PDA

View Full Version : Portland cask beer?



Kalleh1
02-18-2006, 08:46 PM
My husband and I will be in Portland next week, and we love cask conditioned beer. What pubs do you recommend for us?

newportstorm
02-19-2006, 09:20 AM
Try the Horse Brass. Here's their latest (?) draft/cask list:

http://www.horsebrass.com/beersathb.html

Also, check out the BeerFly for Portland on BA. Click on each brewpub/beer bar for reviews and look for the "Beer Stats" in the right hand margin. It gives you an idea of whether a bar offers "cask", "beer to go", etc. Probably always best to call ahead but it's a start. Enjoy.

http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/16/

Cheers!

Kalleh1
02-19-2006, 10:55 PM
Oh, thanks! We definitely are going to the Horse Brass. Judging by Chicago's standards, four on cask is amazing!

Kalleh1
02-21-2006, 12:35 AM
Steve isn't going to like this...but Portland has better beer than Chicago, I think. The Horse Brass was fantastic, with five beers on cask. I had their "guest" cask, which was Peregrin Took (Steelhead), and it was hoppy and wonderful. My husband had their Hogs Back Stout (Mt Hood Gov Camp, OR), and he thought it was great. The atmosphere there is like a British pub, and we just loved it. Thanks for the recommendation!

steveh
02-21-2006, 05:31 AM
Kalleh, Portland has (or had) the most brew-pubs per capita of any town in the country -- difficult for anyplace to beat it, except maybe Fort Collins. I had the good opportunity to visit Portland (and Eugene, and Newport) back in the early 90s -- it's a true Mecca for beer drinkers. You didn't run into Fred Eckhardt, did you?

S.

fretlessman71
02-21-2006, 08:46 AM
Actually, I think Portland still wins - but there are a number of small towns along the Front Range that have brewpubs, from Cheyenne to Colo. Springs - towns too small to support one under normal circumstances.

chazwicke
02-21-2006, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Kalleh1
Steve isn't going to like this...but Portland has better beer than Chicago, I think. The Horse Brass was fantastic, with five beers on cask. I had their "guest" cask, which was Peregrin Took (Steelhead), and it was hoppy and wonderful. My husband had their Hogs Back Stout (Mt Hood Gov Camp, OR), and he thought it was great. The atmosphere there is like a British pub, and we just loved it. Thanks for the recommendation!

5 casks and a British pub atmosphere. That is certainly a recipe for a nice time. Thanks for the report.

Kalleh1
02-21-2006, 04:51 PM
You didn't run into Fred Eckhardt, did you?
Well, Steve, you know my husband. He did run into someone (not sure of the name) who was teaching Ken a great deal about darts.

steveh
02-21-2006, 05:24 PM
Fred would have taught him about beer!

S.

Kalleh1
02-21-2006, 07:13 PM
Well, we are going back tonight, so I will ask for him.

I have to say that the place is even better than Richard's favorite U.S. pub...Cricketer's Arms in Orlando. You Portlanders are lucky!

steveh
02-21-2006, 07:47 PM
Kalleh, Beer Advocate lists 40 - for-tee - brew-pubs in Portland -- try something new too! I always liked the Full Sail pub myself, it's right on the water too, very nice. 307 SW Montgomery Street. 503.222.5343.

Of course, there's the New Old Lompoc House, yes indeed! ;)

S.

Kalleh1
02-21-2006, 11:56 PM
Steve, yes, we should try something new. It's just that we love that place so much! We were there again tonight, and their IPA was wonderful. They said that Fred comes in a few times a month, though he wasn't there tonight. We had a wonderful talk with a local, though, who gave us a lot more tips about other places.

What a wonderful city Portland is, beerwise and otherwise.

Richard English
02-22-2006, 05:22 AM
Quote "...Kalleh, Beer Advocate lists 40 - for-tee - brew-pubs in Portland ..."

That's certainly more than there are in London. However, because we have so many fine commercial breweries there's not quite the same impetus.

At one time we had only 4 brewpubs left in the whole of the UK - although fortunately that situation has improved a great deal.

One of the oldest and most interesting is the White Swan at Netherton (Ma Pardoe's) and that's just a short drive from Birmingham (where some of us will be next October).

chazwicke
02-22-2006, 09:21 AM
I was once in a London brewpub called "The Orange". It was in Belgravia near Victoria. Not certain if it is still there but I still have the growler that I brought back from the pub.

I looked it up. Here is what I found:

Orange Brewery (Scottish-Courage) OPEN BUT NO LONGER BREWING

37 Pimlico Rd SW1 at St. Barnabas St in Begravia

Sloane Square Underground Station

Phone: 020 7730 5984 or 020 7824 8002

This is and always has been a nice pub but it no longer brews. This used to be one of a few authentic brewpubs in London but S-C discontinued the brewery operations here as well at the Yorkshire Grey. The building is architecturally simulating.



I know I have photos of this place too.

Kalleh1
02-22-2006, 11:04 PM
We had an interesting experience tonight. We took friends out to a very fine, white table cloth, dinner. On the menu, which had exquisite wines, they also had some fine beers, including a cask beer (though, as of a half hour, it was gone). I don't even recall London having good beer in fine restaurants.

