Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

New Ale From Anheuser-Busch

By William Brand
Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 at 9:54 pm in Uncategorized.

Haven’t tried it yet, but Anheuser-Busch says the second of a line of new seasonal beers is headed to a tavern near all of soon. It’s called Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale. A-B says thje 6 percenter will be on tap around the country from December through February, when a spring seasonal will be introduced. It won’t be bottled, just sold on tap.

This one appears to be a lower alcohol ale version of their 10 percent Celebrate, which was released at Thanksgiving in 24 oz. bottles and later in 12 ouncers.

Publicity info sounds the same: Aged on crushed up, bourbon barrels, placed in the fermenter size: 1,000 barrels); rare imported hops: Celebrate used French Strisselspalt hops from the Alsace region of France. One difference, Celebrate was a lager, made with A-Bs regular lager yeast – pushed to the max.

Bourbon Cask Ale is ale, so a different yeast was used, obviously.

One problem with this: The Campaign for Real Ale (UK) sets an official standard for cask ale.

Does the new beer meet that standard? Is it pastuerized or non-pastuerized? Is there a final fermentation in the cask? Will it be served on a hand pump or on gas?

If it’s pastuerized or mico-filtered so there’s no final fermentation and the beer is pushed to the tap with gas — it’s keg, not cask.

That doesn’t make it a bad beer. Guinness is keg beer; I personally love Guinness. It’s just not a cask ale. Of course, I’m sure there’s no law in America on the subject.

I asked A-B these questions via e-mail a couple of hours ago. Waiting to hear. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the company’s publicity release contained this interesting graf:

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch Inc. is the leading American brewer holding 50 percent of the U.S. beer market.The company is American-owned and brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also holds a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in Tsingtao, the No. 1 brewer in China.

Now that’s big.

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