for cask-conditioned beers
Several Wisconsin breweries sent samples to the Real Ale Festival,
including the Delafield Brewhaus.
John Harrison created more than 24 specialties in the first year of
Delafield Brewhaus' operation, and continues to brew a huge variety,
with at least one ale always served cask conditioned. "This is
my dream brewery," he says, gesturing to the gleaming stainless
steel tanks that soar to the second story of the pub.
part of Harrison's plan from the beginning was to include cask conditioned
ales. "I helped Wisconsin Brewing Co. when we launched the Badger
Porter and installed our first beer engine at the Y-Not II tap,"
Harrison recalled. "Cask dispense makes such a difference in
flavor." In commercial beer lines, the pressure of CO2 is used
to push beer from keg to tap, adding gassiness en route. With real
ales, the beer must be pumped to the bar using a traditional beer
engine, that takes several long pulls to fill a pint.
also flavors his ales with dried hops added directly to the cask before
dispensing at the bar. "I use hop cones that are pressed into
small plugs that can be pushed into the bunghole of cask (also called
a firkin)," he explains. The hop cone plugs expand and release
their aromatic oils slowly into the ale.
where the real creativity for the brewer comes in, during the secondary
fermentation and dry hopping," claims Harrison.
the Real Ale Festival, Harrison provided several casks of ale. First,
Harrison brewed his rendition of a 17th century British ale dubbed
Thames Valley, plus, a cask of the Czar's Choice Russian Imperial
Stout, and his powerful vintage Barleywine from 2001. The Barleywine
is smooth and creamy in texture, with a brandy-like finish.
The gigantic bar at the Delafield Brewhaus has a beer engine for cask
dispense, in addition to guest taps from area breweries, and more
than a dozen Delafield specialties.
at the bar:
a recipe for a real ale Wisconsin fish boil!
tips on cooking with beer, browse the profile
of brewchef Kurt Linke.