Five on Five: British Pub Ales

The arts of brewing, cellaring, and serving cask ales can elevate subtle, elegant recipes into brilliant showcases of great character and drinkability. Here, five pros share their top picks.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Feb 11, 2022 - 4 min read

Five on Five: British Pub Ales Primary Image

Photos, from left: Courtesy Brewers Union; Jamie Bogner; Courtesy Castle Rock; Courtesy Harvey’s; Matt Graves

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord

Georgina Young, brewing director at St. Austell Brewery in St. Austell, England

“Most of my brewing career has been with British cask brewers Fuller’s and St Austell, both of whom make great cask beer. However, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, 4.3 percent ABV, has to be one of the all-time classic British cask ales. It is always a fantastic pint, brewed with local Yorkshire water, British Golden Promise barley, and lashings of whole-leaf Goldings and Fuggles that contribute citrus, fruity, and hoppy character with a bitterness of 38 EBU. The yeast strain is on its 2,145th generation!”

Schlafly Pale Ale

Dylan Mosley, head brewer, Civil Life Brewing in St. Louis

“I favor cask brews where smaller ingredient lists don’t cross-compete with carbonation and arctic temperatures. My favorite styles for cask are always the less-is-more types ... ultracasual, dressed-down. Schlafly Pale Ale is perhaps the most looked-to beer in our city’s craft-beer story. I drank this beer for quite a while after moving here. One of the most notable things about cask beer to me is how the method of delivery can quite alter the impression. I think the pleasant elements hidden behind normal fridge temp and soda-pop carb are still very worthwhile. ”


Castle Rock Harvest Pale

Jaega Wise, head brewer, Wild Card Brewery in Walthamstow, Greater London, England

“Harvest Ale is one of my all time favourite beers. Every time I go back home to Nottingham, I make sure to have a pint of this beer. Its zingy, zesty, and refreshingly bitter. Love it. ”

Harvey’s Old Ale

Ron Pattinson, brewing historian in Amsterdam, Holland

“There are so many beers I could pick, like Barnsley Bitter—a beer on its last legs when I kicked off my drinking career—or Tetley’s Mild, which I drank almost exclusively for seven years. As Tetley’s Mild is fucked, Harvey’s Old Ale would be my current choice, as poured in the Royal Oak in London. It’s really a pre-World War II mild ale—dark, fruity, and with enough kick to satisfy someone, like me, spoilt by strong Continental beer. That it’s almost certainly Harvey’s Sussex Best with added caramel doesn’t spoil my enjoyment one jot.”

Hattie Brown’s Moonlite

Michael Messenie, head brewer, Dutchess Ales in Wassaic, New York

“To me, Moonlite is the definitive, effortlessly pleasant summertime session beer that I could drink 100 of. Hattie Brown’s is a very small but very beloved brewery in the Purbeck Hills of Dorset, run by Jean Young and her partner Kevin Hunt. They primarily provide beers for the Square & Compass in nearby Worth Matravers. This, to me, is the finest pub in the land! Well worth the effort to find your way to this beautiful place and drink this wonderful ale on cask.”