Exploring the Rich Tradition of Cask Ale

Hall and Woodhouse Cask Ale Barrel 12th March 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of beer, one traditional brewing method stands as a testament to history and craftsmanship: cask ale.

Often recognised by beer enthusiasts for its distinct flavour profile and unique serving style, cask ale embodies centuries of brewing tradition while continuing to captivate palates worldwide.


What is cask ale?

Cask ale, also known as ‘real ale’, traces its roots back to the alehouses of Britain, where it was the primary form of beer dispensed for centuries.


Unlike its carbonated counterparts, cask ale undergoes a secondary fermentation process directly in the container from which it’s served, typically a cask or barrel. This process allows the beer to naturally carbonate and develop complex flavours, resulting in a smoother, more nuanced taste compared to its kegged or bottled counterparts.


How is cask ale served?

What truly sets cask ale apart is its serving method. Rather than being force-carbonated and dispensed using CO2, cask ale is served via a hand pump, or ‘beer engine’, which draws the beer directly from the cask. This traditional method of dispensing ensures that the beer maintains its natural carbonation and allows for a more hands-on approach to serving, often requiring skill and precision from the bartender.


What are the characteristics of a cask ale?

The character of cask ale varies widely depending on factors such as the ingredients used, the brewing process, and the conditions of storage and serving. From hoppy IPAs to malty stouts, virtually any beer style can be adapted to the cask ale format, offering a diverse range of flavours and aromas for enthusiasts to explore.


How is cask ale celebrated today?

Despite its rich history, cask ale has experienced a resurgence in recent years, fuelled by a growing appreciation for traditional brewing methods and artisanal craftsmanship. Breweries around the world have embraced the cask ale tradition, hosting special events and festivals dedicated to celebrating its unique charms.


What is cask ale’s cultural significance?

In addition to its flavourful profile, cask ale holds cultural significance for many communities, serving as a focal point for socialising and camaraderie. Whether enjoyed in a cosy pub or at a bustling beer festival, cask ale fosters a sense of connection and shared experience among beer lovers, transcending generations, and borders.


Cask ale remains a steadfast symbol of brewing heritage and authenticity. With its rich flavours, time-honoured techniques, and vibrant community spirit, cask ale continues to enchant beer enthusiasts around the globe, ensuring its legacy endures for generations to come.


Equinox: Introducing Badger’s new limited-edition cask ale

Just as the equinox marks the balance between light and dark, our new, refreshing session ale strikes the perfect harmony of bitterness and sweetness.


Equinox embodies the spirit of springtime, blending two brand new hop varietals—in support of British hop farmers—with a subtle hint of honeycomb at the end of the brewing process for a perfectly balanced seasonal brew. Let the celestial magic of Equinox transport you to a world of Easter bliss.


Available at all Hall and Woodhouse managed houses from 13th March 2024. But hurry… when it’s gone, it’s gone!


Before you enter the world of Badger, we just want to check — are you of legal age to drink where you are? Please remember to drink responsibly.