Editors' pick

National Cask Ale Week

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Editorial Review

Over in Britain, National Cask Ale Week is underway, with seven days of events celebrating traditional "real ales." These beers are served without extra carbonation or pasteurization and at around 50 degrees, so they have a unique spectrum of flavors that you don't find in ice-cold fizzy lagers. While cask ales are still something of a rarity in the United States, an increasing number of local bars now offer them. New to the real ale game is the cozy Black Squirrel, which is celebrating National Cask Ale Week by offering its first firkin: a special cask of Snake Dog India Pale Ale from Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery, which has had Simicoe hops added after fermentation for extra aroma. (Non-cask versions of several other Flying Dog beers, including the dark, smoky Dog Schwartz, will be available on draft.) Plan to arrive early: The first 25 customers who order a cask ale get a special pint glass to take home.

-- Fritz Hahn (March 30, 2010)