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Cask Night brings out true ale aficionados



The end of the month comes every month, this is something we can count on every 28 to 31 days, and Whistler craft beer lovers mark the arrival of the end of each month with cask nights.

The brothers in barley have two established Whistler cask night options. The Brewhouse pours the last Wednesday of each month and the Dubh Linn Gate closes things out on the final Thursday.

Derrick Franche, the Brewer at the Brewhouse has faithfully been supplying true ale aficionados with cellar-chilled beer for about a year now. He serves it the way they do in England and other beer loving regions of Europe.

"The cask is filled with finished beer and then has some more sugar, yeast and hops added to the serving vessel, at which point it undergoes a secondary fermentation causing the cask conditioned beer to come across a little stronger, a little hoppier and served closer to cellar temperature," says Franche.

You can tell he knows beer and loves it based on his passionate delivery of lines like this. Franche is a beer producer who lives and breathes the production of beer.

"It is just intended to be a casual evening for people who enjoy craft brewing," Franche says of the evenings he dedicates to gravity poured ales for the true beer lovers in Whistler.

To close out November Franche tapped into a keg of Alta Lake Ale. He explains this brew has more local connections than just the name. The dry ale was made using Pemberton-grown hops. This is unusual as Franche says he usually gets his hops from one of the biggest hop growers in the world located in the Yakima Valley.

His Pemberton supplier has come through a pilot year and Franche hopes to use more Pemberton hops for specialty brews next year as the new player in the hop business moves to a higher yield.

For those interested in the statistics, Franche says casks come in two sizes. The most common size is 39.9 litres and our subject matter expert says a cask that size produces 80 sleeves of beer. A sleeve is half a litre.

At the Dubh Linn Gate the November cask night featured the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon. Reps from the highly decorated microbrewery brought up three and a half-year aged jubilee ale, according to Harrison Stoker, The Dubh Linn Gate operations manager. Five beers also went onto draught lines.

"We drank 'em all," says Stoker.

At the end of this month, Franche plans to offer up Christmas ale to celebrate Boxing Day while Lighthouse brewing will be featured at the Dubh Linn Gate on Dec. 27.

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