Before glass bottles and steel casks, all beer was matured and served in wooden casks. It’s no surprise that these were phased out: wooden barrels have to be handmade and repaired; they’re expensive and heavy, difficult to clean, and everything about stainless steel is just easier. But easier doesn’t necessarily mean better, and at The Junction in Castleford, West Yorkshire, you’ll find the world’s only pub serving a full range of ales from wooden casks.
Visit To The Junction, Castleford Home Of Beers From The Wood Photo Gallery
The pub owns 180 wooden casks: some are ex-wine or whisky, some are 80-100 years old; there are various woods and sizes, and the pub sends the barrels to breweries who fill them up and return them. The pub isn’t using the wooden casks to mature the beer—they are used just like regular steel casks as the method of serving.
It’s been 30 years since British drinkers routinely drank ales from wooden casks and The Junction allows us to see how wood-served beers take on new qualities, being noticeably more mellow, soft, and expansive compared with steel-cask beers.
The Junction is one of those wonderful beer anomalies. It’s a place where the vision of its owners is dedicated to something that they genuinely believe in and they’ve created an extraordinary experience.
WHAT: The Junction
HOW: www. thejunctionpubcastleford. com
WHERE: The Junction, 109 Carlton Street, Castleford, Yorkshire WF10 1EE
A pint in The Junction will give you a true understanding of the term cask ale.
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