Keg or Cask, What to have at your party

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What's better than having craft beer for your party? But what's worse than having to tidy up loads of bottles/cans while suffering from a hangover?

Here at Stewart Brewing we offer cask and keg hire for your party. It's great, but most people don't realise there is a difference between keg and cask. Why this isn't taught in schools, we'll never understand. So until the education system catches up with breweries, here's a run down of the difference and what kit we hire out to let you serve brewery-fresh beer at your party.

Cask Conditioned

Best For: Having traditional Real Ale at your party

A cask is the traditional way beer is poured. In the cask you have beer and yeast. Once you get the cask to your party venue and set it up, the beer will need 24 hours to settle. Once it's settled, it cannot be moved. Cask beer should be served between 11-13°C (usually room temperature is fine). Once it's set up, the beer will be good for 5 days before losing its flavour. The cask will have a longer best before date, which is perfect if you want to take it away and drink it a few weeks later.

Cask Sizes: 36 or 72 pints

What we supply: A cask of beer, wedges, tap and spout, mallet, pegs and step by step instructions.

What you'll need to provide: A bucket for the drips and a table to set up on.

Keg

Best For: Pouring cold, carbonated beer at your party

A keg is a sealed pressurised vessel that usually needs a C02 canister to dispense. The gas pushes the beer to the bottom of the keg and up the dispense tube (known as a spear) and out the tap. Our party kits come with an air pump in place of a big heavy gas cyclinder. The upside is you can get fresh keg beer without the need for a gas setup. The downside is beer doesn't like air and it won't stay fresh very for very long. If you're having a party it's great, but if you leave the keg overnight, the air inside will compress and the beer will lose its fizz. Kegs can be served chilled, you can sit the keg in some ice to cool the beer.

Keg Sizes: 53 or 88 pints

What we supply: A keg of beer, bucket (to be part filled with ice) and a party pump.

What you'll need to provide: Ice to cool down the keg.

Bright Cask

Best For: If you want cask beer but don't have time to let it settle

If you want a cask beer but don't want to wait 24 hours for it to settle, a bright cask is for you. We pour keg beer into a cask. The upside is you can set the beer up and pour it straight away. The downside is the lack of yeast means there is nothing to preserve the beer. Once you get you bright cask it's best to consume it with 3 days.

Cask Sizes: 36 or 72 pints

What we supply: A cask of beer, wedges, tap and spout, mallet, pegs and step by step instructions.

What you'll need to provide: A bucket for the drips and a table to set up on.

Bag in Box

If you want to serve cask conditioned real ale but don't want to deal with returning a cask and kit, we have the perfect solution for you. This will also give you the option of a smaller amount of beer for those quieter soirées. Our bag in box comes with a tap already fixed in the front. Simply put the box where it is going to be served and leave it for 24 hours to allow the yeast to settle. The beer will pour in the same way as a cask conditioned beer. Then once you're done, the box can be put in the recycling.

Bag in Box sizes: 17.5 or 35 pints

What we supply: A box containing a bag of beer with a tap in the front.

What you'll need to provide: A bucket for the drips and a table to set up on.

What about a barrel?

To us a barrel is a unit of measurement. It's 36 gallons or 160 litres. 

Hopefully that'll help you understand the difference. If you're still not clear, feel free to pop into one of our Tap Rooms. We're always happy to talk about beer!

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