The Swan is a proud holder of the coveted Cask Marque award for real ale, and has also received accreditation from CAMRA and appeared as their Pub of the Month..
Real Ale, alternatively known as real beer, cask beer, cask ale, cask conditioned beer, beer from the handpump
- Is a fresh, natural product full of flavour and character.
- Is one of the best tasting, most satisfying drinks in the world when served in good condition.
- Is made from 4 wholesome ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast
- Is an unpasteurised, fresh product containing live yeast (the bio-yoghurt of the beer world)
- Is fermented twice, once at the brewery and once in the cellar of the pub
- Isn’t fizzy or over-creamy because it has no added gas. The light sparkle, or ‘tingle on the tongue’ in cask ale is from carbon dioxide produced naturally during the fermentation process
- Can be identified by the ‘handpull’ on the bar
- Casks are ‘barrel’ shaped containers, mainly stillaged on their bellies to help trap the yeast sediment with a tap in the cask ‘head’ and a ‘spile’ inserted in the filling aperture which is used to control the ‘condition’ or CO2 content of the beer. In restricted cellars, it is possible to dispense cask beer from a cask set vertically by inserting a long stem into the tap hole which does not quite go to the bottom of the container where the yeast sediment lies.
- Needs very special care and attention by licensees: they receive from the brewery an unfinished product. The quality of what they serve to the customer depends on their routine, care over hygiene and their commitment to standards. Once put on sale, a cask should be sold within 72 hours at the most as it is a living product.
- Should be totally clear and served at a cool 11 – 13 degrees centigrade (cool and refreshing and allowing all the full flavours and aromas to be savoured)
- And most importantly of all, unlike keg products cask ale is a product which can only be experienced in its full glory in the pub