Real Ale

Real Ale


The real ale movement has been given national

attention in recent years. There are plenty of reasons for this. For one thing it helps to give the customers the power to support local businesses. This provides a great alternative to buying corporate ale products.

This popularity has become so far spread that bars are competing to provide drinkers with the finest possible real ales. The types of ale a bar provide will usually depend on its specific location. Its proximity to the nearest independent brewery will usually determine what is on tap. Speaking of “on tap”, it is important to remember that real ale is served in a bottle or in a cask.

On the other hand there are several different factors that can change this. For one thing there may be a brewery that has a monopoly on this product. Unless the bar is a “free house” it will usually be limited by what brands it can sell. There is also the possibility that the bar is part of chain. In this case it is likely to sell brands that are less local. They may even be imported.

How To Tell If It Is Real Ale

  • It will never be referred to as “lager”. This is a different alcoholic beverage entirely.
  • The pint will contain living yeast. Consequently when drinking it you will notice that there is a fine sediment forming in the bottom of the glass.
  • It will be bottle conditioned. This will be clearly stated on the label. This is to signify that the ale has had an additional fermentation process within the bottle itself. It is this process that makes real ale different from others that are served at the bar.
  • If it is served on tap then this will be done from a cask, NOT a keg. Kegs are reserved for other types of drinks such as lager.
  • The drink will be served at cellar temperature. This is order to keep the yeast from dying.
  • It can be either hazy or clear. The best, most ideal type of real ale will be served clear. However issues with the sediment can arise. When this happens the ale will become hazy. This does not necessarily detract from the drink quality.