Sometimes, for one reason or another, we brewers send our beer beyond its natural homeland (20 miles for us). And in some cases we want to remain fresh and tasty beyond its natural youthful and tasty lifespan (6 weeks for most of our gear). Traditional 'cask' packaging does a job in these circumstances, but could there be something better? Well, I came across an alternative and decided to find out.....
KeyKeg: I've been using these little babies for over a year now, filling them with West Coast IPA and sending them down to Italy for the pleasure of the SPQR. We fill an impermeable bag contained inside a rigid plastic sphere with beer and off it goes. I confess that in this case the containers are filled with beer that hasn't been allowed to fully vent during fermentation and so has an elevated carbonation level. There remains a lowish level of yeast in it (0.1 million cells per ml) and a little residual fermentable sugar for secondary fermentation. It's a 'fully hopped' style of beer, served cold, fizzy and delicious. And it remains tremendously fresh throughout its 3 month lifespan, thanks, in great part, to the packaging. Make no mistake now, West Coast IPA served from KeyKeg is "real ale":
Real ale is a beer brewed from traditional ingredients (malted barley, hops water and yeast), matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide.
Here is a 'keg' being used to package, transport and serve delicious, fresh and tasty ale and doing it better, in the circumstances, than the cask.
Come on, lay right into me. But beware, I'm not stupid enough not have more up my sleeve.