tisdag 14 januari 2020

Alfs questions on Cask - british Cask-breweries - Timothy Taylors

På Akkurat, hösten 2019 (eget foto)

Timothy Taylors Landlord är för mig en relativt ny favorit bland brittiska öl tillgängliga i Sverige. Den finns både i systembolagets beställningssortiment (kolli om åtta stycken halvlitersflaskor) och förekommer numer även hyfsat reguljärt som Real Ale på välsorterade svenska krogar.

Jag skickade mitt engelskspråkiga frågeformulär till Scott Cameron, Brand Manager på Timothy Taylors, och jag fick följande svar.

Alfs Opinion About Beer (AOAB); How much Real Ale/Cask Ale do you produce/year?
  • Scott Cameron, Timothy Tayolors (SC, TT); We produce circa 90,000 HL of cask ale per annum.
AOAB; Do you brew any “regular” beers as well? How much? Do you brew some beers only as cask or only as “regular”?
  • SC, TT; About 80% of what we produce goes into cask; the balance is bottled beer (which is effectively produced just as our cask beer but then doesn’t undergo the secondary fermentation as it is put into bottle). We have recently done some trials with kegged ale, but the quantity is negligible at this point.
AOAB; Do you brew any organic cask ale (or regular beer)? If not, why?
  • SC, TT; No we don’t for several reasons. The first is that using organic raw materials for a ‘special brew’ would entail flushing out and cleaning our brewing plant including our malt conveyor and mill system each and every time as well as adding in the admin/paperwork burden of inspections/auditing by the Soil Association. In addition, at the moment the quality of the ingredients would be below the standards we demand now.  This is because there are there are very limited quantities of organic barley and hops grown, and we would be limited to what we could get (for example, because of the susceptibility of hops to disease and pest infection, some seasons the hops produced by organic farms are extremely poor or there might not be a harvest at all).
AOAB; How much cask do you export and where? Cask is best fresh…?
  • SC, TT; We export negligible amounts of cask ale to Denmark and Sweden. The issue isn’t about ‘freshness’ per se,  but the challenges of a short shelf life (~8 weeks shelf life); the sensitivity to travel and temperature given our vigorous secondary fermentation; the lack of knowledge on how to handle cask in countries outside the UK; and the challenge of getting our casks back.
AOAB; Will Brexit cause any problems (regarding export)?
  • SC, TT; Not for us given our low level of export sales, but overall we don’t think beer will be a sticking point in the Brexit negotiations.
AOAB; Cask sale in Great Britain, over the last decade?
  • SC, TT; Unfortunately, sales of cask ale have fallen over the past decade; as they have for the decades before this as UK consumers tastes changed and lager became increasingly popular. In the past decade, despite a period of 4-5 years of relative stability, British Beer & Pub Association data indicates that cask sales through pubs, etc. have fallen by 18%.
AOAB; Decreasing interest among customers for drinking beer/real ale in pubs in Great Britain?
  • SC, TT; Beer is still by far the largest selling beverage in pubs and bars in the UK but there are all sorts of dynamics in play that mean that overall alcohol consumption is decreasing. This includes people drinking more at home; health awareness re: moderate alcohol consumption; no longer socially acceptable to drink anything and drive; and growth of other alcohol sectors (e.g. still wine) versus historic patterns. One of the issues with the decrease in ‘real ale’ consumption is a continuing issue with quality of service given the particular needs of this beer style (for example, many pubs think that because of the craft beer trend they have to offer a wide range of cask beer, yet once the first pint has been poured the beer has to be sold quickly — three to four days — leading to quality issues with slower moving lines).
AOAB; What beer is your bestselling cask historically? 2019?
  • SC, TT; Landlord is by far our most popular cask beer, accounting for approximately 80% of our cask sales in our last financial year (Oct 2018 – end Sept 2019).  Before Landlord came about in 1950, the beer we produced most of was a beer called XX in the Brewery (!) but probably called Mild in the pubs. It was the same strength as Golden Best (3.5%), but darker due to the use of Crystal malt. In our old records, they don’t report the colours of the beers with dark malts in the grist (probably because this varied a lot) but I would estimate it at a colour of approximately 50-55 (Landlord is 20 and Boltmaker is 30).
Landlord Dark, tidigare Ram Tam (bild lånad från Timothy Taylors)

Thanks to Scott for the replies and for Timothy Taylors production of great Cask Ales.

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