Three-Year Session Anniversary To Feature A Cask Of Characters

The next Session, to be held February 5, will mark our three-year anniversary of The Session. Our 36th Session will coincidentally take place on the first day of SF Beer Week this year. Our Host, Thomas Cizauskas of Yours For Good Fermentables, has chosen the topic Cask-Conditioned Beer, which he describes as follows:

Cask-conditioned ale —or “real ale” as it is called, somewhat boastfully, by the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), a beer consumer advocacy group in the UK— is defined by that organization as

beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide.

Viewers of [his] blog have read [his] opinions on cask-conditioned ale, and probably once too often. So, let’s hear yours, and not only yours. Why not invite brewers and drinkers and bemused casked-spectators to contribute essays for the Session?

He offers several approaches one might take the topic, with a colorful cask of characters:

  • Ale vs. Lager Knockdown: “can lagers be cask-conditioned?”
  • Beer Ticker: “who makes the best, and who serves the best?”
  • Cellarmanship: “how should a pub handle a cask?”
  • Cultural Debate: “how Americans have ‘extremed’ the cask experience, or how Americans need further lessons from the British.”
  • Definitional: ” other than that CAMRA description, what ‘is’ cask-conditioned ale?”
  • Ecomium: “how cask-conditioned ale will transform the world.”
  • Geek: ” at what temperature to serve, to sparkle or not sparkle, and how clear should clear be?”
  • International: “where was the most unexpected place you drank a pint of cask-conditioned ale?”
  • Lifestyle Essay: “how you first lost your cask-conditioned ale virginity.”
  • Pesce PETA: “can one be a vegetarian and drink cask ale?”
  • Style Harangue: “why saisons, for example, should have no place in a cask, or should.”
  • Zymurgical & Practical: “how does your brewery commercially produce and transport cask-conditioned ale?”

But in the end …

Make it a sad story. Make it a love story. But … make it! And make it here, Friday, February 5.

Write your story, then link to it here on the 5th as a comment or at my own post that day. A few days later, I’ll collate, analyze, comment, and link back. Include some photos, too: of casks, of imbibing their contents, of filling them.

Above all, let’s have perspective folks, perspective! Cask-conditioned ale is not a matter of life and death; it’s much more.

So let’s see who can cask new light on this subject and who scrapes the bottom of the barrel.

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