Beer At Its Best

At Craft Beer Rising this year, surrounded by a plethora of wild, wonderful and diverse beers, could you guess which stall it was that our Head Brewer Greg encountered not one, not two, but a whole bunch of fellow Five Pointers drinking pints?

To anyone that keeps a vague eye on our social media channels, our admiration and fondness of this Yorkshire brewery’s flagship cask beer is no big secret. There’s been more than one occasion where we’ve found ourselves running into each other at beer festivals, all ordering pints of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. It’s a staple order for us when visiting our sister pub, the beautiful Whitelock’s Ale House in Leeds. It’s a pint of Landlord that makes us really appreciate the subtlety and tastiness of cask ale. 

Beers can be wild, complicated, interesting and stimulating. Beer can also be uncomplicated. A pint of cask ale can be one of the most comforting, thirst-quenching things. Brewed by the brewery, nailed by the publican, its legacy and influence upon modern British beer making – and the UK craft beer scene – has been a little bit forgotten in the past few years. For our Head Brewer Greg, it was pints of cask ale in the pub as a lad that first introduced him to beer.

So, our newest beer release celebrates everything we love about cask ale. It’s our ode to Best Bitter and British cask ale at its best; sessionable, refreshing and superbly balanced. 

Five Points Best

This Spring, Five Points Best joins our core range of beers. This means it’ll be available all year round, and will be hopped with a different British-grown variety each quarter. We’re delighted to be working with our friends at Hukins Hops to source the hops; their commitment to quality, the invigoration of British hop varieties and the legacy of their fourth generation owned farm is admirable. For the first release of Five Points Best, we’re using Fuggles hops. In fact, everything in this brew is British grown, which is pretty neat.

Hold-up, what is a ‘cask’ beer?

Cask ale, or ‘cask-conditioned beer’, is unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which undergoes a secondary fermentation in the barrel, and is served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide.

Five Points Pale, for example, we brew and release in both cask and and keg. The beer differs only in the final steps of process. Five Points Pale on keg we brew and condition in tank, and then package it into keg when it’s totally ready. This goes out to pubs and bars to sell, which they pour by adding nitrogen or carbon dioxide. Five Points Pale on cask, on the other hand, undergoes a secondary fermentation in the cask we package it into, so this beer completes its final step of conditioning in a pub’s cellar. Cask beers are dispensed on the bar through hand pulls.

 What is a Best Bitter?

Simply put, it’s a Pale Ale. The original Pale Ale, in fact! Easy-drinking, bitter and refreshing. It became known as ‘bitter’ from the amount of hops used in the brew; it’s hops that account for bitterness in beer. The more hops used, the higher the levels of bitterness.

Originally, Best Bitters were known as Pale Ales. But, because beers on hand pulls didn’t have pump clips on display at the bar, customers in public houses would ask for “bitter” to differentiate it from mild ale. By the end of the 19th century, brewers had begun to use the term as well.

Cask Beer Today

We’re committed to brewing modern cask beer; influenced by the past but brewed very much for the present Because, we reckon, why should modern beer always mean brewing new and wacky beer styles?

The 2018/2019 Cask Report noted a shift in the kind of beer that young people in their mid-twenties would move to when it came to trying more interesting beer styles and moving away from macro lagers. 10 years ago, many of these drinkers might have switched onto cask ale, but today’s under 30s have been recruited to craft instead.

We’d love to change more people’s opinions on cask beer, and traditional beer styles like Best Bitters. We’re proud to make both cask and keg, and make beers that are both craft and cask. 

“Cask needs to tell its story proudly, and use the overlap with craft beer to recruit new, younger drinkers. Energy and confidence are the difference between being old-fashioned, ‘old man beer’ belonging to a bygone age, and being seen as old-school, classic, influential, even legendary.”  Pete Brown, Beer Writer.

Pete, we’re with you there.

See you all at The Pembury Tavern soon for a nice cold pint of cask, then?