Understanding cask beer and where to find a lot of it next month

Understanding cask beer and where to find a lot of it next month

All beers are not created equal. This is because of the varying degrees of creativity the artists known as brewers show up to work with every day. One area of creativity that remains a mystery to many beer enthusiasts is cask beer or cask ale. One good place to experience this rarer style of beer is the 2nd Shift’s annual Cask Festival, on December 4th.


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Cask Beer

The art of brewing and serving cask beer is one that dates back hundreds of years but continues to this day. Simply defined in 2022,  cask beer is served fresh from a wooden barrel, traditionally, or a metal cask, more common nowadays; kept at cellar temperature (50-55 degrees versus a refrigerator’s 35-40), and lightly carbonated by the digestive action of living yeast. Yes, compared to a brisk, bubbly keg pour, it’s warm(ish) and flat(ish).

“Cask beer will have a different “mouth feel” as you are not using CO2 to carbonate, the beer is naturally carbonated by secondary fermentation in the cask. Slightly effervescent with a nice frothy head are attributes of a quality cask beer,” said Scott Pelizzaro of 2nd Shift Brewing, which is preparing for its annual Cask Fest celebration on December 4th.

Cask Festival

Cask Festival 2022 is back and will take place in the St. Louis taproom.  You’ll find casks from several local breweries, as well as casks from brewing friends near and far.

“The casks 2nd Shift will pour at Cask Festival will be one-off beers from us. They may use a base of a beer that is a recipe you’ve had before, but might be adjuncted or barrel-aged. Or it may be a brand-new recipe. There’s only one way to find out,” said Pelizzaro. 

2nd Shift, as well as all the guest breweries, meaderies, and wineries, should be pouring at least two different styles of cask ales during the festival. Right now more than 40 guests are expected, so it’s sure to be a taster’s dream with some fantastic liquid gold, you may never get the chance to try again.


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Here is the guest list as of now. Pelizzaro says he is compiling a finalized list now and will have a complete pour list available on the day of the festival.

Guest Breweries

18th Street Brewery

4 Hands Brewing Company

608 Brewing Company

Alematic Artisan Ales

Birds Fly South Ale Project

BKS Artisan Ales

Bluewood Brewing

Branch & Bone Artisan Ales

Central Standard Brewing

Cigar City Brewing

Coffeestamp (Coffee)

Crane Brewing

Forbidden Root Brewing

Free Will Brewing Co

Good Word Brewing

Logboat Brewing Co

Lupulin Brewing Company

Main & Mill Brewing Company

Mighty Kind Seltzer (NA Seltzer & CBD Water)

Millpond Brewery & Incubator

Modern Brewery

Mondo Brewing Company

Narrow Gauge Brewing Company

Off Color Brewing

Perennial Artisan Ales

Public House Brewing Company

Revolution Brewing

Rowley Farmhaus Ales

Scratch Brewing Company

Southside Alchemy (Sangria)

Speciation Artisan Ales

Stubborn German Brewing Company

The Big Rip Brewing Co

Third Wheel Brewing

Transient Artisan Ales

Wiseacre Brewing Co.

Wooden Robot Brewery

Yazoo (Embrace the Funk)

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