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Brewing and Conditioning Cask Ale at Home, Simplified

You don’t need tall tales or fancy firkins to brew, serve, and enjoy great cask ale at home. Josh Weikert lays out some simple, low-cost methods involving gear you probably already have.

Josh Weikert Dec 14, 2021 - 15 min read

Brewing and Conditioning Cask Ale at Home, Simplified Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

When cask ale fans lay out their pitch for why you ought to drink it, you’re likely to endure evocative tales of driving English back roads past neat, picturesque farms—or wandering cobbled London side streets through Victorian architecture—before visiting some small, unassuming, consummately cozy pub that’s been doing business since the Norman Conquest, where the narrator then revels in a perfectly sublime pint of bitter or mild.

I’ve got a few of those stories—but those experiences are not what sold me on cask ales.

My aha moment didn’t involve some Staffordshire pub or biscuit-forward dry-hopped bitter. No, I was in the exotic wilds of … Delaware. Rehoboth Beach, to be precise, home of Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats—the brewpub where that brewery got its start in 1995, 10 gallons at a time.

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