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marksalehouse
05-08-2004, 09:05 AM
Anybody in the SPBW?

www.spbw.com - they have a forum at www.spbw.com/bb/


www.spbwni.co.uk


mark

marksalehouse
05-10-2004, 10:02 AM
I got this little missive in reply to a query about Marston beers.

Mark
__________________

Marston's Pedigree is the only beer brewed in wood, using the unique Burton Unions. This brewing process is key to ensuring that the distinctive flavour of Pedigree is retained.

Traditionally many breweries used Burton Unions, but gradually felt the cost could no longer be justified - even though this would impact on taste. But, for Pedigree to scrap the Burton Unions is simpy out of the question.

So what are Burton Union sets ? They are double rows of large wooden casks - made from European oak, that are mounted on a frame above which runs a long trough. There are usually 24 union casks in a Burton Union Set - each cask can hold around 150 gallons, thats four and a quarter barrels or 1200 pints.

The Burton Unions are used to ferment Pedigree and to generate Pedigree's very special yeast for subsequent brews. The special yeast does not separate easily from the beer, which means it's difficult to crop for the next brew if you use a conventional brewing method. In a Union the yeast is trapped on the troughs and easy to recover.

The process is expensive and complicated, but it is reliable and the only sure way of guaranteeing that Marston's achieves a crop of the special yeast for the following brews. It's up to the Marston's Cooper to maintain the Union Sets. Marston's employs one of the few remaining Coopers in the country and it is thanks to his skill and craftmanship that brewing heritage survives.

Best regards,
Lesley Sweeney
Brewery Co-ordinator
WDB Brands - Burton

MeridianFC
05-10-2004, 05:15 PM
All the beer I've had from the wood (English, German, Belgian, and American) I've really enjoyed, though some of that may be down to the quality of a brewery that would take the extra steps (these days) to put their brew into wood. I'm not a SPBW member but I'm one of several CAMRA (I'm in the USA by the by) members hereabouts. I Think there are many common ideals between both organizations. IIRC Richard posted some about SPBW a while back.

There are two local breweries here (Washington, DC) that serve variations on Bourbon Cask Stout (actual cask condition!). The District Chophouse (based on an oatmeal stout aged in bourbon casks) is a rare treat.

marksalehouse
05-10-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by MeridianFC
There are two local breweries here (Washington, DC) that serve variations on Bourbon Cask Stout (actual cask condition!). The District Chophouse (based on an oatmeal stout aged in bourbon casks) is a rare treat.

They sound absolutely delicious!

Mark