Portland is indeed a unique beer city.

Richard English
02-23-2006, 02:32 AM
Quote "...I don't even recall London having good beer in fine restaurants. ..."

London has the finest pubs and the best choice of beers in the world; it is also a very good place to eat with a very wide range of restaurants.

However, what Kalleh says is correct; few London restaurants have good beer on their drinks lists - they all have Dudweiser and other rubbish, but it is rare even to find a good bottled beer, let alone a cask-conditioned ale. If you want to drink good beer with a meal it's best to go to a pub that serves food rather than try to find a restaurant the serves beer.

Karan Bilimouria, founder of Cobra Beer, is a Real Ale enthusiast but does not believe it is possible to serve cask-conditioned beer in restaurants (I happen to disagree). However, most Indian restaurants in London now take his beer and he has just brought out a bottle-conditioned lager which he is hoping that restaurants will take up. I haven't yet tried it but will report when I do.

Remember, you can make a difference. Do as I do and complain when any restaurant does not have good beer; it sometimes works when you do - it will never work if you don't.

chazwicke
02-23-2006, 10:07 AM
we do have some better places to eat that carry good beer or have casks. The Sweetwater Tavern chain in my area has above average food and service and decent beer with a very occasional cask. It may not be white linen but is certainly above most other chains. The DC Chophouse always has a cask on and also has very good food. The Black Angus Restaurant in Adamstown, PA which is owned by Ed and Carol Stoudt usually has a cask offering and also has tasty food. (Especially their oysters - which come from VA.) There are a few places but I wish there were more.

newportstorm
02-23-2006, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Kalleh1
I don't even recall London having good beer in fine restaurants.



One reason I love BYOB to nice restaurants. Bring in your own beer/wine at a much lower cost. Be sure to know if they charge a corkage fee - some don't at all, some charge as little as $2pp and some are outrageous.

Cheers!

Richard English
02-23-2006, 10:45 AM
Quote "...One reason I love BYOB to nice restaurants...."

This is rare in England as most restaurants are licensed to sell alcohol. Sadly the alcohol they sell is usually dissolved in chemical fizz!

newportstorm
02-23-2006, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Richard English
Quote "...One reason I love BYOB to nice restaurants...."

This is rare in England as most restaurants are licensed to sell alcohol. Sadly the alcohol they sell is usually dissolved in chemical fizz!

They seem to be pretty widespread here in Rhode Island. From Providence to Newport and beyond. Lots of little bistros, sushi bars, ethnic restaurants and a couple really nice eateries encourage it.

Even a strip...er, um...gentleman's club has this policy. Though it's not as great as it sounds. You bring in whatever beer you want and they sell it back to you as you order them. They still get their $$ one way or another.

Cheers!

Kalleh1
02-23-2006, 09:36 PM
Steve will be happy to know that we went to another Portland restaurant/bar tonight...Henry's. Once again, it has a very nice restaurant, along with a great selection of beers and one cask conditioned beer. Last's night's restaurant with the cask conditioned beer was Higgin's.

zoom6zoom
02-24-2006, 02:40 PM
A friend of mine moved to Portland last month and reports that he lives within walking distance of the Brass. Nice planning - it must be great to go out and not have to worry about driving home!

Kalleh1
02-24-2006, 09:50 PM
You've got that right. The Horse Brass is by far my favorite American bar. We are back in Chicago now, but we visited a number of different places, and nothing compared to the Horse Brass. My only complaint about it is the name. I keep wanting to call it the Brass Horse, though my husband says there is a story behind the name.

Richard English
02-25-2006, 01:34 AM
Quote "...though my husband says there is a story behind the name...."

A horse brass is a decorative brass casting, about the diameter of a cricket ball (slightly smaller than a baseball). Horse brasses are used to decorate the harness of draught horses.

You can see a picture of some shire horses, one complete with brasses, here http://www.chime.ucl.ac.uk/~rmhiajp/shires/ Notice that Young's are advertising in one of the pictures - they still use shire horses for local deliveries, as you know.

Goban
02-28-2006, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by Richard English

You can see a picture of some shire horses, one complete with brasses, here http://www.chime.ucl.ac.uk/~rmhiajp/shires/ Notice that Young's are advertising in one of the pictures - they still use shire horses for local deliveries, as you know.

Wow, what beautiful animals.

You know, I think my wifeís uncle used to (or still does) drive a team of Clydesdales up in Michigan (?). She isnít here at the moment to ask, but I remember her talking about it on a few occasions. We should go up there and visit sometime. They are gorgeous animals indeed.

chazwicke
03-01-2006, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by Richard English
A horse brass is a decorative brass casting, about the diameter of a cricket ball (slightly smaller than a baseball). Horse brasses are used to decorate the harness of draught horses.



I have a small collection of them. nothing rare or valuable though.

chazwicke
03-01-2006, 03:04 PM
Just booked a quick trip to London 3/10 - 3/15. I'll be staying in Victoria at the Rubens. I've Stayed there before and it is fairly close to the Buckingham Arms and Bag O Nails. My son is on Spring break.

