Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Crimes against cask

Being a second generation CAMRA member I'm used to moral certainty when it comes to beer. And although at times I have sinned and fallen short I am well aware of the evil that is extraneous CO2 and the sins of pasteurisation and filtration.

So I was shocked to discover whilst washing casks what can only be a new type of sin previously unknown to me. 

There in the small print on a sticker was evidence of grave crimes against cask:

"Once opened, use with[in] two weeks"! I don't know what numbskull came up with that sticker but unless they get on with some pretty serious repenting they are surely doomed to spend eternity in the fiery pit. Now with skill and dedication it may be possible to keep cask beer on for more than three days* after it's been opened but two weeks is bleedin' well taking the piss. Jesus Christ, it's hard enough doing beer as god intended without such wilful stupidity. It would be nice if people at least had some idea what they're doing when they serve cask beer. 

I won't be naming the company involved, as a brewer that works there assures me the sticker dates from when the company was under previous ownership. And he had mentioned to me before the poor reputation they had inherited and were trying to overcome, so I didn't leave him on the rack for too long before accepting his explanation and letting him go.

* And for those of you of a heretical disposition the recommended time a keg should be left on is five days. Oh yes it is.


  1. Once real ale is put into a cask, how long do you think the best before date should be?

  2. Depends on the beer and the brewery but most I've see go with a month to six weeks, but you can get away with more particularly if it's being delivered directly not though a distributor.

  3. Last brewery I worked at changed from seven weeks from racking, to three months. Don't work there any more.

  4. How Do Ed ,
    I`ll just give the coalman a ring and order the extra hundredweights of Cannel for the Pit of Fire , and I agre about the five days , outer limits ; 1 - 3 days on service being my preferred ideal .
    Cheers ,