Thursday, 18 August 2011
OK, let's clear up a few lose threads from our KeyCask/KeyKeg experiences.
1. We re-did the cask vs KeyCask with yet another beer (costing me a fortune in ale this is), but this time aged for only 3 weeks, the average age our beer would be if you drank it in East Kent. The difference was minimal, if there at all. I conclude from this that we will not be swapping our stainless steel casks for KeyCasks for use in our local market, anytime soon. Costs of ownership & cleaning our casks are half the costs of the KeyCasks.
2. We re-did the test at the GBBF and held a taste trial in the Volunteer Arms, the staff-only bar. Three samples were blind pulled: regular KeyCask, cask and KeyCask with a semi-permeable bag, designed to allow a small amount of oxidation during serving, such as is deemed important by many an expert. The beer was 3.8%, hoppy & 7 weeks old. Here's me right, a lover of fresh stuff, feeding CAMRA's most faithful with old beer, at their premier event. And I put my name on it. I must be mad. But I digress, where were we? Oh, the test. I nailed it from 2" inches above each glass. But I don't know how the rest did, as I haven't seen the results (there was some bloke giving 'clarity' a 2 out of 5 - the beer was absolutely gin bright so I reckon his glasses were a bit greasy).
So, KeyKegs can be used effectively as casks and will keep beer fresh for longer, both during storage and dispense. Costs preclude it from replacing stainless casks in the local market, however, they are ideal for wider distribution.
There's a few competitors out there now so look for continued innovation in the beer container market.