Richard English
03-01-2006, 03:20 PM
I will be in passing through London on 14/3 (hey, if you can use the US date, system then I can surely use the one that the remaining 89% of the world uses;-)

My journey takes me via Kings Cross and Victoria stations and I'd be happy to stop near either one for a pint or two. I would envisage being in town at around 1400.

chazwicke
03-01-2006, 03:22 PM
Would love to!

Richard English
03-01-2006, 03:32 PM
I have a meeting in Peterborough and don't yet know the exact timings. However, I am hoping it will finish in time for me to catch the 1229 from Peterborough that will get me to Kings Cross at 1324 and the tube should get me to Victoria at about 1350.

We could go to the Buckingham Arms in Petty France (Youngs) which I think you know - or I'd be happy for you to choose a venue.

Let me know - you could pm me with your contact details if you want. My mobile (cellphone) will always get me - 07885 429799.

chazwicke
03-08-2006, 07:44 AM
OK looking forward to meeting up with you again Richard at Buckingham Arms March 14 2:00PM and Stronk At Parsons Green March 13 5:00PM. See you both then!

Stumptown
03-24-2006, 01:52 PM
I've got to admit that I am no fan of Horse Brass. If you like horrible smoke and stale beer, it's just the ticket. Otherwise, Rose and Raindrop is much better. The Rose is very particular about its beer, getting rid of kegs after 10 days or so regardless of how much is left in there. I've never had a bad pint there, while at the Brass stale pints are the norm.

Rose and Raindrop usually has a nice selection of cask beers too -- equal to or more than the Brass. Oh, and their usual tap selection is better than the Brass.

newportstorm
03-24-2006, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Stumptown
I've got to admit that I am no fan of Horse Brass. If you like horrible smoke and stale beer, it's just the ticket. Otherwise, Rose and Raindrop is much better. The Rose is very particular about its beer, getting rid of kegs after 10 days or so regardless of how much is left in there. I've never had a bad pint there, while at the Brass stale pints are the norm.

Rose and Raindrop usually has a nice selection of cask beers too -- equal to or more than the Brass. Oh, and their usual tap selection is better than the Brass.

A revival? Gone for a year and a half? Welcome back!

The Rose & Raindrop looks to be a nice place with a nice list:
http://www.roseandraindrop.com/bar.html

Reasonable prices, too. Though I hate vague terms like a "glass" of beer for $2.50.

Pitching beer after 10 days is a bit extreme, imo. It'd be as fresh at 8 or 9 days old as it is at 15 days old. Why not just make it the special of the week and blow it out? Their place, their rules.

Cheers!

Richard English
03-24-2006, 03:15 PM
Quote "...Pitching beer after 10 days is a bit extreme, imo. It'd be as fresh at 8 or 9 days old as it is at 15 days old. ..."

That depends entirely what kind of beer it is and the posting doesn't make this clear, speaking only of "...getting rid of kegs after 10 days..."

In the UK the term "keg" means a pressurised vessel used to dispense brewery-conditioned "dead" beer, which will indeed, last for many weeks, tasting as mundane at the end of its span as it did at the beginning.

If, however, the container was an unpressurised cask, containing live beer, conditioning in its cellar as only the finest beers can, then it will quite possibly be getting towards the end of its life after a week on dispense.

There is, as I have many times pointed out, a massive difference between "tap" beer as sold in most US bars and "draught" beer as sold in UK pubs. I would be interested to know which variety is sold in the Horse Brass or the RFose and Raindrop.

Kalleh1
03-24-2006, 11:48 PM
I've got to admit that I am no fan of Horse Brass. If you like horrible smoke and stale beer, it's just the ticket. Otherwise, Rose and Raindrop is much better. The Rose is very particular about its beer
I agree that it is smoky. However, both my husband and I had excellent cask conditioned beer there twice, and we are particular about our beer. We didn't know about the Rose and Raindrop or we would have gone there, too.

newportstorm
03-25-2006, 07:12 AM
Originally posted by Richard English
Quote "...Pitching beer after 10 days is a bit extreme, imo. It'd be as fresh at 8 or 9 days old as it is at 15 days old. ..."

That depends entirely what kind of beer it is and the posting doesn't make this clear, speaking only of "...getting rid of kegs after 10 days..."

In the UK the term "keg" means a pressurised vessel used to dispense brewery-conditioned "dead" beer, which will indeed, last for many weeks, tasting as mundane at the end of its span as it did at the beginning.

If, however, the container was an unpressurised cask, containing live beer, conditioning in its cellar as only the finest beers can, then it will quite possibly be getting towards the end of its life after a week on dispense.

There is, as I have many times pointed out, a massive difference between "tap" beer as sold in most US bars and "draught" beer as sold in UK pubs. I would be interested to know which variety is sold in the Horse Brass or the RFose and Raindrop.

If you'd like to read between the lines of every post to use it as a platform for extolling the virtues of cask beer, go ahead. The initial poster made it clear to me which beer he was talking about. But if in fact he were referring to keeping a cask pouring for 10 days, then that would certainly change my opinion of R&R. Even blanketing the beer with gas, 10 days is far too long for real ale being served on cask.

Cheers!

Richard English
03-25-2006, 08:27 AM
Quote "...The initial poster made it clear to me which beer he was talking about...."

