this Saturday, March 20th from 6-10 pm

Tickets are $30 presale, and $35 day of.  Tickets are available at . $1 of each ticket sold goes the charity with the most votes, so vote online when you go to get your tickets!

See you Saturday!