This morning the twitter account known as @caskaleweek tweeted the following…
“Possible definition of #Cask Ale? #Craft Ale with pedigree”
My initial reaction was to mock this by saying that if I mixed a bottle of Marston’s Pedigree with a kegged beer, I’d get a cask beer.
Of course, this isn’t true, and is quite frankly ludicrous, but it did get me thinking. What does this say about the perception of the term “craft” in cask beer circles?
Each person seems to have a different opinion as to what “craft beer” is or isn’t. For some, it is merely clever marketing, designed to enable people to sell average beer at higher prices. For others, it is a mark of distinction and quality.
I sit somewhere between the two. There are some craft beers where the term “craft” seems deserved. They look, smell and taste as if time and care has been taken over the crafting of the beer, in the way that a craftsman would. On the other hand though, there are also “craft” beers that feel like cynical marketing ploys to cash in on a growing market.
Craft beer or not, the thing that irks me most about the tweet, is that it seems to dismiss non cask beer as not having merit. I don’t want to go into a keg vs cask argument here, as there isn’t an argument to be made in favour of either. I do feel though, that there is a large number of beer drinkers who are limiting themselves because of outdated preconceptions of keg beer.
Yes, it can be cold, and fizzy, but some beers suit being served slightly colder. If you want your beer warmer, let it warm up. Talk with your friends, or do the crossword in whichever paper you read. It’s not difficult to let a beer slowly warm, and if you drink it as it does, you’ll be rewarded with tastes slowly emerging.
Give it a try, go on.