He didn't make it clear to me. As I have explained, he spoke of a "keg", which is an ambiguous term. That it is ambiguous is obvious since you, yourself, posted that the beer would be as good at 15 days as it was at 10 and you are now saying that this wouldn't be the case were the beer to be cask-conditioned.

My posting was to seek clarification and assist those who are not aware of the differences in terms - not to "extol the virtues of cask beer". I have done this on many occasions but this was not one such.

So, what beer is it? Cask or keg? If cask then 10 days would probably be quite long enough to keep the beer on dispense - although the strength of the beer will make a major difference to its staying power (and we don't know that either).

PDXrules
04-29-2006, 03:26 PM
Bridgeport usually has 3 cask beers pouring at NW 17th and Marshall in the Pearl district. Nice dinner menu and remodel. Try the pizzas. Not as big as before but just as tasty with a nice IPA on cask. Also an improved wine list to pair with the fancier dinner items.

Kalleh1
04-29-2006, 06:27 PM
Wonderful, PDX, and I love IPAs. The next time I'm in Portland, I will go there.

I do love Portland so I intend to go back.

Carl762
08-01-2006, 08:51 PM
Kalleh, next time you're in Portland, PM me. I'll send you and your husband a list of a few other places to try.

If you were to rent a car, you could take a little road trip to Hood River, tour a brewery - Full Sail. Nice pain-free drive, once you're out of town.

From Hood River, you could drive towards Mt. Hood to Government Camp, where there's beer, or head over to Bend, Oregon, approx 3 hours out of Portland, where there's Deschutes Brewery, which offers a nice variety of beer.

Bridgeport just opened a new place up in the Pearl District (NW Portland).

There are a couple places in the Hawthorne area of town that are excellent (SE Portland).

The previous two are accessible by mass transit.

Kalleh1
08-01-2006, 11:03 PM
Wonderful. I will be in Portland at the end of October, and I'd love to know about a few places. Thanks!

OregonAmy
08-03-2006, 12:19 AM
I can't stand what they did to Bridgeport :( They turned it from a great comfy beerpub to a trendy uptown place that looks like it's supposed to compete with Henry's. I used to love going there. Went once after the remodel and will never go back.

If you're coming back to Portland and you're going to be in the NW area, you can't miss Rogue's public house on NW 14th & Flanders. Better beer, better atmosphere, better food.

ScottKingofBeer
08-16-2006, 03:49 PM
Skimmed thropugh the thread so sorry If I am repeating information. Try the Pilsner room attatched to Mcormick and Schmicks Harborside restaurant. They usually have 3-4 casks on tap at any time. The beers here are all Full Sail, though they do have a few guest taps. Actually a pretty good guest tap selection, but I usually drink the full sail line up. Happy hour is good as well. Meal and half size quality burger for 1.95. Horse Brass is a nice pub and got mentioned as an obvious choice but beware of the smoke.

ScottKingofBeer
08-16-2006, 03:51 PM
If you are an IPA fan you have got to try Laurelwood. Easily the best IPA in a city full of good IPA's. Flagship location is at 40th and Sandy. Sit at the bar if you don't like kids though.

sl7vk
09-19-2006, 02:03 PM
Well I bought a Toyota Prius 2 months ago and haven't done a road trip yet. This thread has convinced me that I'm going to Portland over Thanksgiving. Can't wait to try some of these places!

Kalleh1
09-19-2006, 08:56 PM
I thought I was coming to Portland at the end of October (26th and 27th), but it's Eugene instead. They said it was about one and a half hours away? Any good beer places there?

ScottKingofBeer
10-29-2006, 03:03 AM
I am posting this on the 27th so its probably too late but there are 3 musts in Eugene. Ninkasi, Steelhead, and Rogue Public House. There is also the Eugene city Brewery but I don't know anything about it and have never sampled the beer. I do see it on tap at many places around portland though.

batkins
10-29-2006, 11:03 AM
Eugene City Brewing is the name of the Rogue brewery in Eugene. It's a Rogue, but it has it's on identity, kinda like Issaquah.

Kalleh1
10-29-2006, 09:16 PM
Oh, heck, it was too late.

I have to say, though, I am terribly impressed, in a lot of ways, with your fine state. I went there to give a talk on nursing and to find out what they are doing, and they are leading the nation in a statewide nursing initiative. But...better yet, ;) they have good beer everywhere! I stayed at an inn and went down to see what they had in beer (expecting bottles of Bud and Miller's) and they had a nice range of tap beers, many area craft beers. That happened everywhere I went. I travel a lot, and I can tell you that doesn't happen in other states. I am in Washington DC now, and the best beer they have here at my hotel (which is twice as expensive as the inn in Eugene) is Sam Adams in a bottle...nothing on tap. (Hmmm...those mid-atlantics might have the highest number of posts on this site, but they might learn a lot from you Oregonians!) Anyway, most hotels don't have good beer.

You guys are lucky. I want to move to Oregon!

Richard English
10-30-2006, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by Kalleh1
Othey had a nice range of tap beers, many area craft beers.

Any on draught - or were they all just tap?

steveh
10-30-2006, 07:20 AM
Originally posted by Richard English
Any on draught - or were they all just tap?

Eugene is a great beer town, has been for many years. At one point (and this may still be true) there were 3 brew-pubs within a block-and-a-half of each other, in a town of 106,000 residents. And yes, I had cask ale there back in 1997.

S.

Kalleh1
10-30-2006, 04:07 PM
Richard, at the inn it was just tap (not cask). But it was delicious anyway. By the way, I consider "tap" and "draught" and "draft" to be synonyms. Is that wrong?

Richard English
10-30-2006, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Kalleh1
Richard, at the inn it was just tap (not cask). But it was delicious anyway. By the way, I consider "tap" and "draught" and "draft" to be synonyms. Is that wrong? Sadly, in the USA they often are. But the drinks are not the same.

In the UK, draught (or draft) beer will be cask-conditioned; tap beer will be brewery-conditioned. Sadly, outside the UK there is no agreement about the terms and thus "tap" beer as a catch-all just doesn't work. You can get "tap" Dudweiser - but it's just as foul as their canned or bottled rubbish.

CAMRA popularised the term "Real Ale", which refers to cask or bottle-conditioned beer, but that is probably the only term that is reasonably well understood universally.

"Tap", I fear, means nothing and say no more about the quality of the beer than does "bottled".

Kalleh1
10-30-2006, 04:43 PM
To me, tap beer tastes a whole lot better than bottled beer. Maybe it's in my head.

steveh
10-30-2006, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
"Tap", I fear, means nothing and say no more about the quality of the beer than does "bottled".

Perhaps, if the only "tap" beer you've ever had has been fizzy swill. There are plenty of good micros and brew-pubs in the US making good beer and serving it "on tap," and that is not to assume force-carbonated, using the CO2 for dispensing purposes only...but this is an old argument, isn't it?

Kalleh - one reason you may find tap beer better than bottled is that the kegged version is most often not pasteurized as the bottled will be. Then again, kegged beer can go bad if it's been on the line too long.

S.

Richard English
10-31-2006, 01:53 AM
I' sorry, I am quite unrepentant. My argument isn't with the beer it's with the nomenclature.

"Tap" is a vague term, as indeed is "beer". To say that a drink is "tap" means no more than it is serves from some sort of font, rather than from a can or bottle; it says nothing about its quality. In the USA the term "tap" is used to describe everything served from a counter dispense, be it fizzy and foul over-carbonated rubbish through to the finest cask-conditioned ale that Goose Island can supply.

In the UK the distinction is usually made between "tap" (being the fizzy rubbish) and "draught" being the real stuff) - but sadly even here the useage is not universal.

My plea is for those who use this forum to be precise in their descriptions. Tap says nothing about the beer;it describes only the method of dispense.

Kalleh1 says that she prefers tap beer to botteld beer. That statement on its own means nothing unless she genuinely prefers tap Dudweiser to bottled Fuller's 1845 - unlikely, I would suggest. That she might prefer Fuller's 1845 on draught as opposed to bottled is possible (although I actually felt that the bottled version was better). Fuller's London Pride is better on draught than in bottle but that's because the bottled LP is not bottle-conditioned and thus lacks the complexity that only bottle-conditioning can imbue.

Hopback Summer Lighting, which Kalleh1 and I both had the pleasure of sampling on draught in London recently, is a fine drink in both bottled and cask-conditioned forms and I would be hard pushed to express a preference.

steveh
10-31-2006, 07:37 AM
The Atlantic is complicating things in your head too much Richard. I could tell, full well, what Kalleh was talking about between tap and bottled beer.

And you also continue to give this group less than its due - we all (for the majority) know the difference between beer from a tap or drawn from a cask - no matter if tap, draft, or draught is used as the adjective or adverb.

To the first point, we all know that Kalleh drinks good beer, not fizzy swill. When she states that she enjoys tap beer better than bottled, I immediately know that she's comparing Goose Island Honker's Ale, Fuller's ESB (available on Co2 tap here in the US), or even Maredsous from either source. And I tend to agree with her, dependent on whether or not the keg being drawn from is fresh and the lines have been cared for properly.

AFA we silly Yanks using so many terms for our hand-drawn beer, well we can only blame history and the vast range of our cultural mix. Celebrate diversity.

C'mon back soon Richard, we owe you a trip to the Map Room, where we can sample beer from the bottle, tap, and hand pump!

S.

Richard English
10-31-2006, 07:51 AM
Originally posted by steveh

And you also continue to give this group less than its due - we all (for the majority) know the difference between beer from a tap or drawn from a cask - no matter if tap, draft, or draught is used as the adjective or adverb.S.

Of course. And so do I. But it is impossible to tell from the description. As I said, it's the terms used that confuse. Nobody is able to tell from Kalleh1's description whether the tap beer she spoke of was cask-conditioned or pasteurised and gas dispensed since the same expression is used for both. All we know is that it came from a font. My plea is for clarity, no more.

I have made similar pleas in the past when I hear such terms as "sixers", "growlers", "bottles" and "steins" when people are discussing quantities. In the USA the size of many containers is not fixed and if such nomenclature is unclear to Americans, then how much less clear must it be to those of us who live elsewhere?

steveh
10-31-2006, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by Richard English
...she spoke of was cask-conditioned or pasteurised and gas dispensed since the same expression is used for both

In the US, the majority of kegged beer is not pasteurized (based on discussions with brewery people), especially those from small breweries.

I think, since it's more rare than not here in the US, it's safe to assume that if the beer was cask-conditioned the writer will mention it - often with much glee.


I have made similar pleas in the past...

Once again, I apologize for our vast diversity -- in all things, beer not withstanding. But it's our heritage, and we don't plea about such slang as Hogshead, Pin, or even mahusive when used! At least not with what comes across as disdain.

S.

Richard English
10-31-2006, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by steveh
Once again, I apologize for our vast diversity -- in all things, beer not withstanding. But it's our heritage, and we don't plea about such slang as Hogshead, Pin, or even mahusive when used! At least not with what comes across as disdain.
S.

I can see what you're getting at but this is not my point. I have never heard of a "mahusive" so can't comment but hogshead and pin (along with firkin, barrel and kilderkin are not slang; they are genuine measures and, furthermore, they are fixed measures that can readily be checked.

The measures frequently quoted on this and other US sites are not always fixed and can't readily be checked. Put "firkin" into Wordweb (a US dictionary) and you get "...A British unit of capacity equal to 9 imperial gallons..." Do the same for "sixer" and you get "...The cardinal number that is the sum of five and one..." Put in "growler" and you get "...A speaker whose voice sounds like a growl..." or "...A small iceberg or ice floe just large enough to be hazardous for shipping..."

It has little to do with diversity or tradition and much to do with over-casual writing. Of course, as a professional writer I do have rather a bonnet-bourne bee about this ;-)

steveh
10-31-2006, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
...but hogshead and pin (along with firkin, barrel and kilderkin are not slang

Hogshead, firkin, and kilderkin are no more in common use over here than sixer is in England, no matter what dictionary you may reference.

BTW: Growler (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/growler)


It has little to do with diversity or tradition and much to do with over-casual writing

I have to disagree (nearly vehemently), "growler" is a term (albeit maybe a regional term - but it's a big region) that has been around since the turn of the last century. And as far as using tap, draft, or draught - where this whole discussion began - it was a natural progression of word use combined with changes in technology and process. As Co2 forced serving became the more common technology (over here), people still bellied up to the bar and asked for a "draft." And the bar-tender sold them one, with no semantic argument.

S.

Oh yeah, mahusive is immense, sizeable, or great - and yes, I got that from the web too!

Richard English
10-31-2006, 01:47 PM
As I am trying to say, it's not a question of common or uncommon, it's a question of understandability. The standard cask names are not slang and can be found in most dictionaries. The US terms I have cited, regardless of how common they might be, are slang and cannot be thus found.

It is very easy to assume that because one knows a phrase then everyone must know it; that is simply not true and it is a trap I try hard to avoid. If I speak of a pint of beer, I will generally make it clear that I mean an Imperial pint to avoid confusion; my plea is simply for US posters to ensure that their own references are similarly clear and to eschew the use of slang or unclear terms.

newportstorm
10-31-2006, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
As I am trying to say, it's not a question of common or uncommon, it's a question of understandability. The standard cask names are not slang and can be found in most dictionaries. The US terms I have cited, regardless of how common they might be, are slang and cannot be thus found.

It is very easy to assume that because one knows a phrase then everyone must know it; that is simply not true and it is a trap I try hard to avoid. If I speak of a pint of beer, I will generally make it clear that I mean an Imperial pint to avoid confusion; my plea is simply for US posters to ensure that their own references are similarly clear and to eschew the use of slang or unclear terms.

This is an internet beer forum. A place I've heard many refer to as a virtual pub. Common terms (be they regional or even neighborhood-specific), slang, casual speak, etc. seem OK to me - in fact, it seems to be the norm.

I assume very few here are professional writers and don't think in such terms. What's clear to one, can be interpreted closely enough by many others and might be wholly unclear to a scant few. Eh. If I walked into a pub in England, I woulnd't expect those I spoke with to break everything down to its simplest level. Local slang is very interesting.

If something isn't clear, simply ask for clarification. Or plea away.

Kalleh1
10-31-2006, 10:55 PM
I' sorry, I am quite unrepentant.
Richard, having posted both here and on wordcraft with you, tell me, are you ever repentant? ;)

Richard, I believe you really did know what I meant, as we communicate quite frequently and talk about beer. At any rate, Steve was right. I meant that the same beer on tap (and that's the word we use for it, just like you write "colour") and in the bottle (i.e. Goose Island or Bass), to me, is better on tap. I certainly would agree that bottled Fuller's 1845 is better than tap Budweiser, and I am quite sure you know that.

[The funny thing is, I actually wonder if I have ever tasted Budweiser. I must have, but I just don't remember when. I suppose I should take a sip someday.]

Richard English
11-01-2006, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by Kalleh1
Richard, having posted both here and on wordcraft with you, tell me, are you ever repentant? ;)

Richard, I believe you really did know what I meant, as we communicate quite frequently and talk about beer. At any rate, Steve was right. I meant that the same beer on tap (and that's the word we use for it, just like you write "colour") and in the bottle (i.e. Goose Island or Bass), to me, is better on tap. I certainly would agree that bottled Fuller's 1845 is better than tap Budweiser, and I am quite sure you know that.

[The funny thing is, I actually wonder if I have ever tasted Budweiser. I must have, but I just don't remember when. I suppose I should take a sip someday.]

I have stirred up a hornets' nest here, have I not:-) My point was simply that the expression "tap" in the USA can mean superb real beer or foul chemical fizz - or anything between. My plea was for clarity; if the beer you drank was cask-conditioned then that needs to be made clear; if it wasn't, then that too should be clear. "Tap" means no more than the fact that the beer was served from the counter, and not from a separate container.

So far as Dudweiser is concerned - I'd try it if I were you, just so you can understand why true enthusiast hate the stuff.

fretlessman71
11-02-2006, 12:55 PM
Richard, wouldn't it be easier to accept the fact that American English is a living language where words are invented every day to suit our purposes? Sometimes on the fly? Instead of wishing that we'd use YOUR word for something, allow us to use our own, and learn to understand what we mean by it. We'd willingly do the same in England!

Clarity, schmarity... let's all relax and have a beer! Richard, I'll buy the first round of cask ale if you show. :D

Richard English
11-02-2006, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by fretlessman71
Richard, wouldn't it be easier to accept the fact that American English is a living language where words are invented every day to suit our purposes? Sometimes on the fly? Instead of wishing that we'd use YOUR word for something, allow us to use our own, and learn to understand what we mean by it. We'd willingly do the same in England!

Clarity, schmarity... let's all relax and have a beer! Richard, I'll buy the first round of cask ale if you show. :D Excuse me, that is NOT what I am saying. As it happens I know quite a lot about the English language and about the differences between its various different forms and, indeed, some years ago wrote a dictionary that contained a glossary of US-UK English differences. I am not complaining that those who post on this site won't use UK English terms, I am complaining about those who use imprecise terms, no matter where they come from. I am speaking about clarity or, if you prefer, understandability.

Ther term "growler" which was one of the expressions subject to mention, seems to have no precise meaning even in the USA. It's not simply that I don't know what it means - it genuinely seems to have no precise meaning. Therefore a posting along the lines of, "...it was a great value pub - a growler for only $9.99..." tells us very little about the value for money of the pub.

But if I were to tell you that I had a 200 ml bottle of Thomas Hardy's ale in Wetherspoons last week for just £2.50, even though you might not know much about UK pounds or even metric measures, you could very easily convert them and decide for yourself whether or not you felt that was a good deal. Because they are genuine, internationally agreed measures, that have a constant meaning wherever they are used, they can be converted by anyone who knows how to check out the equivalents.

(To save you the trouble I can tell you that 200 ml is 6.763 US fluid ounces and £2.50 is $4.77 - which I thought was a bargain for such a rare and wonderful beer).

And yes, I shall be happy to have a pint with you the next time we are in the same neck of the woods. Plans are still fluid but I do expect to be in Chicago next spring.

newportstorm
11-02-2006, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
Therefore a posting along the lines of, "...it was a great value pub - a growler for only $9.99..." tells us very little about the value for money of the pub.


Growlers in the US are typically a half-gallon (64 oz.), though most places will overfill to limit oxygen in the headspace, so expect to get more like 68-70 oz.

There are one gallon growlers, but are less common than the former.

They come in screw top (metal, thin plastic or thicker plastic with a conical polyethylene liner, which I prefer) or flip top seals. And, as Chaz and others discussed earlier, box/bag varieties which are much less common.

Now you know. Just gotta ask.

Richard English
11-02-2006, 02:15 PM
Thank you. So the measure, yhough imprecise, has some validiity. Now all we need is for those posting to say whether the growler they are referring to is a half or a full gallon.

Of course, it's not just growlers - I have noted the same thing with some other measures which are quoted imprecisely (probably referring to "a bottle" is the most common. Even in the UK bottles vary in size, even though the 500 ml is the most common for ales.

fretlessman71
11-02-2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks for clarifying my point Newport. Words can be plenty precise; just because you don't know what they mean doesn't make them imprecise, right?

For the record, anything other than a half gallon growler is RARE. Unless otherwise noted, you can expect a growler to be 64 US ounces (that was for you, Richard).

Now I'm going to walk the 580 cubits to my mailbox and see if there are any bills out there. :D

newportstorm
11-02-2006, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
Of course, it's not just growlers - I have noted the same thing with some other measures which are quoted imprecisely (probably referring to "a bottle" is the most common. Even in the UK bottles vary in size, even though the 500 ml is the most common for ales.

Yeah, most US bottles are 3 common sizes - 12 oz., 22 oz. (bombers) and 25.4 oz (750ml).

There are oddball sizes for craft brew. Sam Adams used 24 oz. bottles for their Imperial Pilsner. Spilker Ales (Nebraska) used to use 32 oz. quart bottles for their beer, but I believe they now use 16 oz. cans exclusively. 40 oz. bottles are usually reserved for malt liquors and macro lagers, though DFH went with that package (complete with a brown bag) for their Liquor de Malt, brewed with more "upscale" corn - for the discriminating bum, hobo and town drunk.

And then there are some that use smaller "nips", though even those are getting fewer and farther between. Anchor used to bottle their Old Foghorn Barleywine in 7 oz. bottles but recently switched to the 12 oz. bottles that the rest of their lineup comes in (aside from their Small Beer and Our Special Ale magnums).

Cheers!

Richard English
11-02-2006, 03:49 PM
Although it's permissable to use any size of bottle (or other packaging) in England, it is a legal requirement that the quantity contained is clearly shown on the container using metric measures.

Fortunately an exception has been made for draught and tap beer, which must always be dispensed in exact multiples or fractions of an Imperial pint.

It's interesting that the US 22 ounce bottle is just fractionally more than an Imperial pint (1.145 to be exact) and the 750 ml bottle is, of course, the standard wine bottle size.

ratman03
11-02-2006, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
Excuse me, that is NOT what I am saying. As it happens I know quite a lot about the English language and about the differences between its various different forms and, indeed, some years ago wrote a dictionary that contained

Richard, you are a 'word person', as evidenced by the fact that you have written a dictionary of sorts. Believe me, I feel your pain. The majority of people don't choose their words carefully, especially in print. And reading comprehension is not valued highly either, it seems!

However, as a Yankee I have to agree with others that growler is a legit term here in the US, imprecise as it may be.

Kalleh1
11-02-2006, 10:25 PM
Well, I, too, am a word person...after all, my husband and I run a word/language site (wordcraft) where Richard is a frequent poster. However, I don't think this discussion about "tap" really was about words. Richard and I have talked now for a couple of years about beer terminology (there are several threads about that on wordcraft), and Richard has joined Steve and me in bars where we asked for "tap" beer. I would be quite shocked, Richard, if you really hadn't understood me.

It is this comment that interests me, Richard:

"Tap" means no more than the fact that the beer was served from the counter, and not from a separate container.
Is tap beer any different in the U.S. than in the U.K.? Truly, I think tap beer is better than the same bottled beer. Am I wrong on this?

Richard English
11-03-2006, 02:11 AM
Originally posted by Kalleh1
Well, I, too, am a word person...after all, my husband and I run a word/language site (wordcraft) where Richard is a frequent poster. However, I don't think this discussion about "tap" really was about words. Richard and I have talked now for a couple of years about beer terminology (there are several threads about that on wordcraft), and Richard has joined Steve and me in bars where we asked for "tap" beer. I would be quite shocked, Richard, if you really hadn't understood me.

It is this comment that interests me, Richard:

quote:
"Tap" means no more than the fact that the beer was served from the counter, and not from a separate container.

Is tap beer any different in the U.S. than in the U.K.? Truly, I think tap beer is better than the same bottled beer. Am I wrong on this?

There are several issues here.

1. The term "tap" beer guarantees only that the beer is served from some kind of countrer-top dispense and not a bottle or can.

2. In the USA the term is frequently used casually for any kind of beer served thus, regardless of its quality or type.

3. In the UK the term "tap" is generally reserved for chemical fizz - certainly among the cogniscenti. Among palate-deprived Dudweiser drinkers I can't be sure.

4. In the UK, true beer enthusiasts use the term "draught" to refer to cask-conditioned beer - and this will generally be served by a beer engine (hand pull, hand pump).

5. I rarely drink chemical fizz but when I was in Marrakesh last year there was no choice and I found then that the local "beer" was better in bottle than on "tap". Similarly I consider that Fuller's 1845 is better in bottle than on draught. When one is discussing chemical fizz I would suspect that, in general, there is little difference and I would certainly not try to generalise as to which is the better.

6. Beer in bottle may, or may not, be essentially the same as the same beer in the cask (for real ale) or the keg (for chemical fizz). This is especially noticeable in the UK where many bottled beers are inferior to their cask equivalents since they are not bottle-conditioned. Those that are thus conditioned will often be as good or better than their cask-conditioned counterparts.

steveh
11-03-2006, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by Richard English


2. In the USA the term is frequently used casually for any kind of beer served thus, regardless of its quality or type.

This actually isn't true. Any establishment serving cask ale in the US, that I've ever been, has never referred to the serving as a tap - it's always been a draught, draw, or pull. To that point, these places are well versed in good beer and good beer styles.

And yes, Richard, I see you as the supreme monarch of stirring hornets' nests - for the sake of. The unfortunate side of your "discussions" is that they always seem to turn into a row between right and wrong based only on English and US customs, with the "English way" being the only "proper way." Maybe not your intent, but your word tone comes across as such.

S.

Richard English
11-03-2006, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by steveh
This actually isn't true. Any establishment serving cask ale in the US, that I've ever been, has never referred to the serving as a tap - it's always been a draught, draw, or pull. To that point, these places are well versed in good beer and good beer styles.
S.

If this is not the case then I stand corrected. I can say only that I have rarely seen the terms you quote used on this board, nor heard them when I have been to the USA.

So far as right or wrong, UK versus USA is concerned I am sorry of I appear to be trying to cause trouble for the sake of it. I am not. I am trying to improve the clarity of our communications. There are at least a dozen different forms of English, and although the USA is the largest user of English (around 5% of the world's population live there) it is unwise to assume that everone can understand US slang or jargon. My plea is for clarity, not for uniformity. The international nature of the internet has made clarity of expression more, not less important.

fretlessman71
11-03-2006, 10:00 AM
HEY, I got an idea - let's all learn Esperanto! :D