When I packaged BeerSmith's Dry Irish Stout I filled a three gallon keg that is currently in my basement, I filled a one gallon polypin to simulate cask conditioning, and bottled the rest. The bottled version was the basis of my original tasting notes. I brought the polypin to the March North Shore Brewers meeting to share and get feedback.
The meeting was at Mystic Brewery in Chelsea. It was a chilly, early spring night. I put the polypin in the trunk which chilled it to a degree. One thing I didn't have was a spigot for the polypin. Once I took off the cap I had to carefully pour the beer into the glass.
After packaging I bled the pressure once to make sure the polypin or spigot didn't rupture. The beer out of the vessel had almost no carbonation. I thought it was a fault and I shouldn't have bled the pressure, but nobody else seemed to mind.
When poured hard the head would rouse slightly; there's a reason real ale when it was pumped pumped was sprayed into the glass. The beer had a medium body. The lack of carbonation smoothed out the roasted character from the bottled version. Other club members got lots of chocolate and coffee notes. The finish was dry and beggared another sip. I got more fruit notes from the yeast out of the polypin also. Overall the beer was a hit.
We got a tour of the brew house and learned about how Mystic cultures wild yeast for some of its more adventurous brews. I left with a growler of Reko, a saison made with Ethiopian coffee. Ethiopian coffee tends to be fruitier than the Central/South American coffees you find at Dunks. It blended perfectly with the base saison.
I still had some of the stout left that I brought over to some friends' home. They enjoyed the beer too. While there I decided why not blend the stout with some Bud Light from their kegerator?
The stout and Bud Light were almost identical in gravity. The resulting blend would never have the pretty appearance of a Black and Tan made at a bar. The high carbonation of the Bud Light blended with nicely with the almost still, cask-style stout. The blend almost tasted like a brown ale. Some might be offended I blended an awesome homebrew with a macro beer, but hey we were having fun.
I haven't made time to package the Trans Atlantic Ale. Now that the polypin is empty, I will fill it back up with English Bitter. I love me some cask ale!
Follow me on Twitter @JChalifour
Share what beers you are drinking with me on Untappd