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May 25, 2007 10:42 AM

cask conditioned...

stupid question can you buy it bottled?

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  1. No. There are nitro bottles and nitro cans that are claimed to be like draft and/or cask but...true cask is a creature of it's unique genetics and enviroment.

    15 Replies
    1. re: MOREKASHA

      There is bottle-conditioned 'real ale', of course.

        1. re: MOREKASHA

          Real ale is refermented in the container from which it's served,

          So, e.g., Young's SLA and Fuller's 1845 are bottled real ales, and so are bottled equivalents of cask-conditioned ales.

          Interestingly, cask beer came about due to tax law. IIRC, the British beer tax at one time was due while the beer was still fermenting, so brewers started shipping product to pubs in that state. I expect someone can fill in the details of this story, or correct me if I don't have it quite right. The effects of laws and taxes on beer would make an interesting thread.

          1. re: Jim Dorsch

            I've always wondered about this definition... doesn't it imply that all bottle conditioned beers are "real ales"? That would cover most Belgians and a good number of American craft brews.

            1. re: afty698

              That's right, and I have no problem with that. Does something not strike you right about this?

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                I guess it seems weird to me because the real ale people always seem to be advocating for cask beer, and I've never heard/read about them advocating for bottle conditioned beer. Maybe that's because bottle conditioned beers aren't in as much danger as cask conditioned beers, I don't know.

                1. re: afty698

                  Since beer has been traditionally consumed more on-premise in Great Britain than in the US, it makes sense that the campaign focused more on cask ale. Here's a link to bottled real ale:


              2. re: afty698

                Real (cask) ale is not the same as bottle conditioned: in the former the yeast is still alive and needs some oxygen to keep going. Aside from getting cask ale into a pub, there is an art to keeping it in good form until it is finished.

                One might say that bottle conditioned beer stands in relation to ordinary bottled beer in the way that cask conditioned stands to regular pressurized kegs.

                1. re: jmoryl

                  If you love good beer, this is a great topic of discussion. It also leaves room for a debate over many pints. I've never considered bottle conditioned beer as cask in a "to go container". However, when drinking out at any bar where I'm unsure of their draft lines (most) I drink bottled beer. I always go for the bottle conditioned (Sierra, Duvel etc) or those w/an easily readable expiry date, (Sam Adams, not Butt-wesier). I do like Jim D's point about bc beer being a version of cask.

                  1. re: jmoryl

                    Yeast is still alive in bottle conditioned beer as well. Also, you don't want your beer exposed to oxygen at all during the aging process.

                    Bottle conditioning and cask conditioning are essentially the same process, the biggest difference that I can think of is that cask consitioning allows you to do other things like extra dry-hopping which you couldn't do in a bottle.

                    1. re: jmoryl

                      Yeast does not require oxygen at this point in fermentation. The cask is vented so that the beer can be removed by gravity or beer engine. The yeast is alive in both cask- and bottle-conditioned beer.

                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                        And to be absolutely clear at one of my local brewpubs I ordered a stout. It was served to me completely flat from the tap. I told the owner and he immediately adjusted the gas and within several hours or so the stout had decent or noticeable conditioning (CO or N2).
                        This is NOT real ale? (although I do enjoy his ales).

                  2. re: Jim Dorsch

                    I'm not sure I'd cite Wikipedia as a reliable source for anything. Be that as it may, what you are describing is not so much "Real Ale" as "Bottle Conditioning." Real Ale does not have to bottled. I would draw your attention to the CAMRA website. Go to -- halfway down the page is CAMRA's definition of "Real Ale."

                    1. re: zin1953

                      Very nice--note they say "cask or bottle" i.e. bottle conditioned beer IS real ale.

                      Chinon, that stout isn't real ale if it is from a yeast-free keg.

                      1. re: kenito799

                        Cask-conditioned beers (also called cask ale) and bottle conditioned beers are often referred to as real ales, though by the terms of CAMRA's definition not all cask or bottle conditioned ales are real ale; in particular, some American-style brewpubs may use collected carbon dioxide during the serving process which would disqualify them from claiming real ale status, but in Chinon00 case, who knows, is he ever wrong ?