Thursday 4 August 2011

Wood you believe it...

Wooden casks are sadly something of a rarity at GBBF these days - but this year we have three huge examples in use, and just to confuse you, they are not on one of the British ale bars but on the Belgian and Dutch bar, Vesalius/P5.

Their arrival earlier in the week from Dutch brewry De Molen caused great excitement, not just because of their size - 225 litres, or around 50 gallons - but also because of their contents. They have been cask-maturing Hot & Spicy, a smoked Imperial stout with chillies, the faintly lactic Hout & Hop, and Tsarina Esra Reserve, a full-flavoured strong porter.

If they've run out - though hopefully with casks those size, they won't have! - there's plenty more Low Countries beers on offer, including half a dozen more on draught, plus bottled Trappists, lambics, fruit and honey beers, stouts and more. And if all that gives you a taste for the subject, you could tap it at its source - bar sponsor Eurolines runs buses to beer festivals in both Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as many more beery places around Europe.

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