At The Twisted Hop Real Ale Brewery we brew beer in the traditional English manner. Using Canterbury malt and New Zealand Hops, the beers undergo their final fermentation in the barrel that they are served from. The beer is fresh and alive when it reaches your glass. Our beer is best served dispensed by hand-pump, to produce a creamy head that will last to the bottom of the glass. The carbonation is entirely natural being a by product of the ongoing fermentation. The beer is best served at 10-12°C.
So what, does that make them better? Not necessarily, but it does make them different. Lower carbonation (though not flat), served not so cold (but not warm) and often through a handpump as no gas is used.
For those of you who pine for a proper pint like you used to have in the UK, or those of you exploring new styles of beer, or bar owners looking for something different to attract the growing number of craft beer lovers; read on....
Our cask conditioned beer can be supplied either in a bag 'bright' with no yeast sediment, or in a barrel as a 'real ale' with the yeast sediment.
Bright beer comes in a 20 litre approx (36 pint) plastic bags with a serving tap in an easy to carry box (like a wine box) so there is no need for it to settle before serving. It can be served straight from the tap or be connected to a handpump. To cool the bag simply place in a chilly-bin and add a bit of ice. A bag of bright beer will last for about 1 week, and can be drunk over that period with minimal deterioration. The bag and box need not be returned.
Real Ale beer comes in a 40 litre approx (72 pint) stainless barrel called a firkin. On arrival the barrel must be racked and 'spiled' with a porous wooden peg to vent it, then it will need to settle for 24 hours before serving. A tap is then hammered in to the barrel and it can be served straight form the tap or have a hand pump connected. A barrel of real ale will last for about 1 week once spiled and before being served, however it is recommended that the barrel be consumed within 4 days of serving. The barrel, tap and spile need to be returned after use.
The bag or barrel would be best stored in a cool environment. In the winter this could be outside in a secure place or in your garage. A short length of pipe can be run from the bag to the handpump. In summer refrigeration is recommended to keep the beer at 10-12degC. The bag will fit in a small fridge or chilly-bin but may lose its condition (fizz) if it gets too cold. A damp towel draped over the barrel provides some cooling by evaporation.
A handpump can be hired, this will give the beer a nice creamy head just as it is served in The Twisted Hop Pub. Stillage for the barrel to sit on and a temporary bar-counter can be provided