As part of beer bloggers Friday, I thought I'd chip in my two pence worth regarding the topic of the day - Cask, Keg, Can, Bottle: Does dispense matter?
I'm a fan of nice, tasty, well made refreshing beer. There is simply no finer feeling than the first gorgeous glug of a lovely beer as it makes it's way from the glass into your mouth and fills it with a variety of lush lupulin flavours and tastes. And more often than not, it's cask that fulfils my beer needs. That's because it's what I want when I'm out. It's what I go out for: a lovely pint.
That's not to say that every pint I've had on cask has been lovely. They have not. Many have been stunning and gorgeous examples of the brewer and cellerman's art and craft. Some have been poorly made or poorly kept. Others simply not to my taste. I'll take that risk and if good cask beer is on sale in a pub that I'm in, that's what I have. If there is no cask on, I'll find another pub. Unless they have a magic fridge dispensing untold gems of bottled U.S. and German beers like a stunning hybrid of Glasgow's Allison Arms and Blackfriars pubs.
Which leads me on to bottles. Bottles are great and my bank statement and heaving cupboard are testament to my fondness for impulsive yet deliciously enjoyable internet beer buys. The bottles I have are different from the cask beers I usually drink when out. They tend to be beers or from breweries that are harder to come by other than via the net. Bottles suit my purposes when at home and want a nice relaxing beer during the evening.
I recently dipped my toe into U.S. Craft beer in a can virtue of Maui breweries Big Swell IPA and Coconut Porter. The novelty of drinking quality beer from a can was a great feeling and although I was fearful prior to pouring that the beer would have a tinny taste my fears were misplaced. The Big Swell was stunning. The Porter was just okay. The method of dispense paid no part in the differentiation of my enjoyment between each. I just thought the IPA was a much nicer beer.
Which I think answers the initial question.
Cask, Keg, Can, Bottle - Does dispense matter?
Ultimately, the method of dispense is important but more in terms of where you are and what's available. What's more important is what ends up in the glass and how it tastes. A bad beer dispensed by cask, keg, can or bottle is still a bad beer. Similarly, a good beer is still a good beer and a beer of quality should shine through regardless of what it's poured from.
Tasty beer is tasty beer.