There's a common myth, circulating in the ether, that beer is has to be carbonated. In fact before the discovery of carbonation, it was believed that the natural 'sparkling' characteristics in beer came from something mystical. Today of course we know the root cause of this. But this didn't stop the options from persisting while one enjoyed a pint of ale or lager at the nearby pub.
Most beer is carbonated, partially as a direct result of fermentation and partly through the use of gas filled (or charged) kegs. But there are some, mainly from Europe and the United Kingdom, that believe beer is best served either flat or minimal amount of gas. Often this beer is served warm, from a gravity fed or hand-charged, keg. You might have heard this type of beer is either classified as cask or firkin beer. I personally don’t care what you call it so long as it’s served in a glass.
All the more reason to remind those who appreciate a beautiful, naturally carbonated, beer that Cask Fest is coming back. Starting at noon and running through 10pm, the Washington Brewers Guild Cask Festival returns Saturday March 22nd.
More on the Washington Brewers Cask Festival
Cask Festival is an important fundraiser for the Washington Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization that played an integral role in defeating the state proposal to drastically raise beer excise tax last year. In addition to being a fundraiser the event also supports the organization’s mission to strengthen the community of Washington brewers and facilitate the education by providing an avenue to collaborate and polish their craft in the form of cask-conditioned beer.
As has been customary, the past few years, the Cask Festival has been broken down into two sessions, each four hours in length. Session 1 starts at noon and runs through 4pm - while Session 2 starts at 6 and runs through 10pm. If this is your first year, then you will want to coordinate transportation in order to visit the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall (305 Harrison Street).
Tickets for this year's festival will be $40 in advance and $45 at the door (if they are still available). Although we advise you buy your tickets now, rather than wait till the day of the event. When compared to this year's Belgianfest, this year's Cask Festival will include a commemorative tasting glass and up 25 tastes (or roughly the equivalent of almost 4 pints of beer)
Tickets are on sale online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org.
Cask Fest from the mouths of the Washington Brewers Guild
Washington Cask Beer Festival is a major highlight of the Pacific Northwest beer festival scene. The event features one-of-a-kind handcrafted cask-conditioned beers from over 40 Washington breweries. To stay true to the tradition of cask-conditioned beer the Festival requires brewers to naturally condition the beer in a firkin or other vessels without artificially introducing CO2. Poured by gravity the result is smooth ale with a thick creamy head that brings out subtle, nuanced flavors.
Also featured at the event is the Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a special cask beer brewed collectively by the Washington brewers in memory of Bert Grant, a legendary Washington beer icon.