We haven't heard from our resident Barstool Expert for a while but here he is, ponificating on the temperature of cask beer - what do you serve yours at?
Evening. Hang on, is that a bottle of beer in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?
Funny. But you know I'm a cask drinker. Unless it's a vintage ale you're unlikely to see me crack open a bottle.
OK. But it still begs the question as to what that is... woah! You're sticking it in your drink now! Is it some kind of funky straw? I thought straws were banned these days?
It's a thermometer.
But why are you putting it in your beer?
Because, my lager-guzzling friend, the Cask Report found that cask beer is being served at the wrong temperature.
I thought that stuff was meant to be warm?
A common misconception held by people who drink the mass-produced fizz you seem to enjoy so much.
It's mass-produced because lots of people like it. Anyway, what temperature is cask beer supposed to be?
It should be 11-13° but in the summer Cask Marque found more than two-thirds was being served above that. Plus, it turns out quite a lot of people would like it cooler than that anyway.
So, what's being done about it?
Some beers, such as Doom Bar, are being trialled at lower temperatures, but the main drive is to get pubs to serve it within the correct temperature range, at the very least.
Hence PC Centigrade investigating your ale...
And what have they found?
Too hot. 14°. Unbelievable.
Hold the front page. What are you going to do?
Complain, of course.
Don't you think the guvnor's got enough on his plate without you moaning that his beer is a couple of degrees from perfection? Take it outside, it will soon chill.
That's the other problem with cask. People are afraid to take it back. It's tough to look after and it can go wrong, but landlords need to know, otherwise it won't get any better...... oh dear......
What is it now?
I feel a bit unwell. I don't think it's the beer, but cask quality is another issue, so you never know.
Good job you've got that thermometer then. You know exactly where you can stick it.
Keep it cool: Monitor the temperature of cask in the cellar and in the glass. Train staff so they know how cask should be looked after and presented. Encourage sampling and feedback from customers.
Hot under the collar: Don't keep your cask on for too long, have more lines than you can reasonably handle or ever try to get away with it by using phrases such as "it's supposed to be warm".