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"Real" Ale

I’ve been watching Travels By Narrowboat on Amazon prime.
If your idea of good TV is listening to the thud thud of a diesel engine while looking at pastoral English landscapes and drinking ale… I highly recommend the show. Really makes me want to rent a Narrowboat for a vacation.
In the show Kevin Shelley stops every once and a while to enjoy a pint of “Real Ale”. Real Ale is a new term for me and I thought I’d share it (as well as Narrow Boats).

“England is known for its top fermented cask beer (also called real ale) which finishes maturing in the cellar of the pub rather than at the brewery and is served with only natural carbonation.”


Thanks. Have been reading about real ales and CAMRA IN Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher. It would likely be dead and gone except for them. I understand it is only drinkable for a few short days and the timing is critical as to when it is tapped at the pub.

And, of course, is served with a beer engine. A local ‘English style’ brewery and pub(Airline brewery) has several beers on cask, served with a beer engine. It’s an interesting experience.

I wanted to do this or a riverboat tour in germany for my birthday last year. My daughter and my wife said it looked like only old people did them…it was my 60th birthday so…anyway…still on my bucket list. Will definitely check out the show.

Real ale has come up in threads a couple of times since I’ve been active here. A few guys posted here about brewing them 3-4 years ago I think.

Man the first 8 minutes or so of episode 1 I wasn’t sure they guy was gonna make it. He seemed morosely depressed.

My sister did the river trip last year got a credit because not enough water for the boat ended up on bussed. Went again this year same thing. I don’t think they will try again. I guess maybe if you don’t go in the summer

where was that?

Watched the first couple of episodes and it looks like fun.

Yeah You can skip that first episode


I think it was the viking line. Last year the Rhine this year the Elb. Make sure to go when the water is high


These Narrowboats are 6 feet 10 inches wide and up to 70 feet long

Wnet to a place locally that had an IPA on cask served with a beer engine at room temp. Seemed kind of unusual so I had to try it. Very smooth and I think the warmer temp let all the flavors shine.

Yea that’s the line and rivers I was looking at but we would’ve gone in April/May timeframe which I believe was their high season.

I love the old school engine sound. Hope to see more of the interior of the boat than they’ve shown so far. Cool idea puttering along at 4mph letting the scenery roll past.

So, if you take your fermenting brew… Throw it in a keg about 4-6 points above your predicted finish… Leave it at room temp on its side… Roll it around when you walk past it, in about 2 weeks pull a pint and see if you like it… I’ve done many of these… It is a real ale
I equate it to drinking liquid velvet. Sneezles61

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I guess that’s why it’s the high season. Last year they went mid September this year they went mid August. Brutally hot as well. Spring is the time to go I’ll bet

I started watching that show, but I haven’t decided if I’ll continue. The guy is a bit self absorbed for me.

As to CAMRA, they’ve been around many yeasr. Although it may seem like a great thing, if you do some research you’ll find that many who were once supporters have turned against the organization in recent years because of their narrow focus.


Well then, if that brewing cousin keeps being scornful, best let it die a slow painful death…
Do you suppose “cask ale” American-ized could be a topic home brewers would start talking about? It could just be another creative branch… No flogging intended… Sneezles61

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My homebrew club has a yearly cask ale fest. Everyone makes British styles. To serve, you lay the corny on its side and serve through the gas in. You put a breather on the dip tube.


There are always a few brewers or a group who do it the only correct way right? The CAMRA guys for real ale, the german brewer forum for lagers…maybe the message is don’t take yourself so seriously? Or in the immortal words of the shy and elusive Will Weaton…don’t be a d!@k.

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