Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good While It Lasted

We were driving back from Waynesboro on Sunday afternoon when I got a text message from fellow beer drinker and former beer blogger Dan to tell me that changes are afoot at one of Charlottesville's leading beer emporia.

It turns out that the guys that own and operate Beer Run have decided to dispense with their beer engine and install an additional three regular taps in the space being freed up. I won't hide it, this makes me sad. Many of the best beers I have enjoyed since moving to the US have been on cask at Beer Run, Joker IPA from Williams Brothers, Sierra Nevada's Torpedo and a barleywine from Cricket Hill that was obscenely easy to drink.

Now, I realise that enjoying cask conditioned beer is something of a minority interest in the beer loving community this side of the Pond, but the thought of the only place in town offering beer the way god intended being South Street Brewery is somewhat depressing. Admittedly I haven't been to South Street for quite some time, so maybe their beers have improved, but last time I allowed for that possibility I had the most depressed 90 minutes of drinking in my life, so I am not holding out much hope.

My most fervent hope is that one of the other pubs in this town pick up the baton, buy the beer engine from Beer Run and run with it. In a different world, with ownership that actually understood pubs and pub goers, it would be perfect in Court Square Tavern. If I owned the Horse and Hound I would seriously look into it, imagine that a "British" pub that actually has something authentically British about it. As it is, I think the best place for a beer engine in Charlottesville would be McGrady's or just outside town, Timberwood Grill, where the homebrew club meets once a month.

Dan also mentioned that Beer Run were planning to ditch their proper pint servings because only one person ever drank them, surely there are other drinkers than just me that like a proper pint? Thankfully though, on that front he was kidding.


  1. It is sad when a pub gets rid of a hand-pull or cask beer. I feel very few breweries have beer engines. The one that I worked at (but left because I am too busy with graduate school), has one, but it isn't real. It is forced carbonated, they try to mislead you. I won't go into much other detail because I don't like complaining.

    I feel that only certain breweries will not carry "live" beer in a cask because it goes bad (i.e., flat) and they lose the profit. I would love to be back in Michigan, where I use to live, because there are many breweries popping up all of the time, and they know that cask beer are the way to go to get a real beer geek to come in.

    I do have a question. I am not keen of what a "proper pint serving" is? I could google it, but I want to hear what you think it is (since you are from across the pond).

    I am a first time reader and really enjoy your blog. I'll be sure to keep up with your blog.


  2. Jason,

    thanks for your comment!

    The term "proper pint" is kind of an inside joke I have with Beer Run. They have 20oz servings, in classic British nonic glasses - hence the "proper" pint rather than the small American pint, which is 16oz.

    There are very few breweries that seem to understand cask ale - I have heard of some just filling a cask from the primary fermenter without priming sugar or finings. In August I am heading to Baltimore where, I believe, Pratt Street Alehouse has a good selection an cask ales.


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