Cask Ale Festival – General Sutter Inn

4 Apr

Cask Ale Festival Token Sheet

This past weekend was the 3rd annual cask ale festival at the General Sutter Inn in Lititz, PA. The General Sutter Inn is a charming restaurant, lounge, and you can even sleep there (imagine that). Connected to the inn is the Bulls Head Public House, one of the most fantastic little English-style pubs in this area. They consistently have some of the best choices of hard to find brews on tap.

This is the first cask ale festival I’ve been to and it was excellent. I’ve grown to appreciate cask ales and enjoy trying beers on cask to pick out different nuances than their bottled or kegged cousins possess. If you aren’t sure what a cask ale is, you can read a good description of it here. This festival was set up on a ‘pay as you go’ basis and it was nice not paying a fee up front for a 3-hour window of time where you try to drink as many styles as you can in a short period of time. I liked being able to take my time choosing the beer I wanted and not feeling pressured to guzzle it down to try the next one. It was a perfect set up for the beer connoisseur.

The casks were set up in a large rectangular pattern in what seemed to be a ballroom at the General Sutter. We paid $20 for a sheet of tokens, each token equaling $.50. There were three different sized glasses to choose from, 10 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz. Each beer had a certain number of tokens it cost for each size glass you were filling. We both chose the 10 oz glass so we could try the most beers with our sheet of tokens. There were 21 different casks available when we were there. Some kicked and others were put on. Here is a complete list of what was available when we were at the festival. I have put in bold the ones I tried.

The hours were enjoyable. They were full of tasty minutes (especially the 75 Minute part). Mike and I sat in the lounge, away from the hustle and bustle in the main ballroom area. The tables there were full and many people were standing. We arrived early enough in the afternoon to see some traditional male dancers perform. It was unusual seeing a men-only dance group, jumping and hitting sticks together in time to the music, but I loved it. It reminded me of a warrior dance, except slightly more jovial.

Lounge at the General Sutter Inn

We had a bite to eat in the lounge while enjoying our ales. I ordered the Schnitzel Sandwich and it was delicious. It was huge, seriously. Check out the size of my schnitzel (sorry, I can’t help myself).

schnitzel sandwich

I will definitely make it a point to go to the next cask ale festival at the General Sutter Inn, and any others within a close distance to where we live. Have you ever been to one?


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