At Local 44, a new bar in West Philly, owner Brendan Hartranft is serving beer the way the English do: au naturel. In the U.S., most of our beer, like our milk, is pasteurized, to give it a longer shelf life. When suds are put through the high-heat process, yeasts die off, and flavor development stops. When the beer is barreled, gas is added to create a carbonated brew. But Brits prefer ale that’s unpasteurized. Absent the heat blast, residual yeast causes beer to undergo a second fermentation — and develop a natural carbonation — inside its wooden casks. The result is a less fizzy product with a deeper, fruitier taste, best served slightly below room temp rather than ice-cold. Like all living things, cask ale requires more TLC and has a limited lifespan: Once tapped, it really only lasts a few days. Try a rotating list of cask beers (many of them regional) at Local 44 (local44beerbar.com).
Around the Web
Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.