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European Beer News (Issue 21)

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by Carolyn Smagalski 


Smile for the CAMRA

Laura Ulrich beamed with pride when she and her Stone Brewing colleagues won the prestigious Michael Jackson Award for American Cask Ale 2015 at the Great British Beer Festival. The Champion Beer, Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0, drew the Stone Brewing team into a part of British culture that screams “Cask Matters.”

Stone CAMRA Beer ConnoisseurThe 2015 Cask Report, authored by Pete Brown and commissioned by Cask Matters, notes that Cask Ale is the lifeblood of the English Pub, the medium through which the community breathes. Mr. Brown’s analytical report reveals that cask ale drinkers have an annual spend nearly double that of non-cask ale beer drinkers and 63% greater than that of wine imbibers.

He notes that bottled beer, wine and spirits may be transported elsewhere, but Cask Ale is a fresh, natural product that requires pub presence. “The caveat,” says Brown, “is that quality should never be compromised,” noting that with live yeast, each cask needs good cellar management and a quick turnaround in 3 days.

Greene King, as a tribute to UK cask ale enthusiasts, launched “To the Pub,” a lively marketing campaign highlighting the people and pubs of England’s cask ale culture. With filmmaker and documentarian Paddy Wivell, 50 pubs and publicans were chosen – from a field of 3,000 – to film “shorts” posted at http://tothepub.tv. Those featured include the ornate Salisbury, where celebs Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor celebrated their wedding vows; Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem, “a place of legends” dating back to 1189 A.D.; The Bell Inn with a tale of “gas and air" and The Fisherman’s Return, enlivened by Morris Dancing in Winterton-on-Sea, leaving no doubt that cask ale and the British Pub thrive together in symbiotic rhythm